Bring an appetite for upscale tastes to these hot spots. The Miami: Best Places to Eat guide shows where to go depending on your mood, or time of day. Hobnob shines a foodie spotlight on these cool spots.
Hobnob loves a good foodie trek in other cities. Miami actually has a lot of the top restaurants that happen to have started in NYC, so there was a familiarity. Here’s our picks from our 3-day trek of gastronomic adventures. (see also our Miami Drinks and Miami Scenics posts for more ideas on what to do.)
If You Want to Experience Elegant, Old-School Service with Modern Fare
Being at Lure Fishbar is like venturing on a vintage yacht from the ’50s. This venue is attached to the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, and boasts a sedate, elegantly proportioned dining room. Chef John Iatrellis delivers exceptional seafood bites in this elegant setting.
Our bar side snack included: Deviled Eggs with American Caviar; a duo of sashimi Tuna Tacos; and our fave of the meal, the Crispy Rice Cakes that were topped with spicy tuna tartare, a wasabi aioli, and crispy nori. Make it a point to eat here in Miami. lurefishbar.com
The Quiet Outdoor Cocktail Mecca
Next to Lure is its casual side-kick, The Rum Line, offering special cocktails with, you-guessed-it, rum! The food hits the spot, with a focus on more low-key seafood specialties from Chef John Iatrellis. A wonderful little spot with the opportunity to sit outdoors in a protected, garden oasis. We enjoyed Lobster Toasts and a beautifully-presented Conch Salad in Coconut. therumline.com
From the Master Chef: Food That You Eat with Your Eyes Then Savor with Your Taste Buds
The Matador Room, a Jean Georges Vongerichten restaurant, is the spot to go to if you are seeking a place that pulls out all the stops. The space is lovingly preserved from the days that the Rat Pack used to frequent, situated in The Edition Hotel. We did a tasting menu on New Year’s Eve whose ingredients were designed to be over-the-top. The menu:
1. Meyer Lemon Gelée with Caviar and Herbs: Served at room temperature, this bite melted in your mouth, with light hints of lemon, exquisite caviar in the most perfectly textured gel—heaven. (seen in the photo above)
2. Foie Gras Brulée, Sour Cherries, Pistachios and White Port: Decadence personified: set on a light base, topped with sweet notes and crunchy textures. Woof.
3. Main Lobster with Black Truffle Butter and Crispy Potatoes: The truffle butter was housed inside the tail, adding a deep, sensual effect.
4. Seared Wagyu Beef Tenderloin, Black Truffle- Potato Latkes Caramelized Onion Jus: A perfectly-cooked opulent steak meets crispy potatoes
5. Holiday Dessert Usually not interested in dessert, but this one was so light and properly portioned—cold sliced grapes, and tiny sweet puddings.
The Edition hotel lobby featured a sea of green foliage, whose silhouettes spotlighted the high ceilings above. Perfect spot to see and be seen. Guests dressed to impress. matadorroom.com
For a Bustling, Fun Night with Asian Accents
(sadly, this place is now closed, what a shame!) Bazi’s menu boasts Modern Asian cuisine with an emphasis on presentation. We followed an order of Tuna Tataki with a second—it was that irresistible. Baby Bok Choy Salad came with a crunchy flat of cashew brittle, for extra credit. Scallion pancakes came with two dips, a miso eggplant and a nori sabayon. How adorable are the Grilled Corn?
The restaurant was buzzing, vibrant, and fun—almost clubby, filled with people who were definitely continuing their night elsewhere in South Beach. bazimiami.com
When You Don’t Want Seafood Again
Quality Meats offers a selection of meat from top butchers in the USA: Bush Brothers, Prime Foods and Pat LaFrieda who offer their wares to skillful hands. Loved the lively atmosphere and team of young women who skillfully handled reservations and seating. A tightly run ship.
We started with a fresh and light Green Goddess Salad. The fish is good here too: the Everything-Crusted Branzino takes the bagel theme to its highest level and adds smoked cream cheese, and pickled onions for an intense taste sensation.
Stone Crab Cocktail Claw: be sure to ask the price on this! We paid $37 for one claw [though delish, certainly not worth the splurge].
Baby Back Ribs came marinated in honey-lime, fresh mint, Thai basil. Perfectly cooked and thoroughly enjoyed. qualitymeatsmiami.com
Farm to Table Breakfast with “After Party” Juice
A late breakfast took us up to Orange Blossom who offered filling and imaginative dishes for our rejuvenation. We gratefully ordered a cold-pressed After Party juice, which was a blend of apple, carrot, beet, cucumber, lemon and ginger, and practically a meal in itself.
Yellow Tail Tacos came housed in a crispy shell, with a spicy blend of yellow tail snapper, cilantro, red jalapeno, red onion, avocado, soy sauce, ginger and garlic sauce. orangeblossommiami.com
Off the Beaten Path
(sadly, this spot is now closed.) With a step back to 1938 we hit the S & S Diner on our trek up to Wynwood and got the true diner experience. Inexpensive sandwiches are served proudly by the friendly waitresses on a horseshoe-shaped counter. No tables. Old movie posters. A Tina Turner concert on the TV. What a way to start the day!
1757 NE 2nd Ave near 17 street. It’s a bit of a trek to Wynwood from here (especially if you get lost like we did!) Walk up to NE 20th street from here and make a left, walk till you get to NW 2nd Ave, then make a right.
For an Excellent Cup of Coffee, Or Should I Say Caffe?
Straight out of Italy comes Pinocchio, offering sweet and light bites and the best coffee on 8th street, South Beach. They also offer Bruschette, Panini, Salad, Coffee, Italian gelato, Milkshakes and more in a cute spot that feels more like you are in Italy.