Welcome to the Neighborhood: The Haute 5 New Restaurants in Miami

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London’s award winning restaurant, ZUMA, will open its doors in the EPIC Hotel & Residences in the heart of Downtown Miami on May 24 bringing its internationally acclaimed style of modern Japanese cuisine to America. ZUMA, the brainchild of German chef Rainer Becker offers a sophisticated cuisine philosophy inspired by the informal Japanese dining style called Izakaya.Becker developed the ZUMA concept of authentic, nontraditional, Japanese cuisine while working in Tokyo where he spent six successful years learning the intricacies of both Japanese food and culture.  In 2002, Becker launched the first ZUMA restaurant in London’s Knightsbridge; such was the enormous success of the restaurant with London’s international clientele, that demand supported the development of additional ZUMA restaurants across the globe.  ZUMA Hong Kong launched in 2007, ZUMA Istanbul in February 2008 followed by ZUMA Dubai in August 2008.  ZUMA’s large celebrity following includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Lady Gaga, Tony Blair, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Victoria and David Beckham, Sarah Ferguson, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Antonio Banderas and Keith Richards among many others. One of the only restaurants in the Downtown Miami/Biscayne Bay area with boat accessibility, ZUMA will grant entry through its own bay front entrance, as the EPIC Marina features a private dock available to restaurant diners.

270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami; Reservations can be made by calling (305) 577-0277; www.zumarestaurant.com

Yes, Pasta!

Yes, Pasta! offers a variety of delicious made–to-order pasta combinations for vegetarians, seafood and meat lovers alike with 100% authentic Italian cuisine and ingredients. The venue lends itself to the feeling of sitting around the family table with an ambiance that exudes Mediterranean flair with turquoise and light wood colors and textures, Italian cookbooks, olive oil, vinegars and porcelains throughout, Yes, Pasta! is a recipe for success from the fare to the atmosphere.

14871 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami Beach; (305) 944-1006; http://www.yespasta.us.com/

SUGARCANE raw bar grill

When you’re looking to share, look no farther than SUGARCANE. Inspired by the “shared experience,” it’s tapas galore at this new locale. Located in the heart of Miami’s emerging Midtown district and developed by the creators of SUSHISAMBA, SUGARCANE raw bar grill is inspired by international influences and South American spirit. Three distinct kitchens: robata, hot and raw bar unite for a fresh take on tradition and a unique culmination of flavor. With 4,200 square feet of interior space, an impressive outdoor terrace and outdoor bars, SUGARCANE is the perfect place to gather over small plates, freshly muddled pitchers and an impressive selection of imported beers. Our favorite pick: Whole Roasted Chicken with Truffled Fingerling Potatoes and Mushrooms.

3250 NE 1st Ave., Miami; (786) 369-0353


Didn’t get your fill of Mexican this Cinco de Mayo? Maybe you need a little Mercadito in your life. Expertly blending traditional Mexico with creative interpretations of local and seasonal ingredients is the inspiration behind this Mexican restaurant. An ingenious menu with flavorful tastes and textures make this Chicago favorite a promising hotspot.

NE First Ave; Midtown; (786) 369-0423


Forging on new territory, the iconic Forge is back. Miami’s famed Shareef Malnik has reopened the doors of Forge transforming everything from the décor to the cuisine. A former blacksmith workshop, this fine-dining establishment is now a symbol of fresh and bright style. Boasting a gleaming enomatic wine system, glamorous dining room, and daring menu (think Lobster peanut butter and jelly) the new Forge is sure to be a big hit. On the menu, our fave is the Florida Snapper in a Bag.

432 W 41st St., Miami Beach; (305) 538-8533

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