One of the only restaurants in South Florida that serves authentic home cooked Italian, Macaluso’s boasts family recipes three generations old from Staten Island, New York. The cuisine includes tasty renditions of simple, honest, homey fare, like rigatoni with broccoli rabe, generously ricotta-stuffed ravioli with fresh peas, chicken, and mushrooms in a lemony white sauce, and a fresh veal cutlet.
Azul at the Mandarin Oriental
Mandarin Oriental, Miami, located on upscale Brickell Key, is home to Azul, one of the city’s top dining destinations. When it opened its doors on December 15, 2000, Azul became a destination in its own right. Designed by world-class restaurant designer Tony Chi, the 120-seat restaurant offers breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. After an international search, Mandarin Oriental, Miami selected rising culinary star Chef Clay Conley to take the helm at Azul. Chef Conley honed his culinary reputation at Todd English’s acclaimed Olives restaurant, where he served as executive chef and culinary director. Chef Conley brings his sophisticated cuisine of Mediterranean and Asian influences to the menu at Azul. Our favorites include the Yogurt Marinated Local Swordfish, Crispy Pita & Heirloom Tomato Salad and the daily selection of artisanal cheeses.
500 Brickell Key Drive; 305.913.8358; http://www.mandarinoriental.com/miami/dining/azul/
Open since March 2009, celebrated Chef Laurent Tourondel’s modern American steakhouse, BLT Steak at the historic Betsy Hotel, has firmly established itself as one of Miami’s top dining destinations. After just a few months, it’s apparent that Tourondel has successfully exported the signature style, great cuisine and exemplary service synonymous with the BLT experience to Miami Beach, and savvy diners have responded by frequenting the restaurant in droves. In a league of its own on South Beach’s iconic Ocean Drive, within the exquisite environs of the elegantly renovated Betsy Hotel, the beachfront BLT Steak presents a world-class dining experience with a South Florida perspective. BLT, or Bistro Laurent Tourondel, is the personal stamp of the acclaimed chef and restaurateur, who was named “2007 Restaurateur of the Year” by Bon Appétit magazine. At BLT Steak, Tourondel elevates the classic American steakhouse with his signature style, French training and all-around finesse.
Fifi’s may not be as swanky as some of our other top five listings, but the freshness and quality of the plates certainly draws in the haute crowd accustomed to swanky food. From yellowtail snapper to fresh stone crabs, pre-cracked and served over ice with lime and delectable mustard dipping sauce, Fifi’s fresh fish and pure ambiance is a favorite among locals who know where to grab a great catch.
2001 Collins Ave., Miami; (305) 520-6700; http://www.fifisseafood.com/
660 at The Angler’s
Located within the esteemed boutique resort, 660 at The Angler’s is a celebrated local dining staple. Headed by Executive Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, the Mediterranean inspired menu is creatively presented without sacrificing sophistication or taste. Featured items include Crispy Braised Pork Belly with maple, sweet potato, pecans, smoked oil, sea salt; Olive Oil Poached Piquillo Peppers with goat cheese, crispy baguette, and sea salt; and Twelve Hour Braised Short Ribs with porcini & truffle risotto, and port wine reduction. A new beer list recently débuted along with an Artisanal cocktail menu that includes nostalgic drinks.
660 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 305. 534.9600; www.theanglersresort.com