In the last few years, the culinary scene at Miami Beach has become just as famous as the beaches and the nightlife. Each year, renowned chefs open new restaurants in the heart of the city. Restaurant favorites from NYC, LA and elsewhere are migrating to the steamy beaches of Miami as well. In spite of the recession, Miami has continued to thrive as a tourist destination for those looking for culinary delights.
Here are some of the newest and best restaurants that Miami has to offer, along with a few exciting restaurants opening in the near future.
- Celebrity Chef Sightings
The Dutch – Like many other Miami restaurants, the Dutch is a transplant from one of the hottest restaurants in NYC. Celebrity chef Andrew Carmellini’s father actually comes from Miami, which is why he recently referred to the Miami opening as “a kind of homecoming” (NYTimes). The restaurant, based in the W Hotel on South Beach, opened its doors on November 14 and features an American menu of locally sourced ingredients.
1500° – This restaurant is no transplant – it is the homegrown creation of chef Paula DaSilva, who was a finalist in the TV program, Hell’s Kitchen. The restaurant has only been open for a year, but it has already been named “Best New Steakhouse” by Miami New Times. DaSilva has a farm-to-table approach featuring local and seasonal cuisine with a steakhouse atmosphere.
STK Miami – Another hot NYC transplant, STK is headed by chef Ralph Pagno, who has been a contestant on both Hell’s Kitchen and Iron Chef America. Located in the Gansevoort South in South Beach, STK is no ordinary steakhouse. Its stylish, sexy appeal makes it a favorite among women and celebrity diners.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – Since October, Yardbird has brought southern comfort to Miami’s upbeat scene. It’s headed by Top Chef contestant Jeff McInnis and features a farm-fresh menu with mouthwatering dishes like fried chicken with spice watermelon, apricot-stuffed quail with pancakes, and chicken and chive waffles with bourbon pecan butter.
- Award Worthy
Scarpetta – This AAA Four Diamond Award-winning restaurant from Manhattan represents the height of luxury. Located in the iconic Fontainebleau Hotel, the restaurant is led by award-winning chef Scott Conant and features delicious Italian cuisine, expansive ocean views, and an elegant space decked in airy blues and whites.
Hakkasan – This restaurant is another AAA Four Diamond Award winner located in the Fontainebleau, but it is a transplant from the award-winning Chinese restaurant in London. The menu includes indulgent dishes such as roasted silver cod in Chinese honey and Champagne and savory jasmine tea-smoked ribs. The low lights and exotic décor will sweep away your senses.
BLT Steak – Yet another top NYC steakhouse transplant rates among Miami’s best. It was opened by Laurent Tourondel, who was named Bon Appetit’s ‘Restaurateur of the Year’ in 2007. The steakhouse features prime cuts of USDA Wagyu and Certified Black Angus, along with seasonal specialties.
- Coming Soon
J&G Grill – Renowned French chef Jean-George Vongerichten is planning on opening a transplant of his popular Park City, Utah grill in the St Regis Bal Harbor Resort in January 2012. The restaurant will feature French-Asian inspired dishes from the chef’s international portfolio.
Serendipity3 – This luxury ice cream restaurant has been visited by the likes of Andy Warhol and Oprah, and is famous for its $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae, which is sprinkled in edible gold leaf. The Miami location is set to open on Lincoln Road sometime in the near future.
Joseph Morris has been a professional chef for over 20 years. He also owns the site culinaryartscollege.org for students interested in getting a degree in culinary arts.