As season in Miami approaches, it’s no surprise that a plethora of new restaurants will make their introduction to the Magic City culinary scene. On the heels of the holidays—and Art Basel just one month away—Driftwood Room is at the top of our list of new restos to try out this fall. Along with its lantern-lit al fresco ambiance set in the sea salt breeze, here are three reasons you should pencil in a visit to this fresh, haute eatery now!
1. Celebrity Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is at the helm
You may know this standout chef from her reputable post at New York City hot spot Butter or from her many stints on Food Network shows like Chopped, The Best Thing I Ever Ate and Iron Chef America. Regardless of the reason, Alex Guarnaschelli breathes her infectiously warm personality into the Southern European fare at Driftwood Room. “Alex Guarnaschelli has proven time and time again that she can create a menu that is simultaneously refined, yet approachable and fun,” shares Jason Pomeranc, cofounder of SIXTY Hotels, which includes SoBe’s Nautilus (home to Driftwood Room).
2. Seafood by the sea is just right
Although dishes like the Whole-Roasted White Cloud Cauliflower with its perfect char-meets-tender and the fluffy Fioretta Burrata with juicy, oven-dried tomatoes are top-notch, opting for succulent, fresh seafood just steps from the Atlantic Ocean feels like home. To start, the Lemonfish Crudo with piquillo peppers, roma tomatoes and basil is smooth and evenly-flavored with just a touch of sweetness. All-star entrée, the Butter-Poached Cold Water Lobster is simply perfection, with a marriage of creamy, coconut sauce bathing the crustacean. Still, the Florida Snapper “En Papillote” is flaky and moist, with a slight hit of fennel to add extra depth.
3. Innovative cocktails galore for mixology buffs
If you’re not one for enjoying a sparkling glass of prosecco or a refreshing rosé pour by the beach as selected by Master Sommelier Laura Maniec, opt for a creative cocktail—or have both! Ingredients like olive oil, cherry tomatoes, celery water and different jams make this libation list a must. Sip on the Fig & Berries, a tequila-clad, sweet, acidic mix of fig jam, blackberry, white balsamic and lime, or the sparkling, floral Nautilus Royale, a blend of lavender-infused Belvedere Vodka, blueberry jam and lime, dressed with brut champagne.