Always in Style: Miami’s Timeless Eateries 2017

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A look at some of Miami’s most fashionable restaurants that remain timeless gems in the city.

CIPRIANI

Cipriani Downtown Miami Interior 2Photo Credit: Cipriani

The buzz: The global-renowned hot spot is one of Miami’s premier destinations for fine dining and waterfront views. Whether you’re seeking a spot for a power lunch destination in the heart of Brickell/Downtown Miami, a romantic dinner date or a group dining celebration, Cipriani is the top pick for Miami’s elite, never failing to bring in the most fashionable and noteworthy crowd at any time of day or year. If you’re looking for a celeb-sighting, you can surely find some here, where stars like Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside or global social-media sensation and producer DJ Khaled have been spotted.

What’s on the menu: If you’re familiar with Cipriani’s illustrious menu, you won’t be disappointed by the Miami location. Ever-famous options include the Cipriani Carpaccio or the Artichoke Salad to start, and of course, for the Primi course, the Baked Taglioni with Ham. Other classics are the Spaghetti alla Vongole or the Rigatoni alla Bolognese, all cooked to perfect al dente. As a main, you can’t go wrong with Cipriani’s clean yet flavorful entrée dishes, like the Chilean Sea Bass, the de-boned Branzino or the crisp Veal Milanese. And for a sweet ending to the meal, Cipriani’s dessert items are the stars of the show. Favorites include the homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, which the spot has become famous for, as well as the rich Vanilla Cream Meringue Cake.

Cipriani Scampi al forno
Cipriani Scampi al forno

Photo Credit: Cipriani

Drink up: For a true Cipriani experience, sip on the restaurant’s famous Bellini, which was created in 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani at the original Harry’s Bar in Venice. The pretty pink cocktail pairs delectably with the fine Italian fare and makes for the perfect libation to cool down with as you indulge in your meal.

Décor: The nautically themed restaurant is a stunning waterfront destination against the great skyscape of Downtown Miami. Cipriani offers fine dining in a chic, open space with ritzy international vibes, classically decorated with elegant shades of stark white, navy blue and wood furnishings, evoking the feel of dining within a megayacht on Miami’s Biscayne Bay. You can spot vintage photographs lining the walls as well as prestigious artwork by Domingo Zapata to complete the fashionable look.


 

FAENA

Faena Hotel_Pao_Photo by Nik Koenig
Pao by Paul Qui at Faena

Photo Credit: Nik Koenig

The buzz: Debuting in December 2015, Faena has quickly become one of Miami’s top destinations to frequent and be seen. Since its inception, the grand hotel has seen the likes of A-listers like Madonna, Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, Leonardo DiCaprio and more, infallibly continuing to attract the best parties, events, shows and exhibitions, as well as a consistent crowd that visits the restaurants or nightlife destinations. Faena has become synonymous with opulence and extravagance, a perfect draw for whatever the crowd may be at the moment in Miami—you can guarantee that whoever may be in attendance, they will be dressed to the nines and ready to spend.

What’s on the menu: Faena features two dining destinations: Pao by Paul Qui, an Asian-inspired restaurant, and Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann, a classic Argentinian restaurant. Both dining destinations have received praise from even the most discerning of diners, offering top-notch, quality plates presented in the decadent, Faena fashion. At Pao, you can expect favorites like the aptly named Unicorn dish, composed of sea urchin, grilled sweet corn pudding, kalamansi, chile de árbol and lime; the East Side King Fried Chicken with sweet chili sauce, roasted banana ketchup and jalepeño; Chirashi specialty rice with “Select” raw fish, roe, caviar, pickled vegetables, fresh wasabi and aged tamari; or the extravagant CdB, a $225 plate of Wagyu beef ribeye with Japanese sweet potato puree, seasonal kimchee and yuzu kosho brown butter. At Los Fuegos, you can indulge in the famous Wood Oven Empanadas, ranging from hand-cut prime filet with llajua sauce, “Humita” Sweetcorn or Pecorino cheese and caramelized onion; the Wood Oven Pizza of the Day; the classic Argentinian, Grilled Bone-in Ribeye with smashed Pantagonian potato, Criolla and authentic chimichurri sauce; or to take things up a notch, the 40 oz. Porterhouse Steak or Whole Branzino “a la Plancha” to share.

Los Fuegos
Los Fuegos at Faena

Photo Credit: Juan Fernando Ayora

Drink up: To truly embody the Faena spirit as you sip on your libation and enjoy the lively atmosphere, opt for Pao’s signature cocktail, The Myth, which comes served in a heavy copper mug shaped out of a unicorn. The majestic cocktail is made with Absolut Elyx vodka, cherry heering, coco lopez, pineapple juice, ginger syrup and lemon, topped with some club soda. The decadent drink will pair deliciously with your flavorful Asian-inspired meal.

Décor: When you think of Faena, red, gold and animal prints come to mind, and the stunning interiors of Pao and Los Fuegos maintain this theme with their bold interior designs. Pao is located in The Dome of the Faena Hotel, thus evoking an avant-garde design within a highly modern sphere highlighted by stunning ocean views outside the windows. The most striking element of design is Damien Hirst’s Golden Myth, a painted bronze and gold-leaf unicorn sculpture at the center of the restaurant, enhancing the breathtaking, whimsical vibe. Inside Los Fuegos, guests will find an authentic South American dining experience, with a dining room decked out in vibrant red colors with a grand chandelier captivating the center of the restaurant. It features an outdoor fire kitchen, rooted in the traditional asado (outdoor barbecues), with a kitchen custom-designed with a large wood oven, the “piano”—a grand-scale grill of bespoke design crafted in Texas—with planchas and hooks to hang fish and meat from, creating an authentically beautiful dining experience for guests.


CECCONI’s

Cecconi's MiamiPhoto Credit: Cecconi’s Miami

The buzz: Anchored in Miami Beach’s exclusive Soho Beach House, Cecconi’s is guaranteed to attract the crème de la crème on any given day or night of the week. Whether taking a break from the beach, heading to a posh Sunday brunch or planning a romantic date night, Cecconi’s remains one of Miami’s most sought-after reservations to secure. And if you’re lucky, you can catch a glimpse of one of the celebs that frequent the members club throughout the year, like J.Lo, Hailey Baldwin, Kim Kardashian West and more.

What’s on the menu: Cecconi’s does gourmet Italian comfort food at its best, with favorites ranging from the rich, truffled agnolotti del plin or the pappardelle with sausage and cime di rapa pasta dishes; crunchy, decadent pizzas like the roasted red pepper pie with ricotta pecora and arugula, or the truffle pie with goat cheese and squash blossom; and classic entrees prepared impeccably like the juicy chicken paillard with caponata, the light halibut with broccolini and wild mushrooms, classic branzino with spinach, tomato and olives or the crispy veal chop Milanese.

Cecconi's
Cecconi’s Pizza

Photo Credit: Cecconi’s Miami

Drink up: The Soho Beach House mixology program offers up inventive cocktail creations perfect for sipping by the pool or drinking amidst the twinkling lights at Cecconi’s intimate patio area. Favorites include the Eastern Standard, made with vodka, sugar syrup, lime juice, fresh cucumber slices and mint leaves. For the tequila lovers, the Picante is a popular choice, made with Reposado tequila, agave nectar, fresh-squeezed lime juice, cilantro leaves and a slice of a Fresno chile for a spicy kick. If you’re dining on a warm Sunday afternoon for brunch, Soho Beach House’s take on the classic Frosé is also a great choice to cool down with.

Décor: Cecconi’s is not only one of the most beautiful and timeless restaurants in Miami Beach, but also one of the most romantic, enhanced by its vine-covered trellises in the courtyard that make for a cozy al fresco dining experience. Nestled in a historic Art Deco building, dimly lit by only twinkling string lights and candles illuminating the garden area, the rustic and intimate patio setting is part of what keeps the crowd coming back for more throughout the year.


MATADOR ROOM

EDITION_Matador Terrace_night
Matador Room Terrace

Photo Credit: Miami Beach EDITION / Matador Room

The buzz: The Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant made its debut in the hip Miami Beach EDITION toward the end of 2014 and ever since has been a go-to for locals and tourists alike. With a stunning interior and a happening bar scene, Matador Room and Matador Bar can be guaranteed to bring the A-listers no matter what time of year.

What’s on the menu: The Spanish-inspired menu has a delectable range of dishes composed using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. For those who are into spicy dishes with big flavor, then this is your spot. Matador Room’s famous orange spicy sauce is noted as it manifests through many of the dishes like the Spicy Tuna Tartare, but guests are also encouraged to pour some on other plates to add an extra kick. Avocado is a key ingredient in Matador Room’s menu, from the delicious fresh Sweet Pea Guacamole to the ever-famous Avocado Pizza seasoned with jalepeño, cilantro and lime. Or if you’re looking for something more savory, the rich Black Truffle Pizza is another crowd favorite, made with Fontina cheese and topped with a generous portion of truffle. Highlighting the vibrant menu, the Charred Octopus must be tried, served warm with crispy potatoes and a paprika emulsion. And not to be missed is Matador Room’s own take on the famous “Arroz con Pollo” dish—for you Miamians who are skeptical that this dish could possibly surpass anything else that you tried, let us assure you—this dish is one of a kind. Made simply with crackling chicken skin and a lemon zest, this plate exhibits Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s versatility and expertise at excelling in all different types of cuisine. For something sweet, finish off with the warm chocolate lava cake for dessert.

Avocado and Jalapeño Pizza at Matador Room
Avocado and Jalapeño Pizza at Matador Room

Photo Credit: Miami Beach EDITION / Matador Room

Drink up: While the mixologists at Matador Bar can concoct almost anything to the customer’s liking, we suggest sticking with one of their signature cocktails. The most famous is, of course, The Pineapple. This grand cocktail comes served in a shiny copped mug aptly shaped like a pineapple, crafted with Absolut Elyx vodka, oloroso sherry, salted caramel syrup, elemakule bitters, pineapple, lemon and rosemary. And the drink lives up to its impressive presentation—it truly is delicious, and not to mention, the perfect subject for your next Instagram shot.

Décor: As with the cuisine and cocktails, the interior décor of the stylish restaurant is absolutely striking. Evoking 1950s glamour reminiscent of elite supper clubs of the time, the pinnacle focus of the restaurant lies at the sunken oval dining room, emphasized by the originally restored, grand chandelier hanging from the ceiling, casting over the perfect dim lighting to create a romantic ambiance. Throughout the room, one can spot original memorabilia of Spanish bullfighters that makes the experience complete. If you feel like dining outdoors, the terrace overlooking the pool is equally stunning, with contrasts of the greenery against the brown wooden finishes that transports your dining experience to a majestic garden.

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