With more than 6,000 restaurants dotting the landscape from glamorous South Beach to picturesque Coral Gables, figuring out where to eat in the Miami area can be a daunting task. So when we began planning a weekend in The Magic City, we asked local chefs Kevin Fonzo (K Restaurant) and Brandon McGlamery (Luma on Park and Prato), as well as Dale Volkert of Lake Meadow Naturals, to share with us their favorites from the Miami dining scene. With their recommendations, here’s where we headed:
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
This Design District gem wows with its passionate dedication to farm-to-fork fare via the culinary creativity of James Beard Award-winning chef/owner Michael Schwartz. One of the first Miami chefs to receive Slow Food USA’s Snail of Approval, Schwartz now serves as ambassador and walks his talk through a menu filled with Florida provisions, including a terrific grass-fed “Seminole County NY strip” served au poivre — according to the chef, the rancher is a friend and sells only to him. A rotating array of wines by the glass, plus a fun selection of house made, alcohol-free sodas, round out a meal best enjoyed in the restaurant’s front courtyard.
Pubbelly adds its own spin to the local tapas scene inside the bricked and cozy dining space on 20th Street where you’ll find a fusion menu laden with myriad iterations of pork. Sipping craft beer, wine and sake cocktails, low-key patrons nosh their way through small yet complex starters, such as a Japanese Amberjack sashimi with lemongrass Romesco sauce, which showcased the chef’s Latin and Asian leanings. From Florida waters, seasonal stone crab took center stage in the house made fettuccine, a buttery pasta with a surprising ginger nuance. The first of several endeavors by The Pubbelly Restaurant Group, Pubbelly is neighbored by several sister properties, including Pubbelly Sushi and Barceloneta.
The Bazaar by José Andrés
Located inside South Beach’s SLS Hotel, this posh indoor-outdoor restaurant named for its internationally-acclaimed chef boasts an ultra chichi vibe and a menu filled with fusion fare, classic Spanish tapas, and a scrumptious selection of signature cocktails. Expect a melange of unlikely ingredients, such as bone marrow paired with finger limes and shaved hearts of palm, with off-the-wall presentations (think lots of foam and nitrogen) that pit the wow-factor against flavor. And while the wow-factor often wins, it’s a quintessentially glamorous South Beach dining experience worth having.