Who needs more outposts of New York restaurants when you've got a local dining scene this exciting?
- Last Updated: 9:28 AM, November 14, 2011
- Posted: 7:15 PM, October 31, 2011
The Dutch, white-hot New York chef Andrew Carmellini’s tribute to American flavors, is scheduled to open at the W South Beach this month, in time for Thanksgiving. Milos, known for serving quality Mediterranean seafood at exorbitant prices in New York, is also getting ready for its South Beach opening. These are no doubt high-profile restaurants, but whether they will make waves in Miami remains to be seen.
Five years ago, when Miami was largely a dining wasteland, the idea of any New York operator hitting the beach seemed exciting. But has anybody heard any buzz about Alfred Portale’s Gotham Steak at the Fontainebleau recently? Does anybody care that Philippe closed at the Gansevoort and is moving elsewhere in South Beach? (No? Anyone?)
Quality and value matter in Miami now, and the city’s seeing both young, hip chefs and old-school operators create a delicious dining scene, both on and off the beach. Here are 10 dishes to get you up to speed.
Bento box at NAOE Sunny Isles Beach
Kevin Cory’s sushi shrine is without question Miami’s most transporting eatery, where the baby-faced chef grates fresh wasabi root, carefully brushes each piece of Hokkaido uni with soy sauce and then urges you to eat with your hands. And while his raw fish selection from Japan is astounding, Cory can cook, too. Every NAOE meal starts with a $26 bento box, where he alternates specialties like grilled pike and a chawanmushi egg-and-seafood custard that tastes like the best of the farm meeting the best of the ocean. NAOE’s 17 seats are always in high demand, and it’s worth hurrying to make a reservation. Note: NAOE will move to Brickell Key, near downtown Miami, in early 2012.
Go 175 Sunny Isles Blvd., 305-947-6263
Fried chicken at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar Miami Beach
After making Miami late-night dining cool at Midtown’s Gigi, chef Jeff McInnis is taking his act to the beach. Yardbird offers everything from melons with grilled farm cheese and a braised short-rib "meatloaf" starter, to an extensive bourbon list and red velvet cake. A must-try is the juicy, "27-hour" fried chicken. It comes with a cheddar waffle and an irresistible sauce that McInnis admits is just Tupelo honey and Crystal Louisiana hot sauce. And why not.
Go 1600 Lenox Ave., 305-538-5220
Shepherd’s pie at Crumb on Parchment Design District
Michelle Bernstein’s new bakery/sandwich shop on the mainland (only open weekdays until 5:30 p.m.) has been playing around with a riff on shepherd’s pie. It has raisins, olives and cumin. It totally works.