outdoor seating at The Butcher Shop
Outdoor seating at The Butcher Shop

This month, while the world descends on Miami Beach for Art Basel, a growing number of locals and visitors will venture across the causeway for satellite shows and invite-only soirées in the Design District, Midtown, and Wynwood. As Miami’s art sphere continues to balloon and spill over onto the mainland, the sophisticated foodies are following. In the past year, famed local chefs have expanded their presence, new imports have arrived, and innovative gastronomic concepts saw the light of day. Here, we take a look at what’s new and noteworthy.

The Butcher Shop
Carnivores will rejoice in The Butcher Shop, a Wynwood hot spot that’s part old-fashioned butcher shop, part beer garden. A 24-foot-long meat case beckons with certified prime Black Angus beef, organic chickens, and locally made sausages. Opt for an authentic bratwurst served on a pretzel bun or a hearty serving of pan-seared pierogies, an homage to owner Fred Niznik’s Russian heritage. To complement the dishes, The Butcher Shop pours an extensive selection of local brews, including Pop’s Robust Porter from the neighborhood’s Wynwood Brewing Company. 165 NW 23rd St., Miami, 305-846-9120

The Cypress Room
Miami’s own Michael Schwartz has entered the fine dining arena with The Cypress Room, a Design District eatery reminiscent of supper clubs of the 1940s. True to Schwartz form, his hearty, traditional dishes are revamped with freshly picked local ingredients, like his marrow bone appetizer with preserved lemons, and a house-specialty côte de boeuf. “Chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia gets first pick from our forager, so it’s the best-tasting, best-looking product going into the menu,” Schwartz explains. 3620 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-520-5197

The Cypress Room
Beets from The Cypress Room

The Embassy
Chef Alan Hughes is a master of all trades at his funky, hip gastropub, switching from chef to entertainer. In the kitchen, he crafts small plates that meld the flavors of Spanish tapas with American comfort food, which he says reflects his relationship with Florida. “I try to blend local products with my French classical training,” he explains. The menu consists of core favorites like cod cakes with aioli and coffee-glazed short ribs, supplemented by an ever-changing roster of seasonal dishes. When the ovens are off, however, you might find Hughes jamming with the live bands that play into the wee hours. 4600 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-571-8446

George’s Kitchen & The Loft
Miami restaurateur George-Eric Farge teamed up with Michelin-starred chef Steven Rojas to bring French fare and a new concept to Midtown. Standouts include short-rib bourguignon with puréed and crisp parsnip and bacon lardon and a roasted rack of lamb with white beans. For dessert, indulge in the chocolate soufflé before continuing the night with cocktails and dancing upstairs at The Loft. Farge’s restaurant-lounge hybrid was inspired by one of New York’s hottest neighborhoods. “I’ve always been fascinated by the Meatpacking District,” he says. “I wanted to bring a bit of that to Miami.” 3404 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-438-9199

Candle-lit and bohemian, with seating in an outside garden, Lagniappe would feel right at home in New Orleans, as this Midtown-adjacent wine house doubles as a tour stop for local Miami musicians. By stocking more than 250 bottles of wine, owner David Tunnel introduces new labels to his patrons. “There’s a lot of talk about craft beer in Miami, and we have those, too,” he says, “but these wines are from independent wineries turning out real craft wines.” After selecting your wine or beer, choose a cheese to fit the flavor profile or, for something more substantial, a grilled mahi mahi or grass-fed filet sandwich. 3425 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-576-0108

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