The Ocean Drive staff picks summer’s most scrumptious servings.
Kobe Meatball and Maine Lobster Pizza
The trite tradition of “surf and turf” typically conjures thoughts of silver anniversaries, but Prime Italian’s decadent pizza-platformed twist makes me ache with wolfish pangs. Torn between ordering the ribsticking Kobe meatball or the buttery, rich Maine lobster pizza? Don’t fret. Ask your server to add lobster to the Kobe pie, then kick back and first enjoy the visuals—a taste topography like none you’ve seen before. Soft Kobe meatball mounds are topped with bufala ricotta, flanked by oodles of chewy, chopped coldwater crustacean, and scattered with basil. It’s a tastebud-scrambling roller coaster of f lavors, textures and luxury ingredients that feeds two. Thank me later. 101 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach—Dirk DeSouza SoBe Tour des Forks
Miami Food Tours’ SoBe Tour des Forks is an educational 1.5-mile food-sampling trek through South Beach, during which tour-goers are schooled on the city’s cuisine, history and architecture (e.g., circa 1912, the penthouse above the Van Dyke was once the office of famed Florida entrepreneur Carl Fisher). I sampled a handful of dishes at each eatery, including Icebox Cafe’s famed Chocolate Delight, which was featured as one of The Oprah Winfrey Show’s Best Cakes in America: two layers of rich chocolate cake filled with bittersweet chocolate mousse and a layer of cheesecake brownie. If your idea of dessert is more along the lines of a Key lime martini, cocktail tours featuring award-winning mixologists and recipes are also on tap.—Christine Borges
Unbeatable Pork Belly
Bal Harbour Shops has always been my go-to for a decent dress shirt, but thanks to Stephen Starr’s Makoto, now I’m going to have to add pork belly to my visit, too. Named for executive chef Makoto Okuwa, this place has a pleasingly suave, minimalist setting that allows food to be the center of attention. Sushi is meticulously cut and served, of course, but what’s more fun is Makoto’s take on other Japanese fare: The foie gras gyoza and the robatagrilled short rib with truffle miso sauce are standouts. The Kurobuta pork belly, however, really stopped me in my tracks. Kurobuta is the Kobe of pork, which means exquisitely flavorful meat so tender as to be held in place by a thin caramelized bronze glaze. It also means I’ll be needing my dress shirts in a larger size. Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave.—Bill Kearney Winning Wings
Tobacco Road, the oldest bar in Miami, is known for its live music and raucous singles scene. But it’s foolish to overlook the food. A surprising standout: the smoked Thai wings. I was apprehensive at first, as Asian-inspired fare at an American eatery can go very wrong. But these were grilled to perfection, fell off the bone and had a honey glaze and spicy heat redolent of Thai peppers. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? 626 S. Miami Ave., Miami—John Joseph Lin