From a James Beard Award semifinalist playing with charcoal to a three-Michelin-star chef offering a taste of France in Brickell, these Magic City newcomers are firing up the culinary scene.
The cheese plate at Mark Soyka’s Café Roval.
IN THE NABE: CAFÉ ROVAL A true neighborhood joint, Café Roval signals the return of Mark Soyka (of News Café, Soyka, and Andiamo) to Miami’s dining scene for the first time in 15 years. He’s serving up oysters, caviar, and chorizo-dusted octopus carpaccio to start, followed by a grass-fed lamb burger with apricot jam or Malbec-braised short ribs. After 15 years, we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. 5808 NE Fourth Ct., Miami, 786-953-7850
CHARCOAL-FIRED: ARSON The next time you stop by the hidden gem NIU and can’t get a table, fret not. Chef-partner and James Beard Award semifinalist Deme Lomas is trying something new (pun intended) next door at Arson. The main focus here is the kitchen’s Josper charcoal-burning grill/ oven hybrid, which turns out most of the hot dishes (like tuna loin with a trio of tomato textures and octopus with anise whipped-cream foam, tomato gelatin, and spicy aioli). The star, however, is the squid-ink cuttlefish tagliatelle with tomato sofrito and aioli. 104 NE Second Ave., Miami, 786-717-6711
FRENCH AFFAIR: LA PETITE MAISON The très chic, world-renowned Michelin Guide restaurant La Petite Maison has brought its authentic French fare to the 305, but it’s not what you might expect. Case in point: tempura courgette flowers and sage-stuffed anchovy beignets. Of course, there’s also a ratatouille that tastes like it came straight from Provence. 1300 Brickell Bay Dr., Miami, 305-403-9133
NIGHT DRINKING: GIN + COLLINS What would you expect from a hotel lobby bar called Gin + Collins? Lots of gin, naturally. Here you can sip half a dozen gin and tonic variations, featuring an exclusive house-made tonic, mixed by barkeep Nikos Mantzaridis (formerly of Beaker & Gray). Plus, reverse happy hour. Bottoms up! 2912 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 786-264-4720