The Hottest Restaurant Openings in South Florida This Season

By Nicole Schubert | February 26, 2019 | Food & Drink

With 2019 in full swing, it’s time to pencil in birthday dinners, romantic soirees, and Sunday night family style outings. And with a new bucket list of wildly cool and effortlessly chic restaurants, we suggest booking a table early. Between the highly anticipated Maska, lead by the first Indian Michelin-star chef, opening its doors in Midtown Miami, and Hai House, a Chinese culinary garden launching as the only eatery to premiere this season on Palm Beach Island, there are countless gastronomic plates to feast your eyes on, taste, and try. We rounded up the top nine restaurant openings this season to keep on your radar and give you a sneak peek of what’s to come.

Mandrake Miami

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Imagine stepping inside a luscious Japanese garden, lit by candlelight, and adorned with Christian Lacroix-upholstered chairs and velvet banquettes. Mandrake, a recently launched restaurant and lounge helmed by the owners of Kiki on the River and conceptualized by nightlife pros Roman Jones, Aris Nanos, and Mark Lehmkuhl, brings electrifying Asian-inspired cuisine to Miami Beach. A 5,000 square foot exotic eating-house featuring a sushi bar coined by NOBU alums, formal dining room, and outdoor patio, Mandrake is the ultimate gastronomic jet set to the Far East. And with refined plates such as Shrimp & Scallop Wontons steamed with chili broth and Pan Seared Chicken hand-crafted with ginger soy sauce, edamame puree, and baby corn, dinners will be transported into a hyper modern, covert hideaway filled with sumptuous one-of-a-kind surprises to explore. 210 23rd St Miami Beach, 305-397-8036

Maska

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A re-imagination on authentic Indian cuisine. Maska, a new to Miami hot spot donned by the first Indian chef in the U.S. to be awarded a Michelin Star, Chef Hemant Mathur, is a dramatic and diverse culinary excursion featuring authentic Indian dishes including their Lucknowi Galouti Kebab and Octopus Masala. Located in Villa Azur’s former Midtown space, Maska is a 7,000 square foot seductive eatery that offers a new modern interpretation on traditional Indian plates. And with the “Yo-Yo Ma of tandoor cooking” leading the way, eaters can expect anything but ordinary with Chef Mathur’s wizardry with tandoor clay oven plates. 3252 Northeast 1st Ave, Suite 109, Miami, 786-971-9100

Bellini
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Take a stroll through Italy inside fourth-generation hospitality leaders Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani’s newest Italian dining concept, Bellini. Located inside Mr. C Coconut Grove, Bellini is a culinary inspiration drawn from Maggio’s travels through the old country. And with a design conceptualized to summon postcard perfect Italian coastal towns and Miami’s contemporary new modern style, you’ll feel as though the Amalfi Coast was brought to the beaches with Ignazio and Maggio’s fresh take on Italian rustic traditional cuisine. So while you're daydreaming up your next summer adventure, we recommend preparing your taste buds by twirling your spoon on Bellini’s Tagliatelle con Zafferano e Pancetta or Spaghetti con i Ricci. 2988 McFarlane Rd, Miami, 866-786-4173

Ember

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Brad Kilgore, Miami’s esteemed culinary emperor and founder of Kilgore Culinary Group, is unveiling his newest Design District concept, coined Ember, this coming spring. Located inside Paradise Plaza, this wood-fired American bistro, featuring an amalgamation of classic and modern fare flavors, will present diners with one-of-a-kind dishes such as Grilled Lasagna made with layers of pasta and ricotta charred over the embers topped with a mushroom and roasted tomato Ragu and Fire Roasted Stone Crabs sprinkled with garlic sauce and chili flakes. A dining experience that will effervescently glow and tingle your palette with seasonings that are all things bold. 151 NE 41st St #117, Miami

Hai House

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Nothing defines South Florida’s sleekest neighborhood more than a sophisticated on trend Chinese-American hot spot located on Palm Beach’s historic Worth Avenue. Hai House, the brainchild of Collab Hospitality’s Manuel Bornia, is a synthesis of homestyle meets contemporary Chinese food, including American favorites like General Tso’s and traditional regional savors such as handmade dumplings and potstickers. And with complementary tea service and crispy noodles, Hai House evokes all of the magic from everyone’s beloved Chinese restaurant, but with groundbreaking avant-garde twists created by local star chef, James Strine. We suggest indulging in Strine’s signature specialty, the Black Forbidden Rice. 150 Worth Ave, Suite 234, Palm Beach, 561-766-1075

International Smoke

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A barbeque joint that ups the ante on America’s long-lived obsession with tender smoked pork ribs, short rib, and beef. International Smoke, coined by Chef Michael Mina and bestselling cookbook author Ayesha Curry, epitomizes all things open flame and slow smoked meats. Inspired by Mina and Curry’s worldwide travels and global influences, International Smoke pushes the landscape on ceremonial smokehouse jewels with international flavors balanced with an array of dynamic spices and meats. And if you’re craving a snack that's juicy, glossed with in house artisanal spiced rub, and smoked low and slow, we suggest trying their St. Louis Style Pork Ribs, a foundation of International Smoke’s new menu. 19501 Biscayne Blvd, 786-254-0422

Osaka

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This South American Peruvian-Japanese stomping ground is making landfall in Miami, after opening nine reiterations from Chile to Peru. Slated to launch in the heart of Miami’s downtown FiDi, followed by London and Dubai, Osaka is headlined to expand their trailblazing movement of Nikkei cuisine to metropolitan cities worldwide. Coined by Chefs Rogger Quispe and Juan Urrutia and founded by Diego Herrera and Diego De La Puente in Lima, Peru in 2001, this multi-sensory and award winning experience is setting global trends and leading the hospitality market in new eclectic and wildly fun directions. 1300 Brickell Bay Dr, Suite CU3, 305-814-4548

Fi'lia South Beach

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Honest Italian cuisine that made a culinary splash in Brickell and Baha Mar, and is now making its debut off the shores of Deco Drive. Fi’lia South Beach, hidden inside the Berkeley Shore Hotel, is part of a domestic and global expansion of the Italian eating-house locals have come to know, love, and adore. Led by sbe and Blue Road Hospitality, this second outpost in the Miami area will present simple, straightforward Italian staple dishes sprinkled with handmade signature touches. Freshly made in house pastas such as the Tagliolini Nero Frutti di Mare and Risotto al Funghi Misti are plates not to be missed. But we recommend splurging on the pizza, like the Tartufata or Margherita, which righteously hold pride of place. 1610 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 786-605-0819

Mason Eatery & Boombox

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Whether you crave a bagel with nova lox or macaroni and cheese, comfort food always holds a particularly special place in our hearts. And at this newly opened and renovated to be cozy Mason Eatery, chef and owner Brian Nasajon is taking our favorite home-style dishes—the way grandma used to make them—and re-crafting them with punches of flavor while still keeping their original culinary story. We suggest tempting yourself and trying the Bagel Bites with nova lox, garlic churro, and dill cream and Pastrami On Rye with artisan rye pasta, pastrami carbonara, and parmesan. After soothing your taste buds in decadent delights, head over to Beaker & Grey’s first bar, in conjunction with Mason Eatery, Boombox, in the former Bardot space, to sip on creative, carefully curated cocktails like The Longest Island Iced Tea and Lemon Drop the Mic. 3470 N Miami Ave, Miami, 786-618-5150



Photography by: Photography Courtesy of Mandrake Miami, Maska, Bellini, Ember, Think.Shop, International Smoke, Osaka, Fi’lia South Beach, Mason Eatery