La Savina brings the taste and flair of the Balearic Islands to South Beach.
Mediterranean cuisine is having a moment in Miami, with the latest iteration, La Savina, representing the rustic shores of the Balearic Islands, which include Majorca and Ibiza. La Savina takes over the former Asia de Cuba space at the whimsically swank Mondrian, where Morgans Corporate Executive Chef Tien Ho, who got his culinary start with French mastermind Daniel Boulud at Café Boulud and then honed his skills at David Chang’s two-Michelin-starred shrine to noodles, Momofuku, spearheads the award-winning culinary team. “Mediterranean cuisine is all about keeping things simple,” says Ho, a statement best evidenced by any one of La Savina’s classically grilled meats and fish. Beyond the grill, expect an array of fresh crudos ranging from hamachi with serrano chili and crispy shallots to chilled shrimp with crushed olives, tomato, and oregano, all coupled with unique takes on sangria (try the rosemary pear). 1100 West Ave., Miami Beach, 305-514-1940
“When is it time to flip a steak, and how long do you grill your steak?” are two of the questions William Crandall, executive chef of Azul at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami, answers at his seasonally themed interactive cooking classes. The next intimate (i.e., limited to 15 students) four-course lesson takes place June 6 with a seafood summertime theme—think crab cake niçoise, fruits de mer, and mango floating island. After learning how it’s done, enjoy the fruits of your labor with wine pairings. 500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami, 305-913-8358
At Charles Khabouth’s restaurant Byblos, look for a unique twist on mezze, like steak tartare drizzled with chili paste, mint, yogurt, and olive oil, as well as yogurt-baked fluke with toasted breadcrumbs, walnuts, and brown butter. 1545 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-508-5041
A shopping plaza in Aventura might be the last place you’d expect to fi nd authentic Southern brisket, but at Pilar Local Restaurant & Bar, it’s Executive Chef Erica Nicholl’s signature. Hailing from Dallas, Nicholl offers traditional dishes with a twist, like scallops coupled with butternut squash. 20475 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura, 305-937-2777
From vaca frita immersed in a pile of kimchi shoestring fries and topped with pico de gallo, spicy mayo, and queso blanco, to three-cheese carne asada mac loaded with bacon and scallions, Finka Table & Tap unorthodoxly fuses Cuban cuisine with Korean and Japanese influences. But there’s one thing that third-generation restaurateur Eileen Andrade has left untouched: the croquetas. “We would never change that,” she says of the fried golden spheres that harken back to landmark Cuban-American eatery Islas Canarias, which her grand parents began in 1977 after immigrating from La Habana. 14690 SW 26th St., Miami, 305-227- 8818
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDRE SATTLER (MANDARIN ORIENTAL)