With a new crop of restaurant arrivals, it’s clear that Miami's gastronomic evolution isn’t slowing down. Here are five must-try hotspots for 2015.
South of Fifth’s hottest new addition, Siena Tavern.
The spotlight shone brightly on Miami’s thriving food scene in 2014 with more than 50 restaurant openings. Celebrity hub Seasalt and Pepper welcomed universal power couple Jay Z and Beyoncé to its riverside stunner. Drunken Dragon, Mignonette, Oolite Restaurant & Bar, Basil Park, Il Mulino New York, and Shikany all took center stage as the city’s top new eateries. And capping off the year, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto sanctified his shiny new digs at the Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach by slicing into a 120-foot sushi roll. The force was strong in 2014, but as 2015 kicks off with a slew of recent openings and a few highly anticipated spots announced for the very near future, Miami continues to climb in the culinary ranks. These are the five new foodie destinations not to miss.
Coming Soon: Bagatelle
New York, Los Angeles, St. Barth’s, and St-Tropez are not enough for this restaurant group. Instead, Villa Bagatelle will extend the brand’s joie de vivre concept beyond meal times and into a 30-guestroom overnight experience in the former Boulan space. Bagatelle, helmed by Matthieu Godard (formerly of DB Bistro), will fuse Southern French cooking with Japanese and Peruvian cuisines and bring its notorious party brunches to South Beach. 2000 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Made for TV: Siena Tavern
From the Bar Lab cocktails and local craft beer list that includes Wynwood Brewing Company and Funky Buddha, to the locally sourced seafood for crudos, to pizza dough that’s been reworked for Miami’s inescapable humidity, Chicago’s Siena Tavern has truly adapted to its newfound South of Fifth neighborhood. “The same problem you have with your hair I have with my pizza,” says Top Chef contestant and owner Fabio Viviani. To understand what the hype is about, try the caramelized Brussels sprouts and white truffle oil pie. 404 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-534-5577
The chic and upscale steakhouse took a little disco nap when the Perry Hotel shuttered for renovations. The reawakening of STK at the opposite end of the eco-friendly 1 Hotel & Homes brings former chef Aaron Taylor back to the kitchen to keep the legacy of bite-size wagyu burgers and lobster mac and cheese alive while also placing a focus on locally sourced seafood and Miami-inspired dishes. “We’re pushing culinary this time more than the scene,” says Taylor. 2301 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-604- 6988
Clean Oasis: Temple
Carnivores will be tempted to change their lifestyle when the plant-based sanctuary Temple debuts its second Miami location, this time in Wynwood, coming this summer. Three-time Ironman Olivier Jardon-El Hiny is the leading force behind the health-conscious and colorful South Miami eatery whose menu is fortified with (nondairy) magical milks, elemental elixirs, and energy pots. “We’ll blend and adapt according to the environment,” he says. “We want people to take time for themselves and give joy to the food they eat.” Wynwood location TBD; 5831 Sunset Dr., South Miami, 305-397-8732
Eager Anticipation: Beachcraft Top Chef judge and cofounder of New York’s Gramercy Tavern Tom Colicchio will add Miami to his restaurant empire list later this year when his farm/sea-to-table concept Beachcraft opens in the same 1 Hotel & Homes property where STK is rekindling its flame. “We’ve been looking at Miami for a while,” says Colicchio. “It just so happened to be a ‘right-place, right-time’ sort of thing.”