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Upscale cuisine that makes a splash

Celebrating a special occasion? Need to impress a date? Just want some great food? Lobster Bar Sea Grille is what you’re looking for: This South Beach gem serves up a superb menu of seafood classics and favorites in a gorgeous upscale setting. If you’re going to splurge, this is the place to do it.

Before setting foot into Lobster Bar Sea Grille, you should know that there is a dress code. Yes, this is South Beach, but while tank tops and shorts may be the norm outside, it’s best to change into something a bit more appropriate for a dinner here. When you walk in, you’ll immediately see why: It’s a classy establishment, and you’re going to look a bit out of place in an oversized t-shirt.

Once you’ve dressed to the nines, you’re all set for some amazing seafood. Lobster Bar Sea Grille’s wide selection of mouth-watering fare can appear daunting at first — it all sounds so good — but as you’d expect from a place of such high caliber, the jovial staff is more than happy to help you navigate the offerings.

Selected Field Ripe Tomato Salad - Barrel Aged Dodonis Feta
Tomato and Feta Salad

There’s no shortage of starters to begin your meal on a high note. Guests can keep things light with a to-die-for ahi tuna tartare or a refreshing tomato salad or indulge in lightly fried lobster morsels and jumbo lump crab cakes. On ice, an order of the Key West Stone Crab Claws is a must; the menu describes them as colossal, and this description is 100% accurate — they are so MASSIVE that even we were taken aback by the size.  Larger parties should consider the shellfish tower that comes with cold water oysters, seafood ceviche, Alaskan king crab and more delectable items.

With a name like Lobster Bar Sea Grille, it’s no surprise that the restaurant puts the crustacean front and center on its menu. Preparations vary: You can select a whole lobster steamed and cracked, spice things up with a whole chili lobster, or enjoy it in pasta. There’s also the Jumbo Lobster Tail, which the brand made popular back in the 70s.

While the lobster is the eatery’s claim to fame, its variety of whole fish should be on your radar as well — especially if you’re interested in dinner and a show. Dover sole Meuniere, arctic char and branzino are just a few of the options available, and regardless of your choice, the staff will filet it tableside. It’s a fun experience, and the result is a fantastic piece of fish. Throw in a side of hashed potato tots, glazed brussels sprouts or buttery Yukon mash — all of which can feed multiple people — and you have yourself dinner (and probably lunch the next day).

Avocado white soy citronette - puffed tapioca
Ahi Tuna Tartare

Lobster Bar Sea Grille hasn’t forgotten about meat-eaters. The impressive steak roster is a testament to that, with flavorful selections like barrel-cut filet mignon, A5 wagyu, and tomahawk long bone ribeye.  It’s hard not to want them all, and that sentiment extends to desserts. Profiteroles and the tropical pavlova — crisp meringue, passion fruit mousse, and exotic sorbet — are a few of the highlights on a sweets selection that also includes the likes of cheesecake, brownie sundae and apple crumb pie. Goodbye, diet.

No matter the occasion, Lobster Bar Sea Grille provides diners with an unparalleled luxury dining experience. It’s hard not to walk in — and out — impressed with the attention to detail in terms of staff, food, and ambiance. You get what you pay for, and at Lobster Bar Sea Grille, that means a phenomenal meal.

By Geoffrey Anderson, a contributing writer

South Florida’s dining scene is no joke — each neighborhood here brims with incredible restaurants from across the culinary spectrum. Amazing Indian spots? Check. Sushi counters and izakayas that will transport you to Japan? Double-check. Latin cafes where the food could rival that of any abuelita? You got it. But every now and then, a few spots manage to rise above the competition with standout dishes we think should be on everyone’s radar. Read on for our picks this month.

Stubborn Seed’s Snickerdoodle Cookies

There’s no such thing as a bad meal at Stubborn Seed. Dishes here are as delicious as they are beautiful, and the hardest part about any visit is choosing between one tantalizing work of art and another (thank goodness for those tasting menus). But this month, we want to shine a light on the restaurant’s snickerdoodle cookies. Baked with brown butter, Valrhona Gianduja chocolate hazelnut, and cinnamon, each bite is literal heaven. 

101 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 786-460-5962. 

Alloy Bistro’s Black Tagliatelle

In addition to being one of the most romantic spots for date night in the city, our beloved Downtown Miami gem Alloy Bistro wins this month for the most original entree: we’re obsessed with their black tagliatelle, made with activated charcoal dough, fresh aromatic herbs, organic mushrooms, soya sauce, and sesame oil. It’s completely vegan, too.

154 SE 1st Avenue, Miami; 786-773-2742. 

Los Fuegos’s Fish Parrillada

If you’re a seafood lover, you have to try Francis Mallman’s fish parrillada at Los Fuegos. It’ll set you back $160, but don’t worry, it’s well worth the splurge. This beauty comes heaped with branzino, locally caught lobster, snapper, tender octopus, sweet and domino potatoes, aioli, and criolla. 

3201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 786-655-5600. 

Malibu Farm’s Winter Burrata

Malibu Farm recently introduced a winter menu filled with delicious locally-sourced goodness. One of the best things on it is the winter burrata, served with roasted candy beets, tart pomegranate, green beans, roasted pine nuts, and sweet maple balsamic. Order it as a starter, or share it with your friends while sipping some of Malibu Farm’s signature cocktails. 

4525 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 786-801-6886.

Bird & Bone’s Hales’ Hot Chicken

If you’re craving some hits-the-spot southern cooking, head to Bird & Bone. Their cheddar and chive biscuits are legendary, but this month we’ve set our sights on their Hales’ Hot Chicken. Served with Miami honey, house mustard, cucumber pickle, and thick country bread, it was named Best Fried Chicken in Miami. ‘Nuff said. 

4041 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 305-424-1234. 

By Amanda Mesa, Contributing Writer

Seafood Risotto from Sawa, Serves 2

Ingredients
– 2 1/2 c vegetable stock
– 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
– 1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 c)
– 1 c Arborio rice
– 1/2 c dry white wine
– 6 Extra Jumbo Shrimp (size 16/20), cleaned and deveined
– 4 oz calamari, cleaned and cut into thin rings
– 1 Maine lobster tail (8 oz)
– 1/2 c plum tomatoes, peeled, crushed, and seeded
– 1/2 c fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
– 1/2 tsp garlic, chopped
– 4 oz olive oil
– 1/2 c freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
– 1 Tbsp salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm vegetable stock. In a large saucepan over low heat, warm olive oil. Add onion to a large saucepan and sauté, stirring occasionally to allow the onion to sweat for about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir for another 5 minutes. At this point, the rice and onions should be a little translucent—do not let them take on any color. Add wine, and cook until almost completely absorbed. Add 3/4 cup of vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cook the risotto, stirring occasionally until rice has absorbed some of the liquid and is al dente (about 10-12 minutes). Taste the rice; if it is too hard, then add more of the remaining vegetable stock. When rice is al dente, add garlic, shrimp, calamari, lobster, salt, pepper, and tomatoes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes until seafood is cooked. Remove risotto from heat and add Parmigiano-Reggiano and butter. Stir well to release starches and give the risotto a creamy texture. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Looking for a great place to watch the Super Bowl this year? Fortunately, Miami has no shortage of amazing sports bars, but we’ve got our eye on these local bars and restaurants. Whether you’re looking for the ultimate pre-game brunch (here’s looking at you, Jaya) or a laid-back bar serving up wallet-friendly game-day specials, we’ve got you covered with the best spots to settle in and watch the greatest football match of the year.

Seaspice

Seaspice on the Miami River

The best way to do the Super Bowl right is with the ultimate pregame. Tuck into Seaspice’s signature Sunday brunch, starting at noon, and indulge in bubbly and incredible eats right up until the big game starts. Stay put, though — the restaurant will host a Super Bowl watch party starting at 6 p.m. There will be live music and entertainment to keep the party vibes going as you root your favorite team on. 

422 Northwest North River Drive, Miami 

Pizza & Burger

This Fountainebleau favorite by Michael Mina is hosting a Super Bowl watch party, complete with specials all day from noon until midnight. There’s a $100 minimum for table service, but you’ll get to enjoy deals like your third drink free and two Super Burgers for $60. 

4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach

Isabelle’s Grill Room & Garden

If you’re looking for a more low-key spot to watch the Super Bowl, Isabelle’s Grill Room & Garden is just the spot. Located at the beautiful Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove, the picturesque, locally-loved restaurant will offer specials from Thursday, January 30 through Sunday, February 2. Guests can look forward to $20 buckets of beer and specially-priced game-day favorites like Loaded in the Grove nachos, BBQ pork Po’ Bois, Sidewinder cheese fries, and the famous Ritz Dog, a footlong Kobe beef hot dog served on a brioche bun. 

3300 SW 27th Avenue, Coconut Grove

Jaya at the Setai

The-Jaya_Courtyard
The Jaya Courtyard

Jaya’s Executive Chef Vijay Veena invites football fans to a lavish Super Bowl Sunday brunch. Expect lots of incredible eats, including a raw bar and dessert table, an enhanced carving station spotlighting ingredients and flavors from the competing teams’ regions, a BBQ station loaded with classic game-day dishes, and free-flowing Louis Roederer champagne, bloody marys, mimosas, and beer and wine selections. The brunch is priced at $145 per person and $65 for children ages 5-12. 

2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

Taurus Beer & Whiskey House

Not your average neighborhood dive bar, Taurus Beer & Whiskey House in Coconut Grove is going all out on Super Bowl Sunday. All day on Sunday, February 2, guests will enjoy $3 Taurus Ale, $18 domestic beer buckets, $5 well drinks, and a menu highlighting the best food from each participating team’s city. Choose between indoor and outdoor seating — there are seven TVs located throughout the restaurant, so you don’t have to worry about missing a single play.

3540 Main Highway, Coconut Grove

Malibu Farm

Another great option if you’d rather skip the sports bar scene? Malibu Farm Miami Beach, where you can savor farm-to-table delights (we can’t get enough of their avocado pizza and their “Non” Burger, made with a delicious signature beyond meat blend and served on a brioche bun). Soak up oceanside views, too, as you watch the big game and sip Malibu Farm’s famous cocktails. 

4525 Collins Ave, Miami Beach

The Deck at Island Gardens

For those who want to watch the Super Bowl in the bougiest way possible, The Deck at Island Gardens has you covered. Get there between noon and 4 p.m. to take advantage of a game day-inspired brunch, priced at $65 per person, and watch as super yachts sail across Biscayne Bay. Sparkling Sunset Happy Hour runs from 4-6 p.m., the perfect pre-game to the main event, followed by a themed Super Bowl dinner and party. If you don’t mind splurging, reserve a waterfront cabana. Starting at $4,000, each cabana has its own TV and includes bottle service. In between plays, tuck into to Chef Alfio Longo’s game day specials like sliders, chicken wings, and lobster rolls.

888 MacArthur Causeway, Miami

American Social Bar & Kitchen

A tried-and-true go-to when it comes to viewing any kind of sporting event, American Social Bar & Kitchen is sure to top of lots of Super Bowl watch party lists. This year, the iconic sports bar will offer $15 beer buckets, $6 smoked chicken wings, $4-$6 shots of select liquor and more on game day across all four of its Florida locations, plus 20+ TVs to catch every touchdown.  

690 SW 1st Court, Miami (Brickell) and 721 E Las Olas Boulevard (Fort Lauderdale)

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar


Photo/Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – Nathan Mikita

Head to Yardbird on February 1 or 2 from 12 p.m. until close and take advantage of the southern hotspot’s “Supper Bowl” specials, which include tailgate bloody marys, game day devilled eggs, an all-American burger and more. In celebration of the big game, Yardbird will also extend its fan-favorite brunch through Monday, February 3. 

1600 Lenox Ave, Miami Beach

The Betsy South Beach

This charming South Beach hotel has curated one of the most robust Super Bowl lineups we’ve seen so far. The Alley, the hotel’s Italian eatery, will serve bottomless Betsy Rosa beer with the purchase of a pizza during lunch. At the rooftop pool, start celebrating early with a beer bucket for just $35. The Carlton room will have plenty of TVs, bottomless beer for $49, and BBQ in the Atrium. And at The Lounge and Lobby Bar, you can watch the entire game while sipping bottomless beer and snacking on endless chicken wings. How’s that for a game-day win?

1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach

Veza Sur

Photo/Scott Harris

Want to cheer on your favorite team at one of Miami’s favorite breweries? Veza Sur Brewing Company is hosting a watch party on February 2 starting at 5 p.m. You’ll enjoy $22 buckets of canned beer, half-priced wings, and $50 off your bill if you guess the total number of points. 

55 NW 25th Street, Miami

26 Sushi & Tapas

Karate Kid Roll

If you’re entertaining at home but don’t want to cook, 26 Sushi & Tapas has your back. This neighborhood Nikkei gem in Surfside is offering a special takeout sushi platter for $180 that feeds 10-15 people. All you have to do is place your order before Sunday. Call the restaurant at 305-570-2626 or order on UberEats.

9487 Harding Avenue, Miami

Italian restaurants are a dime a dozen in Miami. It’s impossible to go a few blocks without running into one. It takes a quality eatery to stand out amidst the crowd – and Zucca does so easily with fantastic fare and impeccable attention to detail. 

There are many reasons to fall in love with Zucca, and first and foremost is the service. From the moment you sit down, you know you’re in for a treat. Servers are knowledgeable and approachable, rattling off answers to your questions without hesitation; they know the menu front to back, and their recommendations – especially for wine – warrant consideration. 

Such a level of service is impressive, especially considering the size of the place. Despite having seating for over 100 guests, this eatery inside Hotel St. Michel feels intimate thanks to the perfectly trained staff. It’s an elegant and romantic ambiance for sure: We saw our fair share of couples there during our Wednesday night visit. That said, it shouldn’t be relegated to your date night or special occasion list, as prices are reasonable for the quality. You can eat like royalty without breaking the bank. 

Although if you did decide to splurge, we wouldn’t stop you: The food is worth every penny. Take the salumi, prosciutti and formaggi options, for instance. Even if you are not the meat and cheese board type, the selections at Zucca will likely make you reconsider. Same for items like the soups and salads, which can often be afterthoughts on a menu. Not here: Options like the Maine lobster salad and fresh kale salad deserve part of the limelight, too.

For antipasti, there’s no shortage of delicious bites – and there’s no wrong choice either. Actually, there is one: not ordering the zucchini blossoms. They have their own section on the menu for a reason, and the reason is they’re that good. If it’s your first time, consider getting the standard ones with mozzarella; they’re a crowd favorite, and you’ll see why at first bite. There’s also an option with ricotta cheese and lemon zest, and depending on the night, other fillings might be an evening special.

While the zucchini blossoms are a must, they’re only one of the many starters offered. Another highlight is the daily crudo, a light and refreshing dish that might be the way to go if you’re ordering a hefty main … and the mains are serious business. Case in point: the pastas. All the classics are here, like spaghetti, tagliatelle, gnocchi, ravioli, sedanini … the list goes on. They’re dishes you’re familiar with – Zucca doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, it refines it. You might have had sedanini before, but it’s likely you haven’t had it this good. 

Zucca’s sedandini

If you aren’t in the mood for pasta, the wait staff will likely mention the Chilean sea bass, another best-seller. Listen to your server: the pan-seared fish comes atop “venere” black rice and is gorgeous to look at (and a delight to eat). At $46, it’s definitely one of the more expensive dishes at Zucca, but it’s not hard to see why. The restaurant also offers lamb chops, baby chicken, ossobuco and an assortment of other proteins. Desserts are equally diverse, with both light and decadent selections including tiramisu, apple tarte and sorbet. 

In a sea of Italian restaurants, Zucca stands above the rest. You’re not just enjoying lunch or dinner here – it’s a culinary journey through Italy. And this is one adventure you don’t want to miss.

By Geoffrey Anderson Jr., a contributing writer

Miami has no shortage of amazing bars. You’ll find everything here, from local dives with a head-spinning selection of beer, to swanky lounges where mixologists sling complex cocktails as beautiful as they are delicious. But only the savviest locals know how to get their drink on without breaking the bank in a city that’s notoriously expensive. If you’re not yet in-the-know about Miami happy hour deals, don’t worry. We’ve put together a guide to some of the best happy hours in town, so you can sip easy.

Villa Azur

Looking for a happy hour that’s as bougie as it is budget-friendly? From 6:30-8:30 p.m. every day except Thursday, Villa Azur serves drinks at a 30% discount. You’ll need a dinner reservation to take advantage of the deal, but who wouldn’t want to follow up a round of drinks with some delectable French-Mediterranean cuisine?

309 23rd Street, Miami Beach

Minnow Bar

Crazy Cocktails of Seawell

Minnow Bar’s happy hour is arguably one of the best on the Beach. It takes place every night from 5-8 p.m. and features $5 beer and $6 cocktails (not well drinks, either — think simple favorites like Palomas, caipirinhas, daiquiris, and a mint-and-cucumber-infused vodka creation called the Miami Maid).

660 Washington Ave, Miami Beach

BLT Doral

Bourbon Steak-2

You don’t need to live in the heart of Miami to enjoy a killer happy hour — Doral’s BLT Prime hosts a great one Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. Beer and bites are just $5, and spirits and cocktails are $10. Visiting with a friend? You can share small plates and combos — like a chef’s board heaped with charcuterie and cheese paired with a glass of wine — for $15.

4400 NW 87th Avenue, Miami

R House Wynwood

R House Wynwood
R House Wynwood

This beloved restaurant in Miami’s Arts District is always buzzing, but never more so than during happy hour. Wednesday through Friday from 3-7 p.m., R House Wynwood hosts a “beat the clock” happy hour, with beer, house, cocktails, and wine starting at just $3. You’ll find all of the restaurant’s most popular bites served at a discount, too.

2727 NW 2nd Ave, Miami

Isabelle’s Grill Room & Garden

Isabelle’s Garden

Enjoy small plates and post-work cocktails al fresco at Isabelle’s Grill Room & Garden, located at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove. Pop in any weekday between 4 and 7 p.m. and you’ll enjoy 50% off all beverages by the glass and everything on the restaurant’s Secret Garden menu, which includes tasty shareable treats like Mediterranean mezze, gambas al ajillo, lollipop chicken wings and more.

3300 SW 27th Avenue

3300 SW 27th Avenue, Miami

Call Me Gaby

Call Me Gaby

Miami Beach’s laid-back, locally-loved South of Fifth neighborhood is the perfect area to unwind after a day at work, and Call Me Gaby serves up happy hour deals that are worth leaving the office early for. Weekdays from 4-6 p.m., enjoy a selection of $5 imported beer, $7 wine by the glass, $9 cocktails, and $9 Italian bites (including a charcuterie platter that’s to die for).

22 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

Toscana Divino

Sporting a 2,000-square-foot outdoor piazza after a year-long renovation, Toscana Divino is back and better than ever before. The new al fresco patio will Brickell’s new “it-spot” after work, offering $3-$5 beers, $6-$9 wines, and $8 craft cocktails every day during happy hour from 3-6 p.m.

900 South Miami Avenue, Miami

dōma

If you’re craving a taste of traditional Italy after work, head to dōma in Wynwood. On weekdays from 6-8 p.m., the restaurant serves wine by the glass for $6.50, aperitifs for $7.50, craft cocktails for $7.50, and bar bites starting at $6 — don’t miss the mini burrata, bruschetta, and meatball dōma.

35 NE 26th Street, Miami

Much has changed since the days hotel bars were just a waystation for jet-lagged, bleary-eyed travelers. Players in hospitality are focusing more than ever on turning their onsite watering holes into buzzed-about hubs for locals and visitors alike. From speakeasy-style drinking dens, like The Blind Barber at Nautilus by Arlo, to gilded havens that harken to a glitzy past, like Le Sirenous at Four Season Hotel at The Surf Club, these Miami hotel bars are shaking up the scene with the first-class service, prime people-watching, and plenty of personality.  

Minnow Bar at Kimpton Angler’s Hotel

If you love gin, head to Minnow Bar at the reimagined Kimpton Angler’s Hotel (also home to Seawell Fish n’ Oyster). The menu here spotlights herb-infused craft cocktails made to complement unique gins from around the world. The atmosphere is great, too — sip a martini inside at the intimate counter, or enjoy a G&T al fresco in the bar’s breezy outdoor terrace. Not the biggest fan of gin? Don’t worry. The talented staff can shake up something delicious with pisco, cachaca, or white rum as a base, and there’s a great wine and beer list, too. 

660 Washington Ave, Miami Beach

Boulud Sud at JW Marriott

Beloved by Brickellites for its great daily happy hour deals, the bar and lounge at Boulud Sud inside the JW Marriott is perfect if wine is your thing. The selection sources heavily from the Mediterranean (though you’ll find some French, South American and domestic offerings). We especially love their Greek and Middle Eastern wine selection, which includes Assyrtiko from Santorini, Agiorgitiko from Nemea, and rose from Lebanon — all available by the glass and served with a side of gorgeous views.

255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami

Zucca at Hotel Place St. Michel

Hotel St. Michel is one of Coral Gable’s best-kept secrets. A true hidden gem with nearly a century of history behind it, Hotel Place St. Michel is the best place to go if you’re looking for Old World charm in the heart of South Florida. The bar here is located inside the hotel’s acclaimed Zucca Ristorante and offers a great selection of light bites, charcuterie, global wines, and Italian-inspired craft cocktails.

162 Alcazar Avenue, Coral Gables

The Biltmore Bar

The Biltmore Bar is famous for a number of things — it’s where you’ll find the best Vesper martini in Miami and one of the city’s most extensive collections of vintage liquor and cognac (the hotel even keeps a cognac expert on staff to help guests navigate the menu). And with its dark wood paneling, gleaming marble floors, and dim golden lighting, it’s the perfect place to unwind like it’s 1926. Get there between 5 and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and you’ll enjoy half-off select drinks. Premium cigars are also available to smoke in the bar’s loggia.

1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables

Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Surf Club

For those who like to sip champagne with a heady dose of glamor, there’s no place like Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar at Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club — the first U.S. outpost of the iconic brand in Positano. The bar seems to exist between two worlds; housed in a ballroom where legends like Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra once danced, with white wooden windows thrown open to reveal the Atlantic Ocean, a crowd that’s always smartly dressed, and white-jacketed bartenders that serve the greatest negronis in the country, Le Sirenuse keeps you wondering if you’re truly in Miami, or if you’ve fallen through the rabbit hole and emerged somewhere on the Amalfi Coast. 

9101 Collins Avenue, Surfside

Edge Steak & Bar at Four Seasons Miami

Also popular among downtown Miami and Brickell’s professional scene, Edge Steak & Bar at Four Seasons Miami checks all the boxes. It has a great selection of bites, like chorizo and cheddar croquetas, spiced lamb meatballs, spiced onion rings, and foie gras and truffle bonbons. The craft cocktails are top-notch, blended with housemade syrups and infused spirits (you can’t leave without trying the Double Cask Auld Fashioned). The wine list is well-rounded and robust. And during happy hour, which happens on weekdays from 4-7 p.m., you can enjoy it all at a discount.

1435 Brickell Avenue, Miami

Blind Barber at Nautilus by Arlo

Speakeasy-style bars have become as commonplace in Miami as vape counters and exotic car rental shops. But Blind Barber at Nautilus by Arlo has managed to maintain ]a high cool factor with its unique brand story, its barbershop-meets-bar concept, and its delicious drinks. Cocktails here are creative, pairing flavors like hibiscus-infused vodka with sparkling wine, sage, and grenadine, or reposado tequila with Campari, sweet vermouth and cacao nibs. And while there’s a solid menu of small bites to choose from, the real gem here is the bar’s selection of artisanal grilled cheese sandwiches (there are five varieties in total).

1825 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

Innovative Asian Cuisine Awaits

Geoffrey Anderson Jr., a contributing writer

At Pao By Paul Qui, it pays to be adventurous. The Asian restaurant inside Faena Miami Beach draws from an extensive list of influences, including Japanese, Spanish, and Filipino. This mix of cultures ultimately results in an unforgettable meal you’ll still be talking about well after it’s over.

First things first: Hats off to Pao for its very user-friendly menu. Other restaurants should take note of how well-organized all the items are presented. Sections on the dinner menu are separated by protein, and small (and handy) symbols denote whether you’re searching the veggie, meat or fish list. Offerings are further split between Small and Large, making it easy for parties of all sizes to make their selections – of which there are many. 

Fried Chicken

This impressive presentation extends to the actual dishes, which are sure to blow up your Instagram feed. Vegetable-forward selections like the Mushroom “bistek” (aka steak) and Filipino Spaghetti taste as good as they look, too, and oftentimes you’ll find yourself forgetting you’re not eating meat. Like we mentioned earlier, the dishes are fun as well – the spaghetti is reminiscent of the popular sweet spaghetti from Filipino fast-food joint Jollibee (except much better, obviously). If you haven’t had it before, the roasted banana-tomato sauce will make a favorable lasting impression.

Fish and meat options are just as memorable, with the kinilaw – the Filipino version of ceviche – and Key West pink shrimp being favorites in the former category: You’re enjoying super-fresh seafood complemented by flavorful elements that bring the dishes full circle. It’s a party in your mouth, and we never want it to end. On a related note: We are not fans of the sea-urchin. We see it on a menu, and we immediately think, “Nope.” But Pao’s sea urchin – dubbed the Unicorn — was different. Despite a scary, spiky presentation, the Unicorn with its grilled sweet corn pudding actually won us over. Iffy about sea urchin? Give this one a try; it might convert you as it did us.

Smoked Shortrib Asado
Smoked Shortrib Asado

If meat is more your thing, then do yourself a favor and order the fried chicken. Roasted banana ketchup and sweet chili sauce turn this dish into a force to be reckoned with. At under $20, it’s a bargain and should be a part of any Pao experience. Guests not concerned about budgets should turn their sights onto the Smoked Short Rib Asado, a 72-hour Wagyu beef accompanied by Japanese sweet potato puree. It sounds simple on paper, but your taste buds will say otherwise. Prepare to be wowed.

After such a satisfying meal, you may feel like skipping dessert. We implore you to reconsider. The pastries are unlike anything you’ve likely had in Miami. Calling them creative is an understatement: Pao’s takes on a Rice Crispy Bar, Ice Cream Sandwich and Panna Cotta need to be seen — and eaten. Another highlight: the Chai Tea Rock, which is exactly what it sounds like. There is no wrong choice here.

And that’s the beauty of Pao’s menu: It’s full of delicious choices that will keep you coming back for more.

By Geoffrey Anderson Jr., a contributing writer

Miami is best known for its beaches and nightlife, but it’s also home to a burgeoning brunch scene. Whether you like to start your Saturday or Sunday with bottomless Champagne and world-class cuisine, or a little live music and breakfast staples that won’t break the bank, Miami has a brunch for you. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites, from boozy (and bougie) options to laid-back, low-key alternatives.

Scarpetta by Scott Conant

Chef Scott Conant’s award-winning Italian restaurant Scarpetta recently began hosting brunch on Sundays. Starting at $59 per person, the buffet-style feast features seafood, made-to-order frittatas, Italian cured meats and cheeses, desserts and more. Tomato and basil spaghetti, and duck and foie gras ravioli are served tableside. In addition to the buffet options, guests can also choose from a selection of delicious entrees ranging from lobster Benedict to filet mignon. And those who like bubbles with their brunch will appreciate the option to add on unlimited prosecco, bellinis and mimosas for $25 extra, or unlimited Taittinger Brut Champagne for $50 extra.

4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 877-326-7412.

Jaya at the Setai

Dubbed one of Miami’s most lavish buffets, Jaya’s Sunday Jazz Brunch takes place in the Courtyard every week from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. and includes live performers, free-flowing Roederer champagne, and stations offering classic breakfast dishes, Asian-inspired delights, fresh seafood, and decadent desserts. Brunch will set you back $95 per person ($65 for children age 12 and under), but it’s well worth the splurge for a special occasion. 

2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 855-923-7899. 

Seawell Fish N’ Oyster

Newly opened in Miami’s North of Fifth neighborhood, Seawell Fish N’ Oyster serves a wonderful weekend brunch Saturdays and Sundays. Brunch starts at 7 a.m. — perfect if you’re an early riser — and features a la carte selections like French toast bread pudding, New England cheddar biscuits, a Wake n’ Bake Bread Bowl, and more. As the day progresses, the fare gets heartier, like dipped fried chicken with country-style mashed potatoes, lobster rolls, and Seawell’s signature burger. For $20, you can add on bottomless mimosas (choose between classic, lime, or mango). 

660 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

Seaspice on the Miami River

Seaspice

Want some gorgeous river views with your lobster Benedict? Seaspice is your go-to. Every Saturday and Sunday from noon until 3:30 p.m., the restaurant offers an exclusive a la carte brunch menu featuring hearty deliciousness like truffle parmesan tagliatelle, lobster and short rib Benedicts, and a Wagyu burger topped with smoked Gruyere.

422 NW North River Drive, Miami

Delano Miami Beach

Even locals know Delano South Beach hosts one of the best brunches in Miami. On Sundays from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., $70 will buy you access to an incredible spread of palette-pleasing goodness — think custom omelets, tender roasted meats, a raw bar, and mouthwatering pastries. If you’d like to add bottomless bubbles, you can upgrade to endless mimosas for $20 or Moet & Chandon for $50.

1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

Cafe La Trova

January 2020 marked the debut of Cafe La Trova’s new Sunday brunch. Served as a prix fixe meal priced at $55 for adults (including your choice of Prosecco, a daiquiri, or a mojito), this Sunday-Funday feast spotlights buffet stations heaped with Latin-infused dishes by James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein, live music, exclusive cocktails by Master Cantinero Julio Cabrera, and the option to upgrade to bottomless booze for an additional $22. 

971 SW 8th St, Miami

LT Steak & Seafood

Helmed by Chef Laurent Tourondel, LT Steak & Seafood at The Betsy serves brunch with a side of live jazz every Sunday until 4 p.m. Standouts from the a la carte menu include avocado and green pea toast, The Betsy crabcake, Cuban molletes, crispy black grouper tacos, and The Betsy’s famous popover Benedict. You can pair your meal with a variety of brunch-exclusive cocktails priced between $12 and $14, or upgrade to unlimited mimosas or bellinis for $30 per person. 

1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach

Dolce Italian

Dolce Italian has been dazzling guests with its handcrafted pizzas and pasta for close to a decade, but now fans have another reason to visit this Collins Avenue gem: a brand new Sunday brunch served a la carte from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The a la carte brunch menu includes traditional breakfast items like eggs Benedict and avocado toast, as well as Italian-inspired fare like ricotta pancakes and Capricciosa pizza. Just make sure you save room for dessert — our favorite item is the Tartufo limoncello. Want to make your brunch boozy? Enjoy bottomless mimosas, bellinis, and rossinis for $25 for up to two hours, or upgrade to bottomless rose for $35.

1690 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

Tanuki

Back due to popular demand, Tanuki announced the return of its fan-favorite Sunday Brunch Feast in December. Served from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., brunch at the Alton Road restaurant includes two prix fixe experiences that range from $45-$55 per person. One includes a 12-piece selection of dim sum and gyoza; the other includes your pick of appetizers or maki, plus an entree. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll enjoy one welcome cocktail, a dessert, and bottomless mimosas, prosecco, or sake. If you prefer, you can upgrade to bottomless champagne for an additional $25. 

1080 Alton Rd, Miami Beach

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Nautilus

When it comes to South Beach hotels, Nautilus by Arlo is the definition of Art Deco chic. But its gorgeous design and lively pool scene isn’t the only reason to visit this Miami Beach beauty — the hotel hosts an unbeatable buffet-style brunch every Sunday for just $45 per person, all set to the sounds of live acoustic performers. For an extra $20, you can go bottomless with unlimited rose.

1825 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-503-5700. 

Bulla Gastrobar

Everyone’s go-to for Spanish style tapas and some of the best sangria in Miami, Bulla Gastrobar serves a three-course brunch on Saturdays and Sundays priced at $28 per person. Hours vary by day and location, but the flavor remains consistent across the board. Must-try staples on the prix fixe menu include Huevos Bulla, served with homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam, and truffle oil, and the Bulla Burger, served with Piquillo peppers, caramelized onions, tetilla, and smoked paprika fries. For $18 more, you can add on bottomless sangrias and mimosas.

Gables – 2500 Ponce de Leon Boulevard., Coral Gables; Doral – 5335 NW 87th Avenue, C102, Doral

Ariete

Coconut Grove gem Ariete hosts a hearty a la carte brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Guests should save room for some of Chef Michael Beltran’s specialties, including short rib omelet with pickled tomatillo, guava and cream cheese pancakes with coffee crumble, PB&J French toast, and a slew of pastelitos by Sous Chef Giovanni Fesser (also known as “Pastelito Papi”). 

3540 Main Highway, Coconut Grovel

Taurus Beer & Whiskey House

Looking for something local and low-key? You might be surprised to learn Taurus Beer & Whiskey House offers one of the coolest brunches in the Grove. Every weekend from 12-3 p.m., the team serves a la carte brunch dishes like a killer breakfast burrito with cumin lime crema, dulce de leche bread pudding, and Sam’s Biscuits served with housemade jam. For $19, you can enjoy an All You Can Drink menu, featuring cocktails like a bacon rye old fashioned and a jalapeno bloody mary. Mimosas are also available.

3540 Main Highway, Coconut Grove

Every new year brings new surprises, and we’ve rounded up ten that foodies will love. From an intimate soon-to-launch omakase counter in Wynwood to a tiny Greek taverna in Coconut Grove, these new Miami restaurants prove the city’s dining scene is on the up and up. 

Osaka Nikkei

Osaka Food Omakase Platter
Osaka Food Omakase Platter

With successful restaurants across South America, Osaka Nikkei made its U.S. debut on the first floor of Brickell House last month. Helmed by owners Diego de la Puente and Diego Herrera, the concept began in Peru as a weekly pop-up and has since spread to cities including Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Quito, and Bogota. The menu at the new Brickell restaurant will include location-exclusive dishes, plus some of Osaka’s signature creations — not to mention a world-class mixology program. 

Osaka Nikkei Miami is located at 1300 Brickell Bay Drive, Miami
osakanikkei.com/es/ 


Thatch Miami

Thatch Miami

This newcomer to the Midtown Miami scene specializes in 100% plant-based dishes made with organic ingredients. You’ll find all kinds of good-for-you (and delicious) dishes here, like shareable Foccacia, Hummus with Za’atar, and Thatch Mac and Cheese, plus entrees that range from artisan pizzas and salads to heartier fare — the Coconut Thom Kha “ramen” is a fave. If you’re into wine, Thatch offers a great list of natural whites, reds, roses and skin contact vintages. 

Thatch Miami is located at 3255 NE 1st Avenue, Miami
www.thatchmiami.com 


Nativo Kitchen & Bar

Nativo Kitchen & Bar

This new dining room on the 25th floor of Conrad Miami also debuted in December and has been making waves ever since. Executive Chef Pablo Lamon (you might recognize him from Bravo’s Top Chef season 16) spotlights Miami-inspired cuisine here, elevating breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a Latin American twist. Happy hour takes place daily at the restaurant’s gorgeous new lounge, inviting guests to pair delicious drinks with breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay. 

Nativo Kitchen & Bar is located at 1395 Brickell Avenue, Miami
https://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/conrad-miami-MIACICI/amenities/restaurants.html 


INTI.MO by Juan Chipoco

Achupao de Langosta
Achupao de Langosta

Celebrated Peruvian chef (and owner of CVI.CHE 105 and Pollos y Jarras) Juan Chipoco recently debuted his latest concept, INTI.MO, in South Beach. Feeding the city’s love for Peruvian Nikkei cuisine, the new restaurant focuses on fresh, flavorful fare that leaves guests “feeling light but satisfied.” The dining experience always starts with a complimentary cup of fish broth to cleanse the palate, and special consideration is given to preparing the perfect wine and cocktail pairings to go with each dish.  

INTI.MO is located at 840 1st Street, Miami Beach
https://www.inti-mo.com/


Little Hen

Offering guests a taste of England right here in Midtown, the recently opened Little Hen blends European-inspired design with updated classic breakfast and lunch dishes by Executive Chef Rafael Velazquez. There’s a stellar cocktail program, too, for those who like their brunch boozy — plus artisanal coffee, fresh-pressed juice, and a great selection of wines.

Little Hen is located at 3451 NE 1st Avenue, Miami


MILA

Gregory and Marine Galy will open MILA on Lincoln Road on January 24. Encompassing 5,000 square feet of breathtaking rooftop space, the new spot will serve “MediterrAsian” cuisine by Executive Chef Nicolas Mazier. MILA will also feature an extensive spirits program by acclaimed mixologist Jennifer Le Nechet and Mido Yahi, served across two bars.

MILA will be located at 800 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach 


Meraki

Fans of this downtown Miami gem will be thrilled to know managing partner Alex Karavias and Executive Chef Giannis Kotsos have brought their standout Greek concept to the heart of Coconut Grove. Done up in a clean, summery palette of bright white and cool Aegean blue, the new location also offers outdoor terrace seating that’s perfect for enjoying a chilled glass of Assyrtiko

Meraki Coconut Grove is located at 142 SE 1st Avenue, Miami


Bulla Gastrobar 

Sangria of Bulla Gastrobar

Miami mainstay Bulla Gastrobar will bring its beloved Spanish tapas and dishes to The Falls in late February or early March of 2020. The new restaurant will be the brand’s third location in South Florida after successful openings in Coral Gables and Doral. 

The new Bulla Gastrobar will be located at 8888 SW 136th St, Miami


Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants

On January 27, the award-winning Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant will open a new location at Dania Pointe in Dania Beach, marking its 11th outpost in Florida and its 4th in Broward County. Guests can look forward to a menu of modern-American fare with globally-inspired flavors, plus options for the perfect wine pairing.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant is located at 1822 Pointe Blvd, Dania Beach


Hiyakawa

The interior design of Hiyakawa
The interior design of Hiyakawa

Say “Konnichiwa” to Miami’s newest go-to for authentic Japanese food — Hiyakawa, opening in Wynwood this month. The brainchild of Wabi Sabi’s Chef Shuji Hiyakawa and restaurateur/art dealer Alvaro Perez Miranda (who launched the Vagabond Restaurant & Bar), this new Wynwood hideaway will serve guests in an intimate 28-seat setting. Foodies can also get excited about a $100-per-person omakase menu — one of the best omakase deals in the city. 

Hiyakawa will be located at 2700 North Miami Avenue, Miami


Pink Taco

Succulent Lobster Enchiladas

All the way from Los Angeles, Mexican eatery Pink Taco has landed in South Beach. Blending made-from-scratch Mexican fare with a fun, lively atmosphere, this highly anticipated taco shop will open the doors to the public January 14 on Ocean Drive. Menu items we’re extra excited about including the namesake Pink Taco, stuffed with achiote chicken, avocado, arbol salsa, and more, Succulent Lobster Enchiladas, and a slew of creative Margaritas that range from prickly pear to avocado chile.  

Pink Taco will be located at 1200 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach

By Amanda Mesa, a contributing writer