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A true testament to the will of owners Manuel and Tina Torterola, Lilikoi has remained open for pick-up and delivery; And now, they are taking it one step further by offering fresh, wholesome ingredients with an organic grocery menu.

Since opening their door in 2016, Lilikoi has gained loyal customers simply by doing things the right way. Before the Miami Beach ban on plastic at restaurants, Lilikoi had already been single-use plastic-free. Before sustainable had made it into our everyday lexicon, Lilikoi knew no other way of running their business and handling their food. Lilikoi’s organic living is a reflection of chef and co-owner Manuel and his life partner Tina Torterola. 

Lilikoi Organic Living, Miami Beach
Co-owner Manuel in the kitchen

A chef-driven, casual restaurant, Lilikoi provides dishes inspired by the eastern philosophy concept of living in harmony with nature. Manuel’s core value, when it comes to food, has to do with the integrity of how food is handled, cooked, and shared. He oversees every detail and culinary aspect of his food, from creating every single item from scratch or sourcing it from the best providers to serving food that is made as it is ordered. Even the fish is smoked in-house with local wood!

Behind Lilikoi’s philosophy lies Manuel’s unique upbringing in Argentina. He grew up eating and understanding food as an essential aspect of our health. He and his family would feast on a garden salad every night, and when sick, they would resort to using Chinese medicinal tinctures instead of reaching for the pill cabinet. At an early age, he was introduced to the Eastern concept that supplying the best nutrition through wholesome and freshly prepared foods is key to our health and vitality. 

Lilikoi’s organic living motto is not limited to serving food. For Tina and Manuel, organic living encompasses interacting with every part of life in this same way, with their peers or with a stranger on the street. Organic living is extending kindness in every aspect of our lives. Manuel defines food by likening it to comfort and art, to a bridge between people in good company, a conversation, a sunset, or a memory with friends. 

Lilikoi Organic Living, Miami Beach
Lilikoi Organic Living, Miami Beach

Lilikoi’s menu offers warm, filling, and savory dishes inspired by Hawaiian cuisine—hence the name Lilikoi, which means passionfruit. The menu boasts plant-based options as well as animal-protein dishes with high quality and responsibly sourced meat and fish. Manuel recommends the poke bowl with salmon or his farro -heirloom grain- trumpet mushroom risotto.

You can now order organic groceries online on Lilikoi’s website.

Lilikoi Organic Living
500 South Pointe Dr #180, Miami Beach, FL 33139; T:(305) 763-8692

By contributing writer Pamela Wasabi

As we all practice social distancing due to COVID-19 lockdown, we have a lot of time in our hands to try new recipes. We have rounded up 11 recipes we have received from Miami restaurants and bars for you to try.

1. Stuffed Zucchini from Meraki Greek Bistro

Ingredients

8 medium round or white zucchini
1 pound of ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
4 full spoons of chopped parsley
1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup Glacé rice
½ cup of water
2 medium potatoes, chopped in quarters
2 eggs
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cut the top off of the zucchini and carefully empty the insides.
Chop all fresh herbs.
Heat half of the oil in a large pan and cook on medium heat and add the onion.
Add the ground meat and raise heat to medium-high using a wooden spoon to break down the meat and mix with the onion.
Stir in the parsley, dill, rice, salt, and pepper (to taste) and lower the heat and stir for around 2-3 minutes or until all ingredients are mixed together.
Add ½ cup water to the pan and let it boil until the liquid is absorbed all over, stirring so the ingredients don’t stick to the pan.
Fill the zucchini with the meat mixture and close them with their “lids”.
In the same pan, place the stuffed zucchinis upright and add pieces of potatoes around them to make sure they stay still.
Then, add water to the pan to 2/3 to the top of the zucchinis along with salt and pepper (to taste).
Lower the heat, cover the saucepan and simmer for about 40 minutes until soft.
Remove the zucchinis from the pan and add them to an oven-safe serving container.
Start beating the eggs, pour in the lemon juice, and continue to beat them. Warm the egg-lemon mix by adding a little bit of broth from the pan.
Add the mixture to the pan and stir until it starts to boil. Pour it over the zucchini and serve.

2.Greek Stuffed Peppers from Meraki Greek Bistro

Photo credit: Meraki Greek Bistro

Ingredients
3 onions
2 potatoes
6 tomatoes
3 peppers
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ grams Glacé rice
2 ½ cups of water
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small bunch parsley
1 small bunch spearmint
1/3 small bunch dill
1 tablespoon of tomato paste

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Chop onions, all fresh herbs and garlic (keep separate).
Remove insides of the tomatoes.
Remove insides of the peppers and place them on a cooking tray.
Heat oil in a pan on high heat. Add onions, garlic and cook until golden.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add and sauté the rice for 3-4 minutes until it absorbs all the liquid.
Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and sauté.
Add 1 ½ cups water and cook for 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and continue to stir.
Add the filling removed from the tomatoes; add in the herbs (save a bit for serving) and continue to stir with no heat.
Add the filling to the peppers with a spoon; whatever stuffing is left add it inside the tray.
Add 1 cup of water inside the cooking tray.
Sprinkle with olive oil, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes on 375.
Remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 10-20 minutes until the liquids evaporate.
Sprinkle with olive oil and the remaining fresh herbs and serve.

3.Linguine and Clams from Steve Martorano

Photo credit: Steve Martorano

Ingredients
25 littleneck clams (washed underwater)
1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 Large garlic cloves smashed
1 pinch Tutto Calabria red pepper flakes
1 pinch Tutto Calabria oregano
2 teaspoon coarse Italian parsley
¼ cup dry white Santa Margarita pinot grigio wine
5 ounces gentile linguine

Instructions
In a medium-sized sauté pan heat oil with the smashed garlic and red pepper flakes.
Cook ingredients until the garlic are golden brown but not burnt.
Remove the pan from the heat and add in the 25 littleneck clams. Also, add in the Santa Margarita wine and cover the pan. It will begin to bubble.
Next, add in the clam meat, along with coarsely chopped parsley, and oregano.
Put on medium heat and in 5-6 minutes, shake the pan with the lid on. At this point, the shell of the clam should open. If not, disregard the clams with an unopened shell.
Meanwhile, in salted boiling water cook the linguine until al dente (firm), remove from the water, and toss macaroni in with the littleneck clams and natural clam sauce.
Finally, plate into a bowl and garnish with a touch of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley.

4. Pulpo a la Plancha (Grilled Octopus) from Quinto la Huella

Pulpo a la Plancha from Quinto la Huella

Ingredients:

1 Octopus of 3 pounds
6 medium potatoes
3 cups + 5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs paprika
2 tbs chives/ciboulette

Instructions

Cook the octopus. Separate the tentacles and set aside (the rest of the octopus is not used in this recipe). Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 cm thick slices. Place them in a saucepan and bathe them with 3 cups of olive oil, so that they are submerged. Bring them to very low heat (between 110 and 120 ° C) for approximately 30 minutes. When they are tender by pricking them with a toothpick or skewer, remove them and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and hot paprika, bathe them with 2 tablespoons of olive oil (to moisten the paprika) and take them to a strong oven (200 ° C) for a few minutes to heat and brown the paprika. As they bake, heat a skillet over high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil and brown the tentacles. Turn them over to cook them on all sides; when they are very golden brown and the crust begins to get crispy, they will be ready to serve. On each plate, place 3 or 4 potato slices; on top, a tentacle. Bathe with the last jet of extra virgin olive oil and finish with ciboulette or chopped parsley.

5. Volcan Dulce de Leche from Quinto la Huella

Volcan Dulce de Leche from Quinto la Huella

Ingredients:

1 egg
2 yolks
400 gr of Dulce de leche
2 tbs flour

Preparation: Beat the egg with the yolks to double its volume. Add the dulce de leche and mix until integrated. Finally add the flour twice, beating until the preparation is homogeneous. Evenly butter and flour (this is key to then easily unmold) six molds for custards or muffins of 100 ml capacity and fill them with the mixture almost to the edge. Heat the oven to moderate-strong temperature (200 ° C). Place the molds on a tray and cook for 8-10 minutes. The exact cooking time may vary depending on the oven; to find out if they are in their right place (cooked on the outside but liquid on the inside), take the mold out of the oven and, touching the surface, test if it’s soft but easily detaches from the edges. Unmold on the same plate in which it is going to be served and serve with banana ice cream

6. Sake glazed chicken wings from Zuma

Zuma

Ingredients:

Medium-sized chicken wings (flats only),
Bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 5min), 
Sake,
Mirin,
Kosher Salt, 
Maldon Sea Salt,
Lime


Instructions:

Cut off 1/4in of wing ends, slightly revealing bone. (This step is optional, reduces cooking time and makes eating a lot easier.)
Start skewering the chicken! Each portion will contain 2 wings and 2 skewers. Keep each piece of chicken about an inch and a half away from each other on the skewer. Skewers should be pierced between the bone and skin.
Spray or rub a generous amount of sake onto skewered wings. Season both sides of wings with a generous amount of salt.
Place wings skin side down on an elevated rack, above the grill, on med-high heat. Cook skin side down until crispy and slightly blistered; about 6-7 minutes
Flip wings meat side down. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
Before serving spray mirin on both sides of chicken wings. Cook both sides for about a minute more. Be sure to keep skin crispy, blistered and golden brown. Honestly, a little char won’t hurt.
Be sure to inform your guest to squeeze some lime and sprinkle some additional sea salt to taste before consuming.

7. Vegetarian Power Bowl from Moxie’s

Moxie’s

Ingredients

1 cup cooked rice (jasmine, white)
1 fl oz mayo
1 handful salad greens
1 tsp soy sauce
10 pieces sliced cucumber
1 each boiled egg
10 pieces edamame beans (peas)
10 pieces sautéed mushrooms
10 pieces tofu, 1” cubes
1 each radish, grated or sliced
10 sprigs pea shoots or cilantro
½ each avocado, sliced
½ tsp sesame seeds


Instructions

Place the hot cooked rice into the bottom of the bowl. Cover rice with mayo (note: add a little sriracha hot sauce to mayo to give it a kick!). Toss greens with soy sauce, place greens atop rice. Place each item; cucumber, egg, beans, mushrooms, tofu, radish, pea shoots and avocado around the edge of bowl atop greens. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy. Add a little sriracha hot sauce to mayo to give it a kick! Drizzle the whole finished bowl with soy sauce to punch up the flavor. Interchange ingredients with what you like and have available in your fridge. For the soft boiled egg, cook for exactly 7 mins, cool in ice water then peel.

Cocktails

8. Big Boy Pastelito Cocktail Recipe from Sugar at EAST Miami

Big Boy Pastelito Cocktail from Sugar at EAST Miami

Ingredients
1 ½ oz reposado tequila
½ oz cointreaunuar
¾ oz lime juice
1 ½ guava puree
½ oz agave
Mint

Preparation
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, mix well and enjoy!

9. Midnight Detox from Tea Room at EAST Miami

Midnight Detox by Tea Room at EAST Miami

Ingredients
1 oz tequila
1 oz mezcal
¾ lime juice
½ oz agave
Cilantro,
Jalapenos

Preparation
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, mix well and pour!

10. Mojito Recipe from Quinto la Huella

Mojito from Quinto la Huella

Ingredients
For 1 Glass (350 ml)
1 tbs Sugar
1 tbs lime juice
1 tbs water
½ cup of spearmint
2/3 cup of ice cubes
¼ cup of rum
¼ soda water

Preparation
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, mix well garnish the cup with fresh fruit and enjoy!

11. Tokyo Drifter from Zuma

Instructions
Muddle 2 shiso leaves and 4 -5 mint leaves in a tin shaker.
Add 1.75oz sapphire gin, 0.25oz jack ruddy tonic, 1 oz lemon juice, 0.75 oz simple syrup.
Fill shaker with ice.
Shake vigorously. 
Fine strain into a chilled coupe. 
Garnish with lemon twist.

DiningOut Miami sits down with esteemed local chef and restaurateur, José Mendin of Pubbelly Global

The coronavirus has been detrimental to the restaurant industry. With the mandate to close all bars and restaurants, it was with heavy hearts that restaurant owners around the city laid off hundreds of dedicated employees.  Over the next several weeks, we will be discussing the impact this has had on the industry, with owners, chefs, and staff who are in the thick of it.
Today we’re talking to one of Miami’s most celebrated local chefs, Jose Mendin, to see how the virus has affected his businesses and employees. In such devastating times, he’s committed to helping as many as he can.

DiningOut (DO): How has the coronavirus affected Pubbelly Global?
Jose Mendin (JM): Completely. Sales are down 85%. The most important thing for us right now is to continue supporting our employees for as long as we possibly can.

DO: What are you doing to help your employees in such trying times?
JM: We are lucky enough to have some savings in our accounts, so we’ve committed to covering partial pay for all of our employees for the next 14 days. That’s going to help a little.
We’ve also created a new platform for delivery that will help us continue to employ our staff. If you directly order on PubbellyGlobal.com, there is no service fee, no delivery fee and 10% off the bill with promo code PUBBELLYLOVE.

DO: Which of your restaurants has been hit the hardest?
JM:  La Placita, which is one of my restaurants outside of the Pubbelly Global umbrella, may not be able to survive this. It’s very fragile. I hope we can make it work.

DO: How has this terrible situation affected you personally?
JM: I’m just very frustrated. I’ve been working 20 years in Miami to build what I’ve built. And to see it crumble down like this, it’s really heartbreaking. I feel very bad for all of my employees. They are my family.

DO:  What are your thoughts on delivery services like Uber Eats?
JM:  There hasn’t been any commitment from them to help lower commission rates. They take around 30% of the sales. That’s a lot. But the movement is getting bigger to fight against these high commission rates. There are a lot of people not happy with this.
This is a time of crisis. This is a time where everyone is helping each other. Purveyors are helping us with payments. Landlords are helping with rent. The government is helping with incentives and loans. (Uber Eats) has to do something. They haven’t done anything yet. And their sales are increasing incredibly because, as dine-in is closed, the only way to get food is through their application for a lot of these restaurants.

You can order Pubbelly Sushi for pickup or delivery directly from their website now,

DO: Has the timing of the virus been an extra issue to overcome?
JM: Traditionally, the biggest month for us is March. It’s huge for our business. It’s when we make money, and then we have to save for the summer because it’s our slow season. But if we get to reopen in the summer and tourism has stopped, I don’t know what the end game is going to be. It’s very scary.

DO: Have the food supply chains been affected? Do you think they will?
JM: That hasn’t stopped. I don’t think they will. Some delivery dates have been shifted, but I haven’t seen anyone say, “We’re closed. We’re not delivering anymore.”

DO: Do you have any long-term plans?
JM: The biggest thing was creating our own platform for deliveries, and try to survive off of that for now. Hopefully, with the help of the landlords, we can keep the business running so we can keep some of our employees. Honestly, we’re not even thinking about any profit, we’re just thinking about staying afloat to support our staff.

DO: What can the public and Pubbelly fans do to help?
JM: We need as much help as possible. Order for pickup or delivery directly through the restaurant. If a restaurant doesn’t have its own delivery service, try to not use UberEats and Postmates just because they’re convenient. Only use these 3rd party applications if you cannot or do not feel comfortable picking up your order in person. You can order Pubbelly Sushi for pickup or delivery directly from our website.

As told to Christie Galeano-DeMott

Pubbelly staff members weigh in on the impact this has had on their lives.

Pubbelly Miami Beach team

While staff members are each suffering in their own unique way, a common thread among them is how fortunate they feel to be working with Pubbelly Global.  “I have been a part of the amazing Pubbelly Sushi team for almost 3 years now. What makes our team so special is that the company is like one big family and no one is left behind,” says Mario Castillo from the Miami Beach team.

“Everything happens for a reason, so I just stay positive and hope for the best”, says Camila Corvetto from the Aventura team.  “My managers, Alberto and Veronica, have been very helpful and positive during this rough time. They always ask if I need anything and what they can do for me. I appreciate them a lot. Alberto has offered me to do delivery for Pubbelly Sushi and been trying to help people as much as he can. My job has changed in the past few days because there are no customers at the restaurant. I have been working way less and not making as much money as I did. What makes our Pubbelly sushi team very special is the communication we have. We are a family. We always care for each other. I’ve never been this happy at work before. I enjoy my team a lot.”  Another team member, Julian Arias Estrada chimes in. “Pubbelly Sushi listened to the concerns of its employees–even the new hires like me–who have been a part of this family for only 8 months. The management has been trying to help us by assigning as many hours as they could.  They care about the health of the employees and their families. It might sound a little cheesy, but these little things make me feel like a part of the Pubbelly Sushi family and working for this company special.”

We don’t think this sounds cheesy at all; in fact, stories like this one keep us connected during a time of isolation.  Have an inspiring story you would like to share?  Please contact us anytime at hospitality@diningoutmiami.com

In an effort to prevent the spread of Coronavirus disease–COVID-19–the world is respecting the social distancing practice and staying home. Like in other cities around the world, a great portion of the Miami food and drink scene remains open only for delivery, takeout, and pickup. As these are hard times especially in the hospitality world, we strongly encourage you all to support the local businesses and restaurants in your area. That’s why we prepared this roundup of restaurants, which are still open for takeout and delivery, grouped by major areas. Stay home and stay healthy!

Miami Beach

Cafe Prima Pasta

Cafe Prima Pasta is offering take out orders from 12 pm to 10 pm everyday. The Italian restaurant is offering two types of family meals that can feed six or more people). 414 71st St, Miami Beach, FL 33141

Fratelli La Bufala

Fratelli La Bufala is offering takeout and delivery, starting at noon. Delivery is available through UberEats, DoorDash, Postmates and GrubHub. 437 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Lilikoi: Vegan and Gluten-free Food Delivered

Get the healthy food you love and enjoy delivered to your doorstep from Lilikoi, which is open for takeout and delivery. You can order directly from the restaurant’s website. 500 South Pointe Drive, Miami, FL – (305) 763-8692

Market at EDITION: From Breakfast to Dinner

Although Matador Room is temporarily closed during the coronavirus crises, Market at EDITION remains open from 7 am to 10 pm for takeout. 2901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL – (786) 257-4600

Nobu Miami: When You Get That Nobu Craving

Nobu Miami - Takeout and Pickup
Nobu Miami

It’s hard to give up on Nobu and there’s no need to. Nobu Miami is open for takeout from 5 to 9 pm. 4525 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL – (305) 695-3232

Prime 112

Myles Chefetz’ Miami Beach steakhouse, Prime 112 is now available on Postmates. You can also order directly by calling (305) 532-8112, available daily from 11 am to 11 pm. 112 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL

Pubbelly: 10% Off Delivery, Takeout and Pickup

With four locations in Miami Beach, Brickell, Dadeland, and Aventura, Pubbelly is open for delivery and pickup orders. You can save 10% on your order total, when you order via phone or their website. 1424 20th Street Miami Beach, FL

Pura Vida: Keep Your Immune System Strong

With four locations around the city in South Beach, Coral Gables, Edgewater, and Design District, Pura Vida continues to serve Miamians with healthy meals, snacks, and juices. Search for Pura Vida on UberEats for delivery. 110 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL – (305) 535-4142

Sardinia: Mediterranean Delicacies, Delivered

One of our favorite Mediterranean restaurants in Miami Beach, Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante is open for delivery and takeout from noon to 3 pm with their lunch menu and from 6 pm to 9 pm with their dinner menu. 1801 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach, FL – (305) 531-2228

Stubborn Seed: Treat Yourself

When you find yourself dreaming about Stubborn Seed’s amazing offerings, pick the phone up and order that plate you love and don’t forget the snickerdoodle cookies. Check out their menu online. 101 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL – (786) 322-5211

Wynwood-Midtown

Coyo Taco

All Coyo Taco menu items will be available for pickup and delivery via Uber Eats, Postmates, GrubHub, and Door Dash. 2300 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL

Le Chick: Eat Something Chic

One of Wynwood’s thriving restaurants, Le Chick remains open for delivery and takeout. Give them a call and use your favorite delivery app. 310 NW 24th Str, Miami, FL – (786) 216 7086

Love Life: Stay Healthy

Plant-based and vegan, Love Life‘s offerings should be your go-to for to-go orders these days. The Wynwood restaurant operates from 11 am to 9 pm for takeout and deliveries. Search for them on your favorite delivery app. 2616 NW 5th Avenue, Miami, FL – (305) 456 4148

Pamela Wasabi Bakery - Vegan and Gluten-free Baked Goods - Delivery
Pamela Wasabi Bakery

Pamela Wasabi Bakery: Eat More Beauty

Pamela Wasabi continues shipping her gluten-free and vegan delicacies through her website. You can get free shipping on orders over $35 using code LOVE at checkout. www.pamelawasabi.com

Vista: Save 15% On Delivery, Takeout, and Pickup

Located in Upper Buenavista, a few miles north of Miami Design District, Vista Miami is open for delivery, curbside pickup, and takeout. The restaurant is offering 15% off on all to-go orders until April 15. 5020 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL – (305) 405 7547

Brickell-Downtown

Alloy Bistro: 50% Off Wine 

Alloy Bistro - Delivery and Takeout in Downtown Miami
Alloy Bistro

Located in Downtown, Alloy Bistro is offering 50% off wine along with its Mediterranean delicacies. The restaurant is open for delivery and takeout from 5 pm to 9 pm. You can find the restaurant on UberEats as well. 154 SE 1st Avenue, Miami, FL – (786) 773-2742

Ironside Pizza

Ironside Pizza will be offering a limited menu for takeout from noon to 9 pm, as well as delivering through third-party vendors such as UberEats, Postmates, GrubHub and DoorDash. 7580 NE 4th Court, Miami, FL 33138

Seaspice: Pick Up From The Dock and Curbside

Situated on the beautiful Miami River, Seaspice remains open for curbside pickups and pickups by yacht Friday through Sunday between noon and 8 pm. 422 NW North River Dr, Miami, FL – (305) 440-4200

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

Located in Downtown, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse now offers takeout and delivery through the restaurant. 315 S Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL

Key Biscayne

Costa Med: Delivery Only

Key Biscayne’s stellar Mediterranean restaurant, Costa Med is open for delivery orders from noon to 8 pm. 260 Crandon Blvd #46, Key Biscayne, FL – (305) 361-7575

Kazumi: Your Favorite Rolls, Delivered

Kazumi - Delivery in Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne residents can still enjoy their favorite rolls from Kazumi. The restaurant remains open only for deliveries from noon to 8:30 pm. 260 Crandon Blvd #16, Key Biscayne, FL – (305) 361-2675

Coral Gables 

Zucca: Authentic Italian At Home

Satisfy your cravings for Italian food by ordering from Zucca in Coral Gables. The restaurant is open for delivery and curbside pickup. 162 Alcazar Avenue, Coral Gables, FL – (786) 580-3731

Don’t forget to check out the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (GMCVB) new initiative, Miami Eats to see more restaurants operating with delivery and takeout.

People watching on Miami Beach is fun – the 305 is home to a diverse cast of characters. It’s even more fun when you have great drinks and food along for the ride. And in a nutshell, that’s A Fish Called Avalon. 

This Ocean Drive establishment gives guests a front-row seat to the sights and sounds of South Beach’s iconic street, all while providing a quality dining experience. While this part of the beach is often associated with tourist traps, A Fish Called Avalon proves that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – or location. The seafood-focused eatery is a cut above the rest on the beach… and beyond.

A big reason for that: options galore. The vast menu covers all the bases when it comes to seafood – no palate is left unattended. Raw bar fans will drool over selections like the restaurant’s ceviche tasting and jumbo shrimp cocktail. Those who want to double down on this section can invest in the Seafood Festival, which lives up to its name: 24 oysters, 16 mussels, 12 shrimp, 2 whole Maine lobsters, lump crab meat salad… and more. Needless to say, bring a big party. 

A Fish Called Avalon seafood entree
Crab-crusted grouper

While the tried-and-true items like Spanish octopus are delicious, A Fish Called Avalon really shines with its unique signature offerings. The restaurant’s Bang Bang Shrimp features a turmeric curry spice mix and mint yogurt sauce that starts off refreshing before hitting your palate with a nice, little kick – it’s a “best of both worlds” situation. Just as impressive is the crab-crusted grouper with a Chenin blanc butter sauce. The combination of flavors from this duo results in a vibrant entrée that warrants its $40+ price tag. 

If you only follow one of our recommendations, make it this one: order the key lime pie. Yes, key lime pies are a dime a dozen in South Florida, but odds are you haven’t had one like this – it’s the 2019 National Pie Champion for a reason. That reason is the pecan crust, which replaces the typical graham crust you’re accustomed to. The resultant crunch and change in flavor should perk your taste buds right up.  

National Pie Championship 2019 winner - A Fish Called Avalon
Pecan-crusted key lime pie

Your dining experience at A Fish Called Avalon wouldn’t be complete without one of their handcrafted cocktails. FYI: Many of the mixed drinks are on the sweeter side; apple martinis, mojitos, daiquiris and the like should be expected. But guests who like their drinks with some edge need not fear, as A Fish Called Avalon boasts a notable lineup of single malts, ryes, and bourbons (plus other spirits, of course). Looking to save a few dollars? The restaurant hosts a daily happy hour from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with discounted drinks and complimentary bites. 

Whether you visit during happy hour for a few drinks or come for a full-fledged dinner, you can expect a consistent experience at A Fish Called Avalon – one filled with tasty seafood, refreshing (or stiff) cocktails, and a great view of the interesting people that frequent the beach. Oh, and did we mention there’s live music regularly? Just make a reservation already. 

By Geoffrey Anderson Jr., a contributing writer

It may seem unlikely but tucked away in an unassuming shopping strip in Key Biscayne is Kazumi a fantastic spot for sushi and Japanese Izakaya-style eats. Owned by the same team that operates Costa Med this chic spot is perfect for a quick bite in between jaunts to Virginia Key or for a leisurely dinner with out-of-town friends.

Kazumi specializes in modern Asian cooking. Dinner can be had in a flurry of small plates of Japanese pub-style food like maki rolls, dumplings and robata-grilled meats and vegetables. Kazumi’s menu comprises Pan-Asian staples like sushi, sashimi, specialty rolls and composed entrees. Prices are not as high as expected with starters $8-$18, maki rolls $12-$16 and mains $20-$45 range. The lunchtime $10 bento box is an unbeatable deal with choices of salad, rolls and yakitori chicken or beef.

The small-but-mighty restaurant features a sleek interior design with a second-floor loft and floor-to-ceiling windows. There is ample seating outside where umbrella-outfitted tables provide shade. A team of sushi chefs holds court in the back of the restaurant with pulsating music keeping time with all the maki action.

Kazumi Key Biscayne

If you’re not afraid of spice, go for the wok-fried shishito peppers, a ubiquitous Tokyo bar snack. From there it’s on to crispy crab salad, miso soup and homemade gyoza filled with vegetables or pork. The sushi rolls stretch the bounds of fusion cooking with combos like the Fire roll made with baked spicy tuna, cucumber, cream cheese, avocado and topped with spicy tuna or the Sex on the Beach made with shrimp tempura, fried kani kama and crab salad with yuzu tobico. The Robata section offers skewers of chicken, beef, jumbo prawns or eggplant while the ramen bowl is pure Japanese comfort food. Hearty mains include grilled ribeye steak, a miso cod or a Kurobuta pork belly.

A bit more approachable and wallet-friendly than other sushi spots in Miami, it’s easy to see why this Asian eatery is a neighborhood staple.

Sara Liss, Contributing Writer

Brickell has no shortage of great options when it comes to having dinner and drinks. But where can you go for an amazing lunch that won’t put too much of a dent in your budget? Don’t worry —  we’ve got you covered. From incredible seafood to fresh fusion Nikkei and flavorful Mediterranean fare, check out our list of some of the best restaurants in Brickell open for lunch.

The River Oyster Bar

The River Oyster Bar - The Best Restaurants for Lunch in Brickell

This Brickell restaurant has been open for fifteen years, so you know they’re doing something right. Come during lunch and take advantage of their $25 prix-fixe three-course menu, which lets you choose delicious options like bacalao croquettes, squid ink spaghetti, West Indies spiced Mahi Mahi, handmade chocolate truffles, and creamy tres leches. 

The River Oyster Bar is located at 650 South Miami Avenue, Miami. For more information, call 305-530-1915.

Osaka Miami

Osaka Food Omakase Platter - The Best Restaurants for Lunch in Brickell
Osaka Food Omakase Platter

Though it launched just recently in Brickell, Osaka is quickly becoming known as one of the best places to eat in Miami. And guess what? It’s open for lunch Monday through Friday from noon until 3 p.m. Standouts from the lunch menu here include fresh ceviches and tiraditos (you can opt for a sampler if you can’t decide), Peruvian izakaya dishes like chirashi causa, and more. 

Osaka Miami is located at 1300 Brickell Bay Drive, Miami. For more information, call 786-627-4800.

Boulud Sud

Boulud Sud - The Best Restaurants for Lunch in Brickell

Daniel Boulud’s Miami eatery at the JW Marriott specializes in delicious Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, and lunchtime is hands-down one of the best times to savor them all. If you’re pressed for time, opt for the Express Lunch — you’ll enjoy any two courses for just $28. Or try their fixe-prix three-course lunch for just $5 extra, served Monday through Friday. To start, the labneh with roasted cauliflower is a must. Follow it with seared Mediterannean Branzino or braised lamb ragu and rigatoni. 

Boulud Sud is located at 255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami. For more information, call 305-421-8800.

Toro Toro

Toro Toro - The Best Restaurants for Lunch in Brickell

If you have a big appetite, head to Toro Toro during lunchtime. The delicious Latin American fare there easily earns it a spot on our list of the best restaurants in Brickell, and if you visit Monday through Friday during lunchtime you’ll enjoy a robust buffet spread starting at just $27 per person. The spread highlights a different Latin American country every week, so you can taste your way from Mexico to Argentina.

Toro Toro is located at 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami. For more information, call 305-372-4710.

La Petite Maison

La Petite Maison - The Best Lunch in Brickell

If you’re craving French food, look no further than La Petite Maison. The lunch menu here features your choice of two starters, a main course, and dessert for just $29 per person. Standouts from the menu include the calamars frits, the ratatouille et feta, and the coquelet au citron confit, marinated in zesty lemon. Save room for one of La Petite Maison’s standout confections, like their tarte fine and selection of creamy sorbets.

La Petite Maison is located at 1300 Brickell Bay Dr, Miami. For more information, call 305-403-9133.

It wasn’t always a life goal for Ilkay Suuctugu to be a chef, but once she stepped foot in the kitchen, there was no going back. Born and raised in Turkey, Suuctugu studied Culinary Science and Hospitality Management before moving to America to work as a Prep Cook for the Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, Golf & Marina. She barely knew English then, but by 2010, after a lot of hard work and talent in the kitchen, she had worked her way up to Banquet Chef, where she was executing large-scale events at that same property.

Fast-forward to 2019, when Suuctugu’s skill and determination led to her appointment as Sous Chef at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, as well as Sous Chef of Tropicale at The Miami Beach EDITION, and later, Executive Sous Chef of all The Miami Beach EDITION’s food and beverage outlets. In between, she assisted with the opening of The Bodrum EDITION (Turkey) and The Times Square EDITION (NYC), was named Global Chef of the Year 2018 for all Marriott International properties and was even selected to present as part of an Executive Tasting Panel for Marriott Chairman Bill Marriott and CEO Arne Sorenson.

Today, Suuctugu reigns as Executive Chef of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Matador Room. And while we still have her here in the Magic City, we sat down with the rising star—because a star is exactly what she is—to find out more about her life in the kitchen. Here’s what she had to say:


DO: “What inspired you to become a chef? Do you remember the moment you decided to make it a career?”
IS: “Becoming a chef was not my plan. However, when I landed in a kitchen, I felt at home and found my comfort zone. With each day that passed, my passion for cooking grew. It was then that I decided to pursue a career in the culinary world.”

“Coming from Turkey, what was the biggest challenge you faced in becoming a chef in the United States?”
“Being from a different background, the language barrier was the biggest challenge. Also, as a new cook, I had to learn different techniques and cooking methods I didn’t know before.”

“Do you have a favorite dish on the menu at Matador Room? If so, what is it?”
“My favorite dish on the menu is the Crispy Octopus with a toasted seed yogurt dressing. It reminds me of home!”

“What’s the one kitchen tool you can’t live without, and why?”
“My Chef’s Knife is one of my most precious kitchen tools, as each recipe requires a specific cut in order to be executed properly.”

“What is your absolute favorite thing about helming the kitchen at Matador Room?”
“It means so much to me to be able to inspire and motivate my team and share my knowledge with them. My hope is that, by working together, they all become better chefs.”

“What advice do you have for other female chefs trying to get where you are today?”
“I say this to any female chef: You should speak up and have your voice heard! Don’t be shy or compare yourself to others. Let people see who you truly are and what you are capable of. Although kitchens are mostly run by men, we as women shouldn’t be scared to show our skills, accomplish our goals, and be successful, too.”

By Jennifer Agress, a contributing writer

In Miami, everyone who’s anyone has heard of—and likely been to—The Biltmore. Perched on Anastasia Avenue like a European castle that somehow found its way to The City Beautiful in 1926, The Biltmore’s exquisite architecture, hand-painted frescos, vaulted ceilings, and that glamorous pool have made it a neighborhood icon. The brainchild of Coral Gables founder George Merrick, this rare hotel is a place where the world’s finest can do what they love most: sleep, relax, be pampered, and of course, eat.

The Biltmore
The Biltmore Bar

At The Biltmore, it doesn’t take long for guests to realize that the hotel’s restaurants are some of the best in Miami and beyond. Since its inception, The Biltmore has always drawn cultural influence from the Mediterranean, evident in the property’s fine dining outlets. Yes, you read that correctly; there are nine dining experiences in total (not including private dining and room service), from the award-winning Palme d’Or and Fontana to the casual bites of Cascade and 19th Hole Bar and Grill to the swanky Biltmore Bar, The Cellar Club, Succo Juice Bar, a daily Afternoon Tea experience, and the hotel’s now-famous Sunday brunch. 

The Biltmore
Hotel & Golf

“We have a great variety of dining destinations,” says Philippe Parodi, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at The Biltmore.
“Whether you’re seeking the warmth of a traditional restaurant or the bliss of dining alfresco, either formal or casual, we provide an unforgettable culinary journey. I think it’s one of the reasons why our team is internationally-recognized for our food and service.”

And it’s because of that caliber of restaurant quality and service that you could map out a whole day at The Biltmore in food alone. Start your day at the hotel’s extraordinary fine-dining Italian restaurant, Fontana, which has an extravagant daily breakfast that locals and visitors alike swear by. When you get there, take your pick of everything from fresh-baked croissants, bagels, and smoked salmon to perfectly ripe Florida fruit, made-to-order omelets, a mimosa bar, and so much more. If you like to start your mornings on a healthier note, head to Succo Juice Bar, where you can sip on green juices and Bananas Foster smoothies, the latter of which is tastefully crafted using almond milk, bananas, vanilla protein, and cinnamon.

When you’re ready for lunch, take a break from your pool day and pull up a chair at the blissful Cascade. Tucked under a 23-foot waterfall, this alfresco joint is your go-to for a classic like the Cascade Burger or Maine Lobster Salad Sandwich paired with sparkling pool and golf course views. Want to get even closer to the green? Head to 19th Hole Bar and Grill, a casual terrace bar and restaurant that overlooks the hotel’s Donald Ross Golf Course. Diners can watch a golf game, tune in to sports on multiple flat-screen TVs, savor some signature Cilantro Lime Shrimp, and enjoy a cool, refreshing beer from the restaurant’s “Brews of the World” menu. 

The Biltmore

When that 3 pm break time hits, grab a glass of wine or a cold, tropical drink from The Cascade Bar, and to ensure the rest of your night is deliciously hands-on, sign up for one of The Biltmore Culinary School’s full-scale cooking classes. Of course, Afternoon Tea is always a good idea. It takes place every Wednesday through Sunday in The Biltmore’s magnificent lobby and has a harpist who will serenade you as you drink bespoke teas and Champagne and nosh on traditional scones and petit fours.

And while all of that is bar none, its two fine-dining establishments are where The Biltmore really shines. Unlike anything on the Miami dining scene, the five-diamond, James Beard Award semifinalist Palme d’Or immerses guests in another era of French fine dining. Here, indulge in a set menu of farm-to-table fare, like the Sautéed Corvina, in an ornate setting that nods to the Jazz Age. But, if Italian is more your style, the same Fontana where you had breakfast continues to impress at dinner. This elegant and romantic courtyard restaurant dots tables and chairs around a Mediterranean fountain and serves Italian-inspired cuisine from Chef Beppe Galazzi, like Pappardelle Bolognese made with homemade pasta and béchamel. Come back Sunday morning for the hotel’s lavish Sunday brunch, which you’ve no doubt heard of before; it boasts an entire wall of desserts you won’t be able to resist.

With so much remarkable, palate-pleasing food to eat, cocktails and tea to drink, and cooking classes to attend—not to mention the hotel’s elegant spa, fitness classes, golfing, shops, and glamorous pool—the real luxury of The Biltmore is that guests’ time there can be anything they want it to be.

The Biltmore
The Biltmore Hotel – Golf Suite

“No two stays are ever the same at The Biltmore, but if I were to pick the perfect day for myself, I would start with breakfast in bed inside one of our newly renovated rooms,” says Parodi.
“From there, I would head over to the gym for a TRX class, then practice my swing on the golf course. Later, I would meet with my family and friends for lunch at Fontana and invite them to stay and enjoy the swimming pool. I would wind down from the afternoon with a relaxing massage at The Biltmore Spa, and then top the day off with an exquisite meal at our French fine dining restaurant, Palme d’Or.”

There’s a word for a day like that: Paradise.

By Jennifer Agress, a contributing writer

Step inside Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann at Faena Miami Beach Hotel, and prepare yourself for a meal that tantalizes all the senses. This Argentine restaurant from the internationally renowned chef covers all the bases when it comes to an unforgettable dining experience: exceptional food, service, and ambiance. 

Here are four things you need to know about this Mid-Beach gem:

It’s All About the Open-Fire Kitchen 

If the name Francis Mallmann sounds familiar, you’re likely a fan of 1) good food and/or 2) the Netflix series Chef’s Table. Mallmann appeared in the series’ inaugural season, where viewers learned about his love of the grill and fire-based cooking. 

So it’s no surprise that his first restaurant in the states showcases that love. Guests are treated to a wide variety of proteins cooked on the grill, including prime beef tenderloin, Australian lamb rack and hanging prime boneless ribeye. As you’d expect from Mallmann, there’s a huge emphasis on red meat here. If that’s what you’re craving, you’ll be hard pressed to find more flavorful options anywhere else. 

Francis Mallmann empanadas
Wood Oven Empanada

Expect Quite the First Impression 

High ceilings, magnificent chandeliers, and swashes of red and gold are among the first things you’ll notice when you visit; it’s like stepping onto a movie set. This space feels huge, yet despite its size, it also feels surprisingly intimate. While the first impression we got was “This is a special occasion place,” we left our meal thinking,“We need to come back as quickly as possible.” 

During our visit, we saw everyone from couples and parties to tourists and celebrities and everyone in between. All are welcome, and it was interesting to see such a diverse crowd on a regular weekday evening. The best part: Everyone received the same attentive service around us. The wait staff didn’t seem to miss a beat. 

These Prices … Wow

We’d be lying if we said we weren’t expecting fine-dining prices a Los Fuegos. So imagine our surprise when we sat down and saw that its prices were affordable (and honestly, a steal). Yes, there are entrees like the tomahawk and porterhouse with prices in the triple digits, but given their size, that’s expected. The $160 parrillada — a crowd favorite — is big enough for a party of four; it comes with skirt steak, ribeye, blood sausage, lamb and various accompaniments. As a party of 2, we had leftovers for a few days. 

But as we stated earlier, those dishes are the exception: Most entrees run in the high $20 to high $40 range and are large enough to share. Appetizers clock in at even lower, with Mallmann’s famous empanadas among the most inexpensive selections at $8. We’re partial to the pink grapefruit salad, though. On that note …

Los Fuegos appetizer
Pink Grapefruit Salad

Meat Isn’t Everything Here

When you think of Argentine cuisine, meat is usually the first thing that comes to mind. And while it’s indeed the focus of Los Fuegos, there are plenty of alternatives to go around for non-meat enthusiasts. In addition to the pink grapefruit salad — which we can’t stop thinking about it — guests should consider the Mediteranean branzino with herbed quinoa salad as well as the roasted cauliflower, two selections touted by our server. A fish version of the parrillada is available should you feel like splurging; this one comes with the branzino, octopus, snapper and local lobster. 

In the end, there is no wrong choice at Los Fuegos. All palates are represented here, and no matter what you order, you can expect a world-class dining experience backed by a world-class chef. As for us, we’re busy setting up our next reservation.