Wednesday, December 1, 2021
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Enjoy art, food and fun at this Wynwood Institution

When you think of Wynwood, what comes to mind? Art is usually the first thing that pops up for us: Street murals are everywhere, along with galleries galore. The other thing that comes to mind is food. Over the years, the area has gone from a warehouse district to a dining mecca. But before there was an eatery on every street, there was R House. 

Back in 2014, the restaurant opened when Wynwood was still growing into the beast it has become today. And years later, R House continues to draw crowds for its gorgeous art, globally inspired food and fun vibes. Leading the kitchen is chef/owner Rocco Carulli, who’s the R behind R House. He and his husband Owen Bale have created a concept that fits right into the artsy neighborhood. You’ll be drawn in by the many murals and stay for the food and good times. 

Tuna Tartare

The diverse menu pulls from Carulli’s Italian American heritage; sauces and other flavorful components brighten up familiar dishes like tuna tartare, arancini, and brisket and short rib meatballs. Many of the appetizers skew large – all the more reason to come in a group – so don’t eat with your eyes here (it’s easy to do). One or two appetizers should be enough for parties four or smaller, and you’ll want to save room for Carulli’s even heartier mains.

One big standout is the sweet chili fried chicken, which perfectly walks the line between sweet and spicy; it’s a delicate balance that your taste buds will thoroughly enjoy. There’s just something so satisfying about the kick you get from biting into the extra crispy skin and juicy chicken; we were sad that our entree eventually had to end. 

Braised Short Rib

On the other side of the protein spectrum was the braised short rib, which will take you aback with its size. It’s a dish that you’ll likely end up taking home – we did – and enjoy as leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. You can almost consider it two meals in one; it’s a great value. 

Rounding out the offerings is a small selection of sweets, including Rocco’s popular zeppole. These Italian dough balls with raspberries and chocolate chips are surprisingly light and not overpoweringly sweet. If you don’t want to hate yourself, consider these over the more decadent tres leches or homemade chocolate brownie.

In the end, what we enjoy the most about R House is the fact that it packs many experiences in one place. While we went for a romantic dinner, it’s also a great place for grabbing drinks or watching a show – a drag show, to be exact. 

A “beat the clock” happy hour during the week provides guests with drinks and bites for as low as $3 an item; it’s one of the best deals in the area. And on weekends, R House turns into a party. Saturdays and Sundays are home to the restaurant’s famous drag brunch, where lively performers keep patrons entertained amidst bottomless drinks. If you’re considering coming for brunch, we suggest you make a reservation well in advance – it fills up fast. 

So whatever the occasion, keep R House at the top of your list. Once you visit, you’ll understand why this Wynwood institution has withstood the test of time – and will continue to. 

Geoffrey Anderson, a contributing writer

If you’re a fan of seafood, you’re in the right city. Miami boasts some of the best seafood restaurants in the country — no wonder, given our status as a major port city and our proximity to prime fishing waters. In addition to that, Miami is home to a great number of incredible chefs from around the world, so you can always count on variety when it comes to choosing where to go eat. To make the decision process easier for you, here are six suggestions on great Miami restaurants to try right now if you’re craving something delicious from the sea. 

BLT Prime Doral

It’s the start of a new decade, and BLT Prime Doral knows how to kick it off right. The famed restaurant has launched an oyster and martini pairing that includes a half dozen oysters paired with a martini (you can choose between Grey Goose vodka or Hendrick’s gin as the base), all for $20.20. Rejoice, oyster lovers, and get in on this special while it lasts — you likely won’t find a deal as good as this in Miami for another ten years.

4400 NW 87th Avenue, Miami

A Fish Called Avalon

This Ocean Drive spot has been around for three decades — a feat that’s incredibly hard to pull off in Miami Beach, so you know the food is good. There’s live music every night on the front porch and great happy hour specials every day from 6-8 p.m., but the real draw here is the menu. Order the crab-crusted grouper in a Chenin blanc butter sauce, or share the orzo seafood paella with someone special — it’s big enough for two and comes with Maine lobster, shrimp, sea scallops, mussels and more.

700 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach.

Seaspice

Gorgeous views of the Miami River and downtown skyline. The sound of the water lapping gently just steps away from your table. The scent of herbs and smoking wood wafting toward you from the kitchen. Welcome to Seaspice. Frequented by celebrities and locals alike, Seaspice serves a globally inspired menu brimming with all kinds of tasty creations, but seafood lovers should definitely try one of the restaurant’s famous platters. There are three options, the most extravagant of which includes two pounds of lobster, eight jumbo prawns, 24 oysters, Alaskan king crab, two ounces of Osetra caviar, sashimi, hamachi, and ceviche. 

422 NW N River Drive, Miami

Seawell Fish N’ Oyster

Come to Seawell for a taste of classic Americana with a twist, all expertly curated by Chef Julian Garriga. You’ll find all the staples here, from creamy clam chowder and lobster rolls, to beer-battered fish n’ chips and a rotating daily catch sourced from day boats — all served in a casual, nautical setting. Pair your seafood pick with one of the restaurant’s amazing cocktails (the Tavern Spritz is our current favorite).

660 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

Lobster Bar Sea Grille

A go-to for happy hour, brunch and date night, Lobster Bar Sea Grille checks all the boxes for a great seafood restaurant experience: a buzzing atmosphere, upscale design, and a great menu featuring both freshly caught and imported seafood. There’s plenty of fantastic options to choose from here, including a full raw bar menu that ranges from stone crab claws from Key West, to a magnificent shellfish tower. And if you’re a fan of caviar, you’ll find lots of delicious picks — we’re partial to the Siberian Baerii.

404 Washington Ave, Miami Beach

Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market

When Garcia’s opened in 1966, it was initially a fish market and wholesaler. Today, this local institution is repeatedly rated as one of the best places to eat seafood in Miami. Still family-owned, Garcia’s serves fish caught fresh off Florida’s coast every day by its own team. Start with Garcia’s famous fish dip and order some cracked conch fried or grilled. And if you’re having a tough time deciding on an entree, just ask your server for suggestions — everything here is delicious and fresh.

398 NW N River Drive, Miami

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