Wednesday, December 1, 2021
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These in-house eateries aren’t just for tourists

In Miami, we’re no stranger to hotel restaurants, whether it’s a mega-resort catering to visitors or boutique hotels looking to woo locals for a staycation. But finding a good hotel restaurant can often be a challenge. Fortunately, a plethora of exceptional hotel restaurants have sprung up over the past decade, attracting both locals and out-of-towners looking for a beautiful meal in a beautiful setting. Here are our favorites.

Lido Restaurant & Bayside Grill at The Standard

Edge Steak and Bar {Four Seasons Hotel, 1435 Brickell Avenue, Miami; 305.381.3190}

Chef Aaron Brooks helms this modern steakhouse at the Four Seasons downtown which has proven popular among local food lovers and visitors alike. The dining room feels cozy and urbane with a large rectangular-shaped marble bar lit by dangling exposed string lights and white-washed oak tables flanked by cream leather booths.

The kitchen focuses on locally-sourced ingredients that work their way into shellfish starters, hefty slabs of beef, and creative mains like the Basil-Crusted Corvina with piquillo peppers. A gorgeous outdoor terrace offers downtown skyline views.

The Bazaar by Jose Andres {SLS Hotel, 1701 Collins Avenue, Suite 100, Miami Beach; 305.455.2999}

Prepare for sensory overload at this clubby outpost for global tapas and exotic cocktails. Like its LA counterpart, there are two dining rooms: “rojo,” a red and black accented spot in the hotel’s lobby with black leather couches and a bull’s head clad in a lucha libre mask;  and “blanca,” a quieter option adorned with a massive seashell-clad chandelier.

The epic menu contains anywhere from 60-80 items that change daily but can include Bacalao Fritters served in a clear plastic sneaker and a Scallop Risotto presented in a coconut shell.

La Mar {Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami; 305.913.8358}

Peruvian Chef Gaston Acurio’s downtown Miami outpost occupies a gorgeous waterfront spot at Brickell Key’s Mandarin Oriental. The main dining room is awash in shades of watery greens, sandy grays, and beiges and wood, but it’s the enticing outdoor terrace that offers glittering views of downtown. It provides the perfect backdrop to Chef Diego Oka’s contemporary Peruvian dishes with colorful tweaks.

Lido Restaurant & Bayside Grill {The Standard Hotel, 40 Island Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.673.1717}

The Standard’s hipster-friendly pool deck is also home to one of South Beach’s best waterfront patios. Chef Mark Zeitouni’s menu emphasizes Mediterranean dishes that please vegetarians and carnivores alike.

Zuma {Epic Hotel, 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Downtown; 305.577.0277}

Upscale Asian dishes compliment a dock crowded with million-dollar yachts. If you’re looking to indulge, reserve a spot during their weekend brunch where the restaurant rolls out nearly the entire menu: buffets of endless fresh sushi, skewers of marinated beef and vegetables from the robata grill, and prepared salads. Then there’s a bottomless glass of Louis Roederer Champagne in addition to Bloody Marys made with robata-grilled tomatoes. And it all goes perfectly with the waterfront views of downtown. 

By Sara Liss, contributing writer

In exactly one week, who among us will be frantically slicing, dicing, basting, and frosting? Who will be making last-minute trips to the to the grocery store (for the third time!)? Who will be so caught up in preparing a feast of such epic proportions that there isn’t time to take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of Thanksgiving: giving thanks?

While home-cooked meals can certainly be fabulous, perhaps this is the year, you let someone else do the work—so you can focus on the stuff that really matters, like spending time with the people that you love. The following Miami restaurants are inviting you in to enjoy their own Thanksgiving feasts. We promise, if you go the dining out route, you (and your family) won’t be sorry.

Brickell/Downtown

Mandarin Oriental, Miami {500 Brickell Key Drive, Brickell; 305.913.8288} invites guests to spend Thanksgiving at either one of its signature restaurants. From now through Thanksgiving, La Mar by Gastón Acurio will be offering a trio of à la carte Peruvian menu items inspired by the flavors of Thanksgiving, including Rocoto Relleno (shrimp stew with aji panca, pecans, cranberries, and sweet potato gratin); Jumbo Wings (turkey wings finished on the anticucho grill); and Cebiche de Pato (duck with orange, red onions, aji amarillo, and turmeric). And for dessert, don’t miss out on the to-die-for Peruvian Chocolate Cheesecake with caramelized pecans served with baked apple ice cream.

Azul

Azul at Mandarin Oriental, Miami

Over at Mandarin’s other restaurant, Azul, from 5-10pm, Chef Benjamin Murray is preparing a savory family-style four-course Thanksgiving feast with highlights that include Caramelized Butternut Squash Soup, Brioche-Sausage Stuffing, Poached Cranberries, Sweet Potato Purée, Broccoli Casserole, and, of course, Turkey! Price is $95 per person exclusive of tax and gratuity.

Meanwhile, on Brickell Avenue, Morton’s The Steakhouse {1200 Brickell Avenue, Brickell; 305.440.9990} invites families to start a new Thanksgiving tradition. For more than 30 years, the steakhouse has served the finest USDA Prime aged beef, fresh seafood, and hand-picked produce—and Thanksgiving is no exception. All three Miami locations will be offering their regular menus from 1-9pm.

db Bistro Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich - PHOTO

To-Go Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich form db Bistro Moderne

Heading downtown, db Bistro Moderne {255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Downtown; 305.421.8800} is offering a Thanksgiving menu with options. Daniel Boulud’s acclaimed eatery presents a three-course Thanksgiving dinner prepared by Chef Jason Pringle featuring your choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert. But that’s not all. You won’t miss having Thanksgiving leftovers, as db Bistro will be sending each guest home with a complimentary Turkey Sandwich to-go (pictured above), to enjoy the following day. Dinner will be served from 1-9pm; price is $65 per person. A special kids’ menu will also be available for $35 per child. In addition, the lounge will be open at noon and will have a limited à la carte Thanksgiving menu.

Miami Beach

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana {1014 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 305.531.4833}, Miami Beach’s go-to dining destination for authentic Northern Italian cuisine, will offer a special à la carte Thanksgiving menu alongside its regular lunch and dinner menus. Special entrées include Tacchino Ripieno alla Piemontese, braised turkey breast stuffed with focaccia, Italian sausage, and pistachio served with sage mashed potatoes and homemade gravy; Risotto con Zucca, traditional risotto with pumpkin, walnuts, and Gorgonzola cheese; and Fiorentine d’Agnello, t-bone of lamb with mint demi-glace, Brussels sprouts, and truffle potato fries.

Quality Meats Miami Beach {1501 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.340.3333}, Miami Beach’s hottest new steakhouse, will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 4-10pm. The restaurant will have its regular menu in addition to a special limited-time Thanksgiving dish: Herb-Roasted Heritage Turkey with cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole, and spiced sweet potato fries accompanied by local honey butter, giblet gravy, and Quality cranberry sauce.

Bazi

Bazi

Bazi {1200 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 05.695.0101}, a brand-new concept from the owners of the acclaimed Alton Road Italian eatery, Macchialina, will feature an innovative prix-fixe Thanksgiving feast with an Asian-inspired twist. The meal kicks off with a bowl of Turkey Wonton Soup, followed by Gyoza, a popular dish consisting of shrimp and chive dumplings and sweet potato dumplings. It continues with Peking Turkey, served with wasabi mashed potatoes and scallion pancakes. Dinner will be offered from 5-10pm for $55 per person.

If you’re not the type that wants to wait ’til dinner to enjoy your Thanksgiving feast, you’re in luck. The Restaurant at The Setai {2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.520.6400} is presenting an elaborate and untraditional brunch (three seatings will be available: 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30pm). Expect both Thanksgiving classics along with non-classics such as Indonesian Beef Rendang, Indian Lamb Vindaloo, Upma (Indian polenta), a selection of Indian tandoori breads, and much, much more. From 7-10pm, the Setai will resume food service with a delicious three-course menu offering choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $95 per person ($48 per child).

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts from Cleo

SBE’s celebrated Mediterranean restaurant, Cleo {1776 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.534.2536}, will host its annual “Cleopatra’s Thanksgiving Feast,” an exquisite Thanksgiving menu with a Mediterranean theme. For just $39 per person, diners will enjoy items such as Roasted Pumpkin Dip, Pistachio and Roasted Chestnut Stuffing, Blistered Brussels Sprouts, and a Pomegranate Glazed Turkey all served up by award-winning Chef Danny Elmaleh.

SBE’s other popular SoBe restaurant, The Bazaar by José Andrés {1701 Collins Avenue; Miami Beach; 305.455.2999}, will be offering its regular dinner menu along with an incredible à la carte Thanksgiving menu designed to be enjoyed family-style. Dinner will begin at 6pm and will feature items such as Squash Soup with vanilla, curry, and Taylor Bay scallops; Amish-Farmed Turkey, with a truffled breast, confit leg, and topped with traditional gravy; Green Bean Casserole with matsutake mushrooms and crispy shallots; Sweet Potatoes with marshmallow fluff and caramelized pecans; and more.

There will be a plethora of Turkey Day dining options available Thanksgiving Day at Fontainebleau Miami Beach {4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.535.3283}. At Scarpetta, the hotel’s acclaimed Italian eatery, guests can indulge in a three-course prix-fixe dinner for $75 per person featuring Butternut Squash Soup Fregato with toasted focaccia and roasted mushrooms; Roast Turkey Porchetta with cranberry mostarda and Brussels sprouts; and Pumpkin Tiramisù, crafted with spiced pumpkin mascarpone and served beside Marsala-soaked lady fingers, mocha espuma, and cinnamon gelato.

Fontainebleau, Chez Bon Bon Coffee, StripSteak Restaurant

StripSteak by Michael Mina at Fontainebleau Miami Beach

The hotel’s signature steakhouse, StripSteak by Michael Mina will also offer a prix-fixe dinner menu from 6-11pm for $75 per person. The highlight of the dinner will be Roasted Turkey Breast with turkey leg confit and chorizo cornbread stuffing. The meal will start off with Roasted Baby Beets with dried cranberries, hazelnuts, and goat cheese, topped with walnut vinaigrette and conclude with Pumpkin Pie topped with cinnamon whipped cream and spiced caramel sauce.

Michael Mina 74 will have its regular lunch menu at the bar with football games airing from 11:30am-6pm and Thanksgiving specials offered à la carte from 6-11pm, including a hearty Turkey Breast Roulade with confit leg sage stuffing, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, and turkey gravy, and mouthwatering Pumpkin Cheesecake topped with spiced Jamaican anglaise and orange compote.

And Beyond

hyde beach kitchen + Cocktails

Pumpkin Butter Rolls from Hyde Beach Kitchen + Cocktails

Let us not forget our friends further north. SBE’s newest hot spot, Hyde Beach Kitchen + Cocktails {111 South Surf Road, Hallandale; 954.699.0901} will be serving a prix-fixe menu for $50 per person, with menu items that include a Seafood Tower; Pumpkin Butter Rolls; a Roasted Turkey Breast with apricot and pistachio stuffing; and Pecan Pumpkin Pie.

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

One of the things we love most about Miami Spice is that it doesn’t just last for one month, it lasts for two whole months. This means that there’s still plenty of time to visit all your favorite restaurants—and some brand-new ones—and enjoy unmatched three-course Miami Spice menus at discounted prices (dinner: $39; lunch: $23).

As we try to hit up as many Spice menus as we can, here are five more of our favorites we don’t want you to miss:

1. BLT Steak & The Betsy {1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305.673.0044}
Spice menu available for lunch Monday-Friday and dinner Sunday-Friday.

Veal & Pork Meatballs from BLT Steak

Veal & Pork Meatballs from BLT Steak

We love that Celebrity Chef Laurent Tourondel likes to keep things interesting—his blackboard menu changes daily—and that means he’s entirely revamped his Spice menu for the month of September. For appetizers, our hands-down first choice is the Veal and Pork Meatballs. Chef Tourondel served these babies up for us during a special preview dinner last March, and we’ve been dreaming about them ever since! For entrées, it’s a toss-up between the 12oz CAB Coulotte and the Grilled Black Tiger Prawns. To round out the meal, you’ll also be able to choose your own side and melt-in-your-mouth dessert. But that’s not all! Even though it’s Miami Spice, you’ll still receive the complimentary goodies that are brought to every table at dinner: Chicken Liver Mousse with artisan bread and pickled vegetables, and the famous giant Popovers dusted with Gruyère cheese.

2. Bulla Gastrobar {2500 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables; 305.441.0107}
Spice menu available for lunch and dinner daily.

Branzino a la Vasca from Bulla Gastrobar

Branzino a la Vasca from Bulla Gastrobar

There’s nothing more disappointing than arriving at your planned restaurant of the evening, sitting down at your table, and then having your server tell you: “We’re not offering our Miami Spice menu right now.” With many establishments placing restrictions on when their specials are actually available, it’s comforting to know that at Bulla, it’s always time for Spice. Just last week, the Spanish restaurant rolled out updated Spice menus, featuring items such as the Albóndigas de Cordero (lamb meatballs), Branzino a la Vasca, and the Torrija dessert. As an added bonus, for both lunch and dinner, you can enjoy TWO glasses of any of Bulla’s popular sangrías for just $10.

3. Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room {1395 Brickell Avenue, Brickell; 305.503.6529}
Spice menu available for lunch and dinner daily.

Pan-Roasted Monkfish from Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room

Pan-Roasted Monkfish from Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room

For Miami Spice, the Conrad Miami’s signature restaurant is serving up some of its classic dishes and seasonal favorites. For appetizers, we recommend the crisp Waldorf Salad, followed by the Pan-Roasted Monkfish, which is served with confit garlic, Mediterranean baby vegetables, and red wine reduction. And for dessert, don’t miss out on the gooey Chocolate Coulant Cake served with salted caramel ice cream. Plus, if you’re looking for a quick power lunch, Atrio’s got you covered. Simply ask for the special “Taste of Time” menu, which guarantees (if you so choose) that you’ll be in and out in 45 minutes or less. An hourglass will be placed on your table at the start of the meal; and if your meal isn’t completed in time, your lunch is on the house.

4. Scarpetta {4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 877.326.7412}
Spice menu available for dinner Sunday-Thursday.

Creamy Polenta from Scarpetta

Creamy Polenta from Scarpetta

Celebrity Chef Scott Conant’s menu at Scarpetta at the Fontainebleau is drool-worthy any time of year. But during Miami Spice, it becomes even more enticing. The restaurant recently revamped its Spice menu, giving you even more options to savor. For appetizers, we recommend the Creamy Polenta, which is served alongside a medley of truffled mushrooms (which happen to be a specialty of the restaurant this time of year). Continue the experience with the Short Rib Agnolotti Dal Pin before ending with the traditional dolce: Almond Panna Cotta. If you’re not in the mood for Italian, Fontainebleau’s three other flagship restaurants—Hakkasan, Michael Mina 74, and StripSteak—have also updated their Spice menus for the month of September.

5. The Bazaar by José Andrés {1701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.455.2999}
Spice menu available for dinner Sunday-Thursday.

Bao con Lechón from The Bazaar by José Andrés

Bao con Lechón from The Bazaar by José Andrés

Decisions, decisions! Hands down, one of the most extensive option-filled Spice menus out there is from the SLS South Beach’s Bazaar by José Andrés. First, you’ll choose your appetizer, or “snack,” from five different options (we recommend the Bao con Lechón—pork belly on a Chinese bun). Next, you’ll select THREE options from an expansive menu that includes several “Verduras,” seven types of “Carnes y Mariscos,” and three “Fruits and Vegetables” dishes. And don’t forget: You’ll also get to choose a dessert, so be sure to save room!

By Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

Chart House

By Sherri Balefsky | Online Editor

Still no reservations for Mother’s Day? No problem! We founded up our favorite places for both brunch and spa, but many more options for Mother’s Day dining in Miami exist. Since there’s never too many ways we can celebrate Mom this year, below are a few more places in Miami offering specials on Sunday, May 10.

1. Chart House {51 Chart House Drive, Coconut Grove; 305.856.9741}
As Coconut Grove’s favorite waterfront restaurant, you can’t really go wrong by booking your family’s Mother’s Day brunch here. Chart House’s sweeping salad bar, selection of fresh fish dishes such as the signature Macadamia Crusted Mahi or Snapper Hemmingway, and a decadent Hot Lava Chocolate Cake are all waiting to be enjoyed.

2. The Bazaar by José Andrés {1701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.455.2999}
Enjoy a specialty brunch menu featuring dishes such as Huevos a la Cubana with fried rice, tomato sauce, bacon, banana, and fried egg; SLS Eggs Benedicto with poached eggs, English muffin, hollandaise air, and Canadian bacon; and Torrijas, The French Toast-Spanish Connection featuring sweet soaked Spanish toast, mango, and Garden of Ian hone. Click here for full menu.

3. db Bistro Moderne {255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Downtown; 305.421.8800}
In addition to its regular menu, Chef Daniel Boulud’s downtown eatery is offering an elegant three-course prix-fixe menu featuring classic French-inspired dishes. Choice of main dishes include Maine Salmon with vidalia onion, sorrel, and pumpernickel; Omelette with ham, Gruyère cheese, wild mushrooms, and petite salade; or Local Dayboat Swordfish with potato causa, achiote, and tomato. And, of course, a full menu of decadent desserts will also be available.

Quattro

4. Quattro Gastronomia Italiana {1014 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 305.531.4833}
Lincoln Road’s go-to destination for fine Northern Italian cuisine is offering several specialty Mother’s Day items created by Executive Chefs Alex Protilo and Yoandry Garciga. Expect to find Maine Lobster Tartare with avocado, tomatoes, lemon dressing, and Tradition caviar; Risotto with Champagne, scallops, zucchini, and Tradition caviar; Seared Beef Filet Mignon wrapped in prosciutto with purple mashed potatoes, asparagus, and a truffle demi-glace sauce (pictured above); and a Coconut Millefoglie with a blackberry sorbet for dessert.

5. Piripi {Village of Merrick Park, 320 San Lorenzo Avenue, Coral Gables; 305.448.2423}
Celebrate Mom at the Village of Merrick Park with the shopping center’s newest restaurant. Enjoy a convivial journey across Spain with traditional dishes through Chef Najat Kanaache’s creative lens. In addition to homespun regional favorites, Chef Najat is offering all moms a complimentary dessert: Mil Hojas, Catalan cream with mango purée. Keep the day alive by taking Mom for a little post-brunch shopping spree. You know she deserves it.

6. Siena Tavern {404 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.534.5577}
For its first year open for Mother’s Day, Siena Tavern will be offering a special prix-fixe menu, which was inspired by Chef Fabio Viviani’s own mother. Start off with the Heirloom Tomato Salad with grilled asparagus tips, Gorgonzola dolce, Marcona almond vinaigrette, and white balsamic; next, enjoy the pan-seared halibut with artichoke caponata, pea shoots, sea salt, and grilled lemon. For dessert, indulge in the Meyer Lemon and Blueberry Bread Pudding with candied pistachio and toasted marshmallow. The specialty cocktail of the day will be the Spring Spritz, a combination of Grey Goose le Melon, aperol, pink grapefruit, and lemon.

bellmont spanish restaurant

7. Bellmont Spanish Restaurant {339 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 786.502.4684}
Not only will this Coral Gables gem be offering an expansive brunch featuring huevos rotos, eggs Benedict, goat cheese with langoustines, and more (all for just $39 per person), but the restaurant is featuring a special four-course prix-fixe menu featuring its unique “Cochinillo a la Leña” suckling pig (pictured above) roasted in a traditional wood-fired oven brought from Spain.

BM-7761

By Jacquelynn Powers Maurice | Contributing Writer 

“We work very hard to source our products both LOCALLY and from JAPAN.” 
— Executive Chef Jose Icardi, Katsuya by Starck

Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna. Jamón Ibérico. Baba Ghanoush. Champagne cocktails poolside. Welcome to the world of the SBE Hospitality Group in South Beach, where high-profile chefs have perfected the art of dining and lounging. Here in Miami, their top hotspots—The Bazaar by José Andrés, Katsuya by Starck, Cleo, Restaurant Michael Schwartz, and Hyde Beach—can be found in the stylish and sleek SLS, Redbury, and Raleigh hotels along Collins Avenue. While these venues focus on unique global cuisines and themes, they have a few factors in common: an emphasis on shared plates, chic clientele, and creative food and beverage programs.

Come along to a world unlike any other—the world of SBE.

The Bazaar By José Andrés

The Bazaar

James Beard award-winning Chef José Andrés launched his prestigious Bazaar restaurant at the SLS South Beach in 2012. The eatery is the first thing guests see as they walk through the hotel’s lobby, and it is impressive. The space spans two front and center dining rooms—one called Blanca, the other Roja— designed by renowned French designer Philippe Starck. Then there’s Bar Centro which overlooks the pool, an ideal place to try one of Chef Andrés’ signature Gin and Tonics or Caipirinhas. The food here reflects global influences with an emphasis on Spanish-style cuisine.

“Everything starts with Chef José Andrés’ culture of food and eating,” explains Jimmy Pumarol, general manager of The Bazaar. The chef’s debut restaurant pays homage to his Spanish heritage and dabbles in global flavors, while his subsequent eateries have focused more specifically on the cuisines of Peru, Latin America, Mexico, and Japan. “The Bazaar encases all of José’s different experiences in one restaurant,” Pumarol continues. “On our menu, you will find Sashimi and Siu Mai (pork dumplings). There are influences from Asia, Cuba, and the Caribbean. But the roots are in Spain.”

Scan the menu and you will discover two distinct sections. The first is described as “Miami Meets the World,” clearly international in scope, evoking Singaporean flavors with Japanese influences. Think Siu Mai with pork, shrimp, and peanuts; Bao con Lechon with pork belly; Liquid Mango Nigiri with sea urchin and shiso; and Baby Japanese Peaches with Burrata, hazelnuts, and arugula.

bone marrow 3

The second aspect of the menu is more of what you might expect from Chef Andrés, titled, “Spain, Yesterday and Today.” Throwback dishes meet contemporary cuisine with items like Patatas Bravas with spicy tomato sauce; Sea Urchin with butter, black pepper, and toasted bread; and José’s Tacos with caviar and Jamón Ibérico.

And despite some unpredictable culinary techniques—items prepared using liquid nitrogen, for example—this is not molecular gastronomy. “José prefers to call it creative,” Pumarol asserts. “He deconstructs different elements of traditional cuisine, and makes it easy for people to understand.” With such an expansive menu—there are 65 dishes in total—The Bazaar allows groups to sample many flavors and specialties, from Smoked Oysters with apple mignonette to Cuban Coffee-Rubbed Churrasco with passionfruit. (Find the recipe here!)

Indeed, this is a food lover’s paradise. Fans can catch some of the prep action from The Bazaar’s three open kitchens, and most of the servers are gourmands as well, many with kitchen experience. “You’re being taken care of by professionals who love food, wine, and cocktails,” says Pumarol. “They can read the type of experience you want to have at The Bazaar—whether you are here on business, with your family, or celebrating with friends.”

Katsuya by Starck

Katsuya

The Katsuya experience begins once you walk past the SLS South Beach lobby and through the glass doors on your left. Seven nights a week, hostesses and servers cheerfully yell out, “Irasshaimase!”—a Japanese welcome. Eye-catching photographs adorn the walls featuring a pair of luscious red lips, eyes peering over the sushi bar, and a woman in traditional Japanese dress. Designed by Philippe Starck, the main dining room is modern and minimalist. A resident art program in the upstairs Dragon Lounge displays local artists’ paintings for six-month spans.

Yet, the beautiful dishes flowing from the open kitchen and sushi bar, created by Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi, are the main attractions. Uechi began his eponymous restaurant in Los Angeles, and has since expanded Katsuya restaurants to Las Vegas, South Beach, and, soon, the Bahamas in the new Baha Mar project.

Uechi is most known for his playful adaptations of Japanese cuisine. Popular menu items include Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño, Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, Baked Crab Hand Rolls, Creamy Rock Shrimp, and Whitefish Sashimi with Crispy Onion. Diners also crave the meat, seafood, and vegetables cooked over the robata grill, which heats up to 1,000 degrees for a perfect sear every time.

Sashimi Sampler_lo res1

Executive Chef Jose Icardi, originally from Argentina, has been at the helm of this location ever since the 140-seat Katsuya debuted in Miami in June 2012. “We work very hard to source our products both locally and from Japan,” Icardi says. “Cost is not an issue. We try to give the guests the best quality. The majority of the fish comes from Japan, while the snapper, pompano, crab, and razor clams are all sourced locally.” The 10-ounce Wagyu Rib-Eye is another savory specialty, served with maitake mushrooms and truffle butter.

Of course, sushi is the cornerstone of the Katsuya menu. Seafood-savvy guests prefer to perch along the sushi bar where they can interact directly with the chefs. “We display the fish so people can see what they want to order,” Icardi explains. “No one else has a seafood presentation at a sushi bar like this in Miami.”

If cocktailing is more your thing, head upstairs to the Dragon Lounge where homemade libations are crafted with Japanese ingredients such as passionfruit, yuzu, pickled ginger, and lychees. It’s no surprise that sake is a popular drink among well-heeled guests.

Cleo

group2 (1 of 1) copy

Mediterranean restaurants were once as scarce as snowballs in Miami. Helping to fill that void, Cleo recently debuted at the Redbury Hotel. Created by Chef Danny Elmaleh, the charming concept—with outposts in Los Angeles and Las Vegas—focuses on shared plates, mezzes, flatbreads, tagines, and grilled meats, plus a multitude of vegetarian-friendly options.

The ambience is instantly warm and welcoming. The two-level, 250-seat restaurant is festooned with candles, hanging chandeliers, decorative plates on the wall, and, of course, a floor-to-ceiling portrait of Cleopatra. “The décor is rustic and cozy,” says Diedre Burks, Cleo’s general manager. “The aroma of different herbs, spices, and garlic welcomes you.”

Exotic and traditional tapas-style plates evoke a Mediterranean influence, and include Lamb Kebabs, Grilled Octopus, Falafel, and Lamb Shawarma. Flatbreads are baked onsite with toppings like mushrooms, Gruyère cheese, artichokes, clams, and kale. Guests lust after the Brussels Sprouts, dressed with capers, parsley, almonds, and red wine vinaigrette.

Yet, the beautiful dishes flowing from the open kitchen and sushi bar, created by Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi, are the main attractions. Uechi began his eponymous restaurant in Los Angeles, and has since expanded Katsuya restaurants to Las Vegas, South Beach, and, soon, the Bahamas in the new Baha Mar project.

Uechi is most known for his playful adaptations of Japanese cuisine. Popular menu items include Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño, Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, Baked Crab Hand Rolls, Creamy Rock Shrimp, and Whitefish Sashimi with Crispy Onion. Diners also crave the meat, seafood, and vegetables cooked over the robata grill, which heats up to 1,000 degrees for a perfect sear every time.

Executive Chef Jose Icardi, originally from Argentina, has been at the helm of this location ever since the 140-seat Katsuya debuted in Miami in June 2012. “We work very hard to source our products both locally and from Japan,” Icardi says. “Cost is not an issue. We try to give the guests the best quality. The majority of the fish comes from Japan, while the snapper, pompano, crab, and razor clams are all sourced locally.” The 10-ounce Wagyu Rib-Eye is another savory specialty, served with maitake mushrooms and truffle butter.

Of course, sushi is the cornerstone of the Katsuya menu. Seafood-savvy guests prefer to perch along the sushi bar where they can interact directly with the chefs. “We display the fish so people can see what they want to order,” Icardi explains. “No one else has a seafood presentation at a sushi bar like this in Miami.”

If cocktailing is more your thing, head upstairs to the Dragon Lounge where homemade libations are crafted with Japanese ingredients such as passionfruit, yuzu, pickled ginger, and lychees. It’s no surprise that sake is a popular drink among well-heeled guests.

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Enhance your evening with freshly muddled cocktails, many with a Mediterranean influence. The signature drink is the Cleo Colada, made with Ciroc coconut vodka, pineapple juice, fresh lime, and egg white. Bring the party to the popular front patio, or the rooftop bar, which will debut this spring with cocktails and light bites. And put Cleo on your radar for your next trip to the Bahamas, as Elmaleh will bring his award-winning cuisine to Baha Mar in spring 2015.

Another must see? The nightly Plate Break ceremony. Burks explains: “Once a night we do a ‘plate break,’ which is an old Greek tradition. We pick one person to break a plate, and then walk next to the Cleopatra portrait and turn the music off. We all clap, clap, clap, and scream out ‘Opa!’ The whole room is energized. Now, guests are starting to request the honor of breaking the plate.”

Restaurant Michael Schwartz

RMS Octopus copy

For a seasonal dining experience on South Beach, guests gather at Restaurant Michael Schwartz in the iconic Raleigh South Beach. Occupying the dazzling west deck of the hotel’s baroque pool, the James Beard award-winning chef’s beachside restaurant serves thoughtfully sourced American cuisine at lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch.

Dining on the exotic pool deck beneath a canopy of trees and twinkling lights, guests are transported to a place far from the bustle of everyday life. Start your night with a craft cocktail like the Oaxacan, made with Bombay Sapphire gin, Sombra mezcal, fresh pineapple, jalapeño, agave, and a guajillo salt rim. The white bar’s new tap also rotates draft beers from local breweries.

The menu highlights the beauty and simplicity of fresh ingredients from local fishermen, farmers, ranchers, and artisans. Snack on Crispy Hominy with chile and lime, vibrant Charred Shishito Peppers, or Wahoo Ceviche with papaya, red onion, avocado, chiles, citrus, and cilantro. Entrées include Grilled Octopus with marguez, piquillo peppers, pistachios, red onion, plumped dates, and chermoula vinaigrette; Pan-Roasted Half Poulet Rouge Chicken with farro, roasted corn, pepper, and jus; and Grilled Swordfish with saffron-farro risotto, pea shoots, and paprika-pickled chickpeas.

Hyde Beach

“Our main goal is hospitality. Every customer needs to be treated the same whether they have FIVE BUCKS in their pocket or $10,000.”
— General Manager Dimitri Mitropoulos, Hyde Beach

Picture this: women in bikinis, men spraying Champagne, and a pool packed with merrymakers, all set to the beat of the hottest DJs in the world. This is the scene at Hyde Beach, the poolside beach club at the SLS Hotel. The experience features pool and beach access, a charming garden area, and evening bottle service. Open to the public seven days a week, Hyde Beach transitions to a night club on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Hyde Bar lo res

“We consider ourselves high-energy,” notes Dimitri Mitropoulos, Hyde Beach’s general manager. “Saturday is one amazing pool party. We want you to start dancing. We want you to jump into the pool.” With no set end time, pool parties can last all night.

For a relaxed lunch experience, visit the garden for sophisticated snacks by José Andrés, like King Crab Legs, Snapper Ceviche, and refreshing Tzatziki, Watermelon, and Tomato Salad.

“Our main goal is hospitality,” says Mitropoulos. “Every customer needs to be treated the same whether they have five bucks in their pocket or $10,000. We want our clients having fun—and coming back.”

By Erin Lavan | Associate Publisher

Sometimes, it’s best to leave the stress and fuss of holiday hosting and cooking to the professionals. Everyone needs a year off from time to time! Let one of Miami’s fine restaurants host you and yours for Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve dinners and parties, or New Year’s Day affairs.

Christmas Events

Traditional Mexican at Porfirio’s
Porfirio’s Restaurant is serving a prix-fixe traditional Mexican menu on Christmas Eve with a choice of one appetizer, a first course, a main course, and dessert for $65.

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Dinner at db Bistro Moderne
From 6-10pm on Christmas Eve, db Bistro Executive Chef Jason Pringle will serve an á la carte menu of seasonal specials like Roasted Prime Rib and Nantucket Bay Scallops. What’s for dessert? A Classic Bûche de Noël.

Dinner at Trapiche Room
On Christmas Eve, join Trapiche from 6-10:30pm for an exquisite holiday dinner for $120 per person.

Classic Spanish Holiday Treats at Bellmónt
Bellmónt is sharing the Spanish holiday love this year on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Think traditional treats and a glass of Spanish cider, as is tradition in Spanish households. $150 per person, and $60 per child.

You can also enjoy Bellmónt’s signature “Cochinilla a la Leña” either at the restaurant or ordered for your own home with 12 hours notice. This whole suckling pig is roasted in a Spain-imported wood-fired oven.

Prix-Fixe Five Ways at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach
At any one of the Fontainebleau’s five concepts– Scarpetta, Hakkasan, Michael Mina 74, StripSteak by Michael Mina, and Vida–enjoy a special prix-fixe menu to celebrate the Christmas holiday. Visit the website for more info.

Christmas Fare at The Setai
On Christmas Eve, The Setai will offer two Christmas Eve menus (one vegetarian menu) for $110 per person with offerings such as Champs-Elysées Soup Bay Scallops with roasted morel-herb butter; Fish Fumet with Noilly Prat; Dover Sole Poached with garden nage and lemon thyme; Polenta Crispy Poached Egg with a fricassee of mushrooms and Burgundy truffle,  and La Buche De Noel Chestnut and Black Currant and Hazelnut Rum with chestnut ice cream.

On Christmas Day, The Setai will serve a holiday buffet to the tune of a modern jazz trip from 11:30am-3:30pm for $95 per person. Dig into dishes like ham, leg of lamb, Alaskan king crab legs, and desserts aplenty.

Throw a Pig Roast
If you’re hosting a Christmas dinner and haven’t yet figured out your main course, we have excellent news for you. Through December 24, you can order a whole-roasted six-pound suckling pig from Pubbelly Chef Jose Mendin. This Puerto Rican tradition is sure to floor all your guests. It serves five to seven people and comes with mofongo, tostones, arooz mamposteao, and a six-pack of Medalla with Pubbelly sauces. Place your order soon as a 48-hour pre-order is required. The pig is priced at $250 plus tax and service. Email info@pubbelly.com to order.

Siena Tavern_Holiday_Miami

Holiday Tasting Menu at Siena Tavern 
Join Siena Tavern for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day four-course dinners from 6-11pm for $85 per person, and $35 for wine pairings. The courses will include an antipasti of Octopus Carpaccio, a choice of  Pasti, an entrée of Branzino or Herb-Crusted Bone-In Prime Rib, and Spiced Brioche Bread Pudding for dessert.

Holiday Menu at Seasalt and Pepper
On Christmas Day, Seasalt and Pepper will serve a holiday menu from noon-11pm.

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Lobster at Semilla
For $59 from December 24-30, enjoy a lobster menu at Semilla Eatery and Bar. The dinner will include a lobster appetizer (like the Lobster Causa Croquettes with tartar sauce), an entrée (like the Lobster and Truffle Risotto), and a dessert.

New Year’s Eve Events

Toast to 2015 at The Bazaar by José Andrés
The Bazaar menu blends Andrés’ Spanish heritage and personal ingenuity with influences from the local Latin culinary tradition. The $175 per person menu will feature dishes like Cotton Candy Foie Gras and Tuna Ceviche. The first seating is at 6pm, and the second is at 9pm. Make your reservation online.

Sushi and Robata at Katsuya
Enjoy Katsuya Chef Uechi’s signature sushi and robata with new touches inspired by Miami’s local Latin flavor this New Year’s Eve. The first seating is at 6pm, and the second is at 9pm. The $145 per person menu will be served family-style and feature courses like Wagyu Carpaccio, Yakimon Whole Fish, and the Chef’s sushi selection. Make your reservation online.

NYE 2015 Vintro Hotel

A Five-Course Dinner at Vintro Kitchen
At 9pm, enjoy a five-course dinner at Vintro Kitchen with bottomless red, white, and rosé wines and Prosecco for $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Afterwards, enjoy a party in the Scorpion Bar.

Party at Casa Juancho
Casa Juancho‘s doors open at 8pm. A special prix-fixe menu will be available. Make reservations by calling 303.642.2452.

Wine Pairing Dinner at Tamarina
This special evening at Tamarina will be divided into two seatings. The first seating at 7pm will feature the fixed menu for $95 or $130 with expertly paired wines of Vermentino, Macon-Villages, Tempranillo, Riesling, and Limoncello.

The second seating at 9pm will also feature the fixed menu for $95 or $150 with the paired wines and a New Year’s Eve after party with an open bar package that includes Russian Standard vodka, Beefeater gin, 10 Cane rum, 4 Rouses bourbon, Olmeca tequila, Gavi di Gavi white wine, Corvina red wine, Sommariva Prosecco, domestic and imported beers, soft drinks, coffee, and tea.

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Something Different at Uvaggio
For $250 per person, Uvaggio Wine Bar brings you the best Champagnes from France and the US, oysters, caviar, crab, and so much more. Call to reserve your spot: 305.448.2400.

NYE 2014 Menu A fish called avalon

Five Courses at A Fish Called Avalon
For $250 per person, enjoy five courses and Laurent Perrier Champagne split bottle at A Fish Called Avalon. Mediterranean Meze, Lobster Thermidor, and Latin-Caribbean music, oh my!

A Special Menu at Tuyo
Tuyo‘s first seating is at 6pm, and the second is at 9pm. Call 305.237.3200 for more information.

Two Dinners or the Lounge at db Bistro Moderne
For the earlybirds, db Bistro will serve dinner at 5:30pm for $75 per person. Courses include dishes like Oyster Velouté, Black Truffle Risotto, Maple-Glazed Duck, and Coconut and White Chocolate Cake. There will be a five-course Gala Dinner at 9pm with complimentary Champagne for $195 per person wherein you can dine on Tuna Carpaccio, Black Truffle Ravioli, and more.

Or, head to the cover-free lounge anytime between 5pm-3am for a $50 prix-fixe raw bar and charcuterie meal (until 10pm), or an á la carte menu, bottle service, and a live DJ.

An All-Out Buffet at Trapiche Room
At the JW Marriot’s fine-dining restaurant, between 7:30pm-1am, enjoy a buffet and live entertainment.

Classic Spanish Holiday Treats at Bellmónt
Bellmónt is sharing the Spanish holiday love this year on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Think traditional treats and a glass of Spanish cider, as is tradition in Spanish households. $150 per person, and $60 per child.

Five Dinners at the Fontaniebleau
The iconic Fontainebleau is home to Scarpetta, Hakkasan, Michael Mina 74 and StripSteak by Michael Mina, and this New Year’s Eve, they will each prepare especially lavish and delicious four and five-course menus to help ring in the New Year. Visit the website for more information.

Ring in 2015 at The Setai
The New Year will mark The Setai, Miami Beach’s 10 Year Anniversary. They’re commemorating this milestone with a New Year’s Eve celebration dinner for $625 per adult. The menu will feature dishes like Lobster-Poached Maine Lobster with lemon potato mousse, truffle vinaigrette, and fresh Burgundy truffles; and Wagyu Beef Filet Mignon Rossini roasted with red wine-braised onions and foie gras.

On January 1, return for a New Year’s-themed buffet, SBS Flamenco, and a Mediterranean jazz trio from 11:30am-3:30pm for $110 per person. The buffet will include items from the rotisserie, an extensive array of seafood, Mediterranean specialties, and a dessert buffet. Passed hangover drinks with raw egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and black pepper will be offered as well.

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Prix-Fixe at Siena Tavern
Siena Tavern‘s first seating will be from 6-7:30pm for $195 per person for a four-course menu. The second seating will be from 9-10:30 pm for $295 per person for a five-course menu. A cocktail package for bar seating is also available.

On New Year’s Day, Siena Tavern will host a brunch from 11am-4pm.

Fontainebleau {4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.538.2000}

Fontainebleau is a beacon of Miami glamour for many reasons, one of them

The Fontainebleau

The Fontainebleau

being the amount of fine-dining options under one roof. Dive into the bold Asian flavors at Hakkasan; have a tête-à-tête over French cuisine at La Côte; indulge in the rich Italian cooking at Scarpetta; and finally, top off your night at Fontainebleau’s latest venture, Michael Mina 74, part restaurant and part ultra-lounge set inside one of the hotel’s former clubs. fontainebleau.com

Avalon Hotel {700 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305.538.0133}

Located on one of Ocean Drive’s busiest blocks, the Avalon Hotel is an icon of Art Deco glory. It also happens to house one of South Beach’s most iconic

The Avalon

The Avalon

restaurants, A Fish Called Avalon, which epitomizes everything you’d ever want from a dining experience in Miami. avalonhotel.com

JW Marriott {255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami; 305.421.8600}

The JW Marriott has a secret: Drakes. This lounge has the feel of a private club, where only Miami’s most powerful and elite congregate, but it’s every bit as inviting as you’d expect for a restaurant at the Marriott. marriott.com

SLS Hotel South Beach {1701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.674.1701}

Such an emphasis was placed on dining at the SLS that the hotel forewent a lobby, choosing instead to greet guests with the sumptuous smells of small plates from the kitchen of The Bazaar by José Andrés. Beyond that, the doors to Katsuya lead to one of the most tantalizing sushi experiences ever to hit your taste buds. sbe.com

The Catalina Hotel and Beach Club {1732 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.674.1160}

Whether you’ve headed to Maxine’s for a post-party burger or you’re just starting out your night with drink specials and Korean barbecue at Fung Ku, The Catalina never fails to provide a fabulous ambience and great food. Just remember: What happens at The Catalina, stays at The Catalina. catalinahotel.com

The Setai {2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.520.6000}

The Setai

The Setai

An air of mystery may surround The Setai upon first inspection, but one bite into any dish from The Grill or The Restaurant and you’ll realize quickly that these establishments are so grand, they need no name to be recognized. thesetaihotel.com

The Four Seasons {1435 Brickell Avenue, Miami; 305.358.3535}

Whether you come for happy hour on EDGE Steak & Bar’s rooftop terrace, or you’re slicing into a juicy cut of meat in the restaurant’s bustling indoor dining area, there’s no doubt that EDGE is one of the best establishments to have happened to Brickell Avenue. fourseasons.com

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne {1 Lincoln Road, Miami; 786.276.4000}

One need not go to Mexico for an authentic Mexican dining experience. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne houses Cantina Beach, an intimate outdoor oasis where you can dine under a breezy tiki hut and pair your meal with the perfect tequila as recommended by the restaurant’s tequilier. ritzcarlton.com

Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach {101 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305.938.4600}

No time spent in Miami is complete without a solid meal at a Cuban establishment; with a vibrant ambience, an extensive cocktail and food menu, and a prime location on Ocean, De Rodriguez at the Hilton Bentley is one you must try. hilton.com

The Essex Hotel {1001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.534.2700}

The Essex House is a boutique hotel in Miami Beach done right, especially when it comes to dining at Zen Sai, the Asian fusion grill located within its Art Deco walls. Whether sipping on sake or enjoying any of the restaurant’s delectable seafood dishes, a meal at Zen Sai is everything right about Asian cuisine. essexhotel.com

The Ritz-Carlton South Beach

There are myriad restaurants facing the ocean, but surprisingly none with an actual ocean view. DiLido at The Ritz-Carlton is the only fine dining establishment on Collins to boast this view, which is comparable only to the restaurant’s perfectly crafted menu. ritzcarlton.com

The Biltmore {1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables; 858.311.6903}

Two concepts anchor the world-class Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables: Palme d’Or and Fontana. At Palme d’Or, an upscale ambience welcomes guests both

The Biltmore

The Biltmore

local and distant, serving Chef Gregory Pugin’s Michelin-starred French cuisine that “has a twist of modernity to it.” At Fontana, the hotel’s courtyard restaurant, Chef Beppe Galazzi dazzles with local and farm-fresh ingredients, rounding out an Italian-inspired menu for any meal. We love Palme d’Or’s flaky Chilean Sea Bass, and Fontana’s potato-ricotta Gnocchi. biltmorehotel.com

The Conrad {1395 Brickell Avenue, Miami; 305.503.6500}

Located within the Conrad Hotel, Atrio is cozy and intimate, save for the grandiose view of Miami’s skyline. The choice cuisine is locally-sourced and sustainable, from the produce to the fish, and the option of sitting within the restaurant’s wine room for a private tasting with friends makes this a definite Magic City gem. conradhotels3.hilton.com