UPDATE: Voting for Day 7 is now closed. Check MiamiHerald.com/restaurants Thursday at 8 a.m. to vote in the next round.
Once there were 64. Now only 32 restaurants remain standing in our Miami Herald Munch Madness.
You voted for your favorite Miami restaurants to help cut the field in half. Now, these restaurants are vying for the honor of reaching the Sweet Sixteen.
Come back to MiamiHerald.com/restaurants each day, vote for your favorite, and help them move through the bracket until you crown the Munch Madness champion on April 4.
Today, our World Cuisine Region returns to action. (That’s the top right quadrant if you downloaded the bracket.) Voting closes Wednesday, March 22 at 8 p.m.
(1) KYU vs. (9) Bombay Darbar
Chef Michael Lewis made this a James Beard Best New Restaurant nominee with the help of a fall-apart smoked brisket that might be the best in Miami, though other wood-fired dishes such as cauliflower and mushroom are worth an altar all their own. Bombay Darbar has been serving some of South Florida’s most spot-on Indian cuisine, and doing so in a upscale, lovely Coconut Grove setting with excellent service.
(5) Due Baci vs. (13) Perricone’s
The founders of Rosinella branched out for this more upscale Roman cuisine at Due Baci, where family is still in the kitchen churning out marvelous dishes such as cacio e pepe. Perricone’s was way ahead of the curve when it opened 20 years ago in Brickell, and it remains packed every day despite a host of other dining options for the simple reason that it still nails good food in a lush indoor-outdoor setting that transports you.
(6) Macchialina vs. (3) NaiYaRa
Macchialina unleashes creativity in every Italian-inspired small plate, from meatballs to write home to Mama about to a tiramisu topped with coffee granita that is as unique and delicious as any you will have in Miami. Every dish that comes out of NaiYaRa’s kitchen is a bright, flavorful and loving ode to Thai street food, turned up with Chef Bee’s skill with ingredients, in a lively South Beach setting.
(10) Lucali vs. (2) MC Kitchen
You’ll be hard pressed to find better pizza in Miami than Lucali’s, tucked inside Sunset Harbour, making pies that are doughy inside, perfectly charred outside and with such fresh, simple toppings (just basil and fresh mozz is fine by me) you might call it farm-to-table pizza that’s absolutely worth an expensive-for-pizza price. At MC Kitchen, Chef Dena Marino goes beyond classic Italian, turning seasonal ingredients, fresh pastas and modern cooking techniques into elegant, thoughtful cuisine that is as comforting as it is clearly skilled (thinking of the pear, four-cheese and truffle fiocchi), not to mention boasting the largest collection of Dogfish Head craft beer in South Florida.