UPDATE: Voting for Day 11 is now closed. Check MiamiHerald.com/restaurants Wednesday at 8 a.m. to vote in the next round.
We’ve made it to the Sweet Sixteen! These restaurants have survived two rounds of vigorous voting to remain in our Miami Herald Munch Madness tournament.
Now, they’re vying for the honor of reaching the Elite Eight. They’re so close to victory, they can taste it.
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Come back to MiamiHerald.com/restaurants Monday through Friday, vote for your favorite, and help them move through the bracket until you crown the Munch Madness champion on April 4.
Today, our Chef-Driven Region takes its turn in Round 3. (That’s the top right quadrant if you downloaded the bracket.) Voting closes Tuesday, March 28 at 8 p.m.
(1) KYU vs. (5) Due Baci
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. 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.
(3) NaiYaRa vs. (2) MC Kitchen
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. 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.