Restaurant News & Reviews

These are the best reviewed restaurants of 2017 — so far

The fish stew at Fi'lia is one dish that placed it among the Miami Herald's best reviewed restaurants of 2017.
The fish stew at Fi'lia is one dish that placed it among the Miami Herald's best reviewed restaurants of 2017. Handout

“Where’s the best place to eat in Miami?”

Our four Miami Herald food critics hear this question from diners more often than any other.

So we’ve created a list of the Herald’s top 10 best reviewed restaurants of 2017 — so far. The restaurants are listed by star rating, alphabetically.

We use a 4-star system: 1 (Poor) 1 1/2 (Fair) 2 (OK) 2 1/2 (Good) 3 (Very Good) 3 1/2 (Excellent) 4 (Exceptional)

This is a running list so it could change weekly with our Big Review.

What else could affect the list? If a chef leaves. If the menu changes. A bad health inspection report, which you can check out on our continually updated Dining Adviser at www.dine.miami.com.

You can download the Dining Adviser as an app on your phone’s home screen for quick reference to all our reviews and state inspection reports.

RELATED: See “dirty dining” inspection reports in our Dining Adviser

New to the list this week: Brickell's excellent La Petite Maison with a 3 1/2 star rating. It bumps out the earliest-reviewed restaurant, the still-great 1111 Peruvian Bistro.

1/2 (Excellent)

Fi’lia

corn agnolotti with lobster
Corn agnolotti with lobster at Fi’lia

“If you think farm-to-table restaurant cooking is a relatively new concept, think again. Michael Schwartz, who helped bring to Miami an emphasis on seasonal local ingredients 10 years ago with the opening of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, knows this from his days as a young cook watching the nonnas make pasta in Philadelphia. You don’t have to be a fan of “Tuscan Kitchen” to know that Italian fare is by its very nature farm-to-table, and that synchronicity is on display at Fi’lia, the newest gem in Schwartz’s jewel box…. It’s a place for palates both adventurous and risk-averse.” — Kendall Hamersly

1300 S. Miami Ave., Miami (in the SLS Hotel)

FULL REVIEW: He watched the ‘nonnas’ cook, and that inspired this culinary salute to Italy

Sushi Garage

Fried Rice Stone Pot_1
Fried rice stone pot at Sushi Garage

“When partners Jonas Millan and chef Sunny Oh first set foot into the garage, they saw a car being serviced on a lift in the very space that would become Sushi Garage’s chic-minimalistic dining room. Now … behind a sleek raw bar, a panel of experts slices ultra-fresh fish…. The food here is quite traditional Japanese, with Chef Sunny’s creative tweaks here and there.” — KH

1784 West Ave., Miami Beach

FULL REVIEW: These guys put a sushi restaurants in a garage — and that’s a good thing

La Petite Maison

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Warm prawns with Basil at La Petite Maison

“Banish whatever stereotypes of snooty French restaurants you may have. La Petite Maison may look like a highfaluting dandy — but, on the contrary, this Brickell gem is down-to-earth, especially when it comes to the “clean” cooking that defines it.” — Victoria Pesce Elliott

1300 Brickell Bay Drive, Miami

FULL REVIEW: La Petite Maison is a grand example of clean French cooking

(Very Good)

Bazaar Mar

Bazaar Mar Caifornia Funnel Cake
Bazaar Mar Caifornia Funnel Cake

Bazaar Mar is that mind-bending culinary playground brought to life inside the base of the SLS luxury hotel in Brickell, where famed Spanish-American chef José Andrés shape-shifts food in a sea-inspired, psychedelic dining room designed by Philippe Starck. Food — most of it plucked from oceans around the world — is emulsified, squeezed, squirted, cured, chilled and mixed with chemical compounds until it resembles something swiped from another planet. Flavor is turned into powder, gels and foam, called “air” here. Even the margaritas come topped with ethereal puffs of salt and tequila. Traditionalists, however, are in for a jolt…” — JMF

1300 S. Miami Ave., Miami (in the SLS Hotel)

FULL REVIEW: Eating at this Brickell restaurant is a ‘mind-bending culinary playground’

Boho

Boho_SousVideLamb
Sous vide lamb at Boho

“This Mediterranean spot is at once casual and easy but with an authentic sense of hospitality that is increasingly rare in our growing metropolis. Boho lives up to its name with its gypsy chic décor of mismatched iron and wood chairs, swaths of verdant botanical wallpaper, well-worn wooden planked floor and area rugs that look as though they came from Yia Yia’s attic. The food is so elemental, so appealing, so vibrant and fresh. The service equally so.” — Victoria Pesce Elliott

3433 Main Hwy, Miami

FULL REVIEW: Boho’s Mediterranean cuisine makes another Coconut Grove winner

Cibo Wine Bar

CiboEggplant
Baked eggplant at Cibo

“As far as they are concerned at Cibo Wine Bar, the old adage that you can’t be all things to all people is nonsense. This place has it all…. The menu is as wide as the range of experiences, with nearly 30 pasta dishes and more than 15 pizzas along with multiple starters and meat and fish entrees…. Pastas are the true signatures here. Lobster ravioli is utterly lush, the tender pillows stuffed with ample meat and afloat in a bechamel lobster cream sauce enlivened with lemon.” — KH

200 S. Pointe Dr., South Beach

FULL REVIEW: A Very good, versatile restaurant with excellent wine

El Carajo

Carajo paella-miami
Seafood paella at El Carajo

El Carajo, the bakery/wine shop/tapaceria embedded in a Mobil station on South Dixie Highway, opened in 2011, and six years in, it’s still a corner of Miami serendipity beloved by regulars and discovered by newcomers. Its passion for quality extends from the impressive and fair-priced (and 24-hour) wine shop and aromatic bakery up front to the cramped but cozy-in-a-good-way dining room in the back….. Communal tables inspire new friendships, struck over fried sardines, rich cod fritters and robust red wines. Even the tightly packed individual dining tables (52 seats in all) foment friendliness.” — KH

2465 SW 17th Ave., Miami

FULL REVIEW: Pump gas, buy wine and enjoy some of Miami’s best Spanish cuisine

Forte dei Marmi

Forte tagliolini
Housemade tagliolini at Forte dei Marmi

“Every detail from the namesake marble to the waiter’s crisp khaki uniforms to the cascading bursts of pink bougainvillea at the arched entryway adds to the always-summer allure…. As you might expect, seafood is what’s highlighted here. Most of it is imported from Portugal…. For those who can afford it, there is plenty to recommend this Italian summer fling all year round.” — VPE

150 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach

FULL REVIEW: ‘Elegant and understated’ is a Miami rarity. So is this Italian cuisine

Upland Miami

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Wood-fired prawns at Upland Miami

“If you value attentive, smart service in a sophisticated, casual setting with some reliable, subtle dishes, then we’ll repeat the suggestion and send you to Miami Beach’s southernmost point. There are no stunning head-snappers here, but as a neighborhood comfort spot, Upland Miami has become a major asset for the South of Fifth district since opening one block from the beach in late November…. There is a stronger emphasis on fish in Upland’s Miami version. As starters, the drunken snapper marinated in tequila, cilantro and tart key lime, and the tuna tartare, which relies on crunch from a base of puffed wild rice, are respectable, but nothing to rave about.” — JMF

49 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

FULL REVIEW: Upland in South Beach spins ‘culinary fantasy’

Via Emilia 9

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Freshmade tortellini at Via Emilia 9

“Chef Wendy Cacciatori left his restaurants in the Emilia Romagna region in northern Italy for his family to run, and he moved to South Beach with his wife about two years ago to open Via Emilia 9. His idea was as simple as it was romantic: He would only create dishes you could eat while traveling the via Emilia, an ancient road that runs through some of the most iconic food cities in Italy, including Parma, Modena and Bologna. The menu plays to Cacciatori’s strength: fresh-made pasta. More than a dozen different pasta dishes are offered in the primi section of the menu, where Cacciatori shows off varying sauces and fillings to highlight his delicately crafted pasta.” — Carlos Frías

1120 15th St., Miami Beach

FULL REVIEW: No one listened when he said to open a regional Italian spot. So he did it himself.

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