Spanish restaurants. Cuban restaurants. French restaurants. Italian restaurants. South African – yes, South African – restaurants. Miami has them all – and keeps adding more. Here are seven of our top new Miami restaurants of 2017:
Estefan Kitchen is the latest from superstar duo Gloria and Emilio Estefan. It should come as no surprise that their fine-dining Cuban restaurant entertains you while you eat. Go any day of the week and pair your Lechón Asado with a live pianist, flamenco dancers, a sultry lounge singer or, on Fridays, outdoor concerts in Palm Court.
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140 Northeast 39th Street, Suite 133, Miami; 786-843-3880; estefankitchen.com.
At Tatel in the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, the design rivals the delicious Spanish dishes. Saunter over to the bar and look up: A sculptural metal chandelier from Studio Gronda with 200-plus bronze tubes and twinkling LED lights hangs from the double-height cylindrical ceiling, sparkling over a free-standing bar that shimmers with different metallics.
1669 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305-604-0523; tatelrestaurants.com/miami.
Zucca, a copper-accented beauty in the historic Hotel St. Michel in Coral Gables, crafts frosty drinks that speak to the restaurant’s Italian roots and its South Florida setting. Perfect for Miami’s heat, the slushy Aperol Frizz fuses Italian Aperol, crisp sauvignon blanc, tart passion fruit and playful bubbles in a large wine glass, topping it with a slice of Florida grapefruit.
162 Alcazar Avenue, Coral Gables; 786-580-3731; zuccamiami.com.
Big Easy Winebar & Grill
South African food is the star at Big Easy Winebar and Grill, a Brickell City Centre must-visit that’s a partnership between renowned golfer Ernie Els and Miami’s Grove Bay Hospitality Group. The Big Easy Braai is a mixed-grill of South African sausage, top sirloin, double-cut lamb chops and Nigerian prawns. Braai is an Afrikaan word that describes a traditional barbecue where “there are no rules,” executive chef Maryna Frederiksen said. “Fishermen bring fish, farmers bring meat and vegetables, and so on.”
701 South Miami Avenue, Suite 339a, Miami; 786-814-5955; bigeasy.miami.
Charcoal Garden Bar and Grill
Built entirely out of shipping containers — with Josper live-fire cooking and 18 housemade sauces for grilled vegetables, meats and seafood — Charcoal is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered within the Wynwood Yard. Try the Gravlax, slices of 36-hour, house-cured Prince Edward Island salmon on rye toast with pickled onion and Swedish dill-mustard sauce.
82 Northwest 29th Street, Miami; 786-646-2998; charcoalmiami.com.
Lobster Bar Sea Grille
New to the old China Grill space at Fifth Street and Washington Avenue, this South Beach seafood stunner serves fish as fresh as can be. Parent company Buckhead Life Restaurant Group has its own boutique seafood company — ensuring a 48-hour sea-to-table window from the time fish is caught off the coast of Spain, Greece and Iceland to being served on your plate at Lobster Bar Sea Grille.
404 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 305-377-2675; lobsterbarseagrillemiami.com.
La Petite Maison
First Arjun Waney brought us Japanese-leaning Zuma, and then Peruvian-centric Coya. Now the globetrotting restaurateur turns to French food at La Petite Maison. Its Michelin-starred chef, Patron Raphael Duntoye, recommends ordering the Poulet. “It’s chicken roasted the old-fashioned way and stuffed with foie gras and bread. The bread soaks up the juice from the chicken and the foie gras, and the foie gras melts while it’s cooking. That’s a lot of TLC.”
1300 Brickell Bay Drive, Miami; 305-403-9133; lpmlondon.co.uk.