Food & Drink

New Miami restaurants look to erase memories of slow summer business

Kung pao chicken wings: The fiery food will be on the menu at Talde restaurant, opening soon in the Thompson Hotel in Miami Beach.
Kung pao chicken wings: The fiery food will be on the menu at Talde restaurant, opening soon in the Thompson Hotel in Miami Beach. Talde

Following a slow summer that saw South Florida restaurants fall like dominoes, a wave of openings is set to inject some new life into our eating scene. Here’s a preview of 18 new and coming-soon Miami-Dade restaurants that will be jockeying for your loyalty and dollars:


▪ 3252 NE First Ave., Miami;

Veteran South Florida restaurateur Burt Rapoport and chef David Blonsky are bringing to midtown Miami an outpost of their Apeiro Kitchen & Bar, a modern Mediterranean-style restaurant that opened earlier this year to glowing reviews in Delray Beach. The midtown location of Apeiro — Greek for infinity — is set to open in October.


▪ 1200 Collins Ave., Miami Beach;

Chef Michael Pirolo and GM Jen Chaefsky (Macchialina) take on Asian cuisine at their new joint in the remodeled Marlin Hotel. Bazi is expected to open in late September.

Beaker & Gray

▪ 2637 N. Miami Ave., Miami;

Globally inspired food with craft cocktails is the name of the game at Beaker & Gray, coming to Wynwood from chef Brian Nasajon (Wish, SushiSamba) and barman Ben Potts (Broken Shaker, Blackbird Ordinary). Look for mashups like shrimp and chorizo churros, grilled oxtail with ponzu, and risotto with uni butter and mushrooms. Project opening: late September.

Brasserie Azur

▪ 3252 NE First Ave., Miami;

The team behind Miami Beach’s Villa Azur opened the French-style Brasserie Azur this month in the former Mercadito space in midtown. The restaurant is serves lunch and dinner daily, as well as weekend brunch plus takeout and delivery options.


▪ 232 Fifth St., Miami Beach;

Don’t believe the name: This place is all about clean eating. Chef Jonathan Seningen plans to focus on plant-based cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, supplemented with grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, cage-free eggs, wild and sustainable fish, Fair Trade coffee, and more. Dirt is projected to open in October.


▪ 5241 NW 87th Ave., Doral;

With locations in Gainesville and Orlando, Dragonfly will expand to Doral as part of the $1 billion mixed-use Downtown Doral development. Hirofumi Leung, co-owner of Dragonfly, said the restaurant is taking shape as a “mom-and-pop-style Japanese tavern” with a boutique fish market in front. Expected opening: December.

El Tucán

▪ 1111 SW First Ave., Miami;

This Latin-inspired cabaret and cocktail lounge takes up half the space of the former Hoxton in Brickell, with sister restaurant Marion going in the other half. Tucán will make its debut soon after Marion’s grand opening next month.

Farinelli 1937

▪ 3199 Commodore Plz., Coconut Grove;

Maurizio Farinelli, owner of Strada in the Grove, is firing up a wood-oven pizza place right across the street from Strada. It’s aiming for a November opening.

Little Bread

▪ 2330 Salzedo St., Coral Gables;

Chef-owner Alberto Cabrera transformed his Bread + Butter this month into Little Bread Cuban Sandwich Co., his second in Miami-Dade (the other: 541 SW 12th Ave. in Little Havana). The new spot has an expanded menu that includes lunch bowls and salads, plus breakfast every day.


▪ 1111 SW First Ave., Miami;

This “grand café, market, bakery and oyster bar” will feature cooking from chef Jean Paul Lourdes and pastry chef Christina Kaelberer. Bar Lab’s Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi came up with the bar menu. The restaurant will open Sept. 14.


▪ 1854 Bay Rd., Miami Beach;

Chef Piyarat Arreeratn, aka Chef Bee, of Oishi Thai in North Miami is inching toward the finish line of his Asian street-fare concept in Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood. Projected opening: October.

Phuc Yea

▪ 7100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami;

Before they opened The Federal three years ago, owners Cesar Zapata and Ani Meinhold had Phuc Yea, a Vietnamese-style pop-up restaurant with an emphasis on fish sauce and noodles. They’re making Phuc Yea permanent, carving out its new home in the former Moonchine Asian Bistro. Zapata and Meinhold say they’ll have it up and running by mid-September.

Spring Chicken

▪ 1514 S. Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables;

Miami-based restaurant group 50 Eggs Inc. is on the march again: CEO John Kunkel is opening a new, fast-casual fried-chicken concept in the former longtime home of Miami’s Best Pizza, across from the University of Miami. Spring Chicken will serve chicken, biscuits and sides inspired by Kunkel’s grandmother’s original recipes. Projected opening: October.

Stellino’s Trattoria & Bar

▪ 8550 NW 53rd St., Doral.

Restaurant owner Sal Stellino is behind this 4,100-square-foot space with a menu that he said is inspired by his Sicilian background. “The philosophy is to bring authentic Italian taste, simply made with fresh, healthy ingredients from local markets or imported from Italy,” Stellino said. Construction is expected to wrap up in November.


▪ 1500 Collins Ave., Miami Beach;

Celeb chef Spike Mendelsohn’s beach-inspired, all-day restaurant in The Hall hotel will feature a Jersey Shore pork roll breakfast sandwich, made-to-order pizzas and grouper Reuben sandwiches. Sunny’s is looking to open in October.


▪ 4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach;

Celeb chef Dale Talde is bringing to Miami Beach a branch of his namesake restaurant that’s currently in Brooklyn and Jersey City. He’ll set up shop at the Thompson Hotel, where Michelle Bernstein’s Seagrape has been humming since last year. Talde is slated to open by November.

Taste Buds of India

▪ 5850 Sunset Dr., South Miami;

Arvind Kumar recently opened the second location of his popular Taste Buds of India, in the former Barceloneta Sunset space in South Miami. The original Taste Buds, which Kumar debuted in May 2014 in Coral Springs, received a 3 1/2-star review from the Sun Sentinel.

Trust & Co.

▪ Two Aragon Ave., Coral Gables;

Restaurateur Jerry Flynn, formerly of Batch Gastropub, is planning a menu of steaks, burgers and seafood at his 6,000-square-foot, industrial-chic restaurant and bar. Flynn is shooting for a December opening.

Evan S. Benn is Miami Herald food editor; on Twitter: @EvanBenn.