Summer usually means a slowdown in the restaurant world but these new openings show that our culinary scene is as hot as ever. From seductive Italian to vegan tacos, there’s plenty to keep things interesting during the hot summer months.
The Dutch Miami at the W South Beach has now evolved into RWSB, which stands for Restaurant W South Beach, with Executive Chef (and pastry maestro) Joshua Gripper and Executive Sous Chef Mario Alegre helming the kitchen. The new dishes are part of their “Roots American” menu, influenced by their respective backgrounds of French training and Caribbean heritage.
Must-order dishes include the grilled octopus with crispy yucca, the roasted beet salad with goat cheese, almond, and prosciutto and the delicate ricotta ravioli with fava bean and summer truffle. Gripper was the pastry chef for many years and has a deft hand with balancing sweet and sophisticated flavors so don’t skip out on dessert, including the Cuban flan made with Florida citrus and blood orange sorbet or the Salted Lime Pie with vanilla passion fruit sauce.
2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
This new swanky spot is located in South of Fifth in a setting meant to evoke the Amalfi coast with a gorgeous outdoor patio festooned with couches and crisp umbrellas. The restaurants is a collaboration between restaurateur Gino Iovino, owner of restaurant Girasole in Atlantic City, in partnership with Franco Ricatti and Chef Cosimo Cassano of Bacco Osteria, the Michelin-starred concept in Puglia, Italy.
Expect colorful tweaks of Italian staples like yellowfin tuna carpaccio with avocado, pear, lemon and mint. Or try Funghi; warm, thinly sliced filet mignon with oyster, shiitake and porcini mushrooms. The Spaghetti is an award-winning Pasta di Gragnano with one-pound Maine lobster, datterino tomato and Calabrian chili and whole Salt-baked Mediterranean Sea Bass.
1 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
La Estación American Brasserie
A full-service bistro from the Juvia team, located adjacent to Central Fare within the Virgin MiamiCentral station downtown, this spot functions as an accessible spot for those heading to or from the train for either lunch, happy hour or dinner. The 10,000-square-foot space encompasses a full-service dining room, a handsome bar, and a sweets station at the Dulce counter, along with grab and go cases. Small dishes range from deviled eggs topped with salmon roe to smoked fish dip pickled shrimp avocado toast. Bistro staples like steak frites, mussels and fries, seafood pasta and Cobb salad round out the heartier offerings.
550 NW 1st Ave Ste 230, Miami
Charly’s Vegan Tacos
An upscale taco joint via Tulum, this new Wynwood outpost is the project of Chef and partner Charly Garcia who was previously a head chef at a steakhouse in Mexico City before starting this plant-based restaurant chain. The dining room is a colorful affair with a mural by street artist Senkoe One and hand-painted skulls and tiles from Mexico. The vegan menu covers salads, ceviche, burritos, bowls, and tacos like the Carne Asada made with grilled seitan steak roasted in garlic, served with creamy avocado salsa, onion, cilantro and the porkless cracklings in a verde sauce topped with vegan creme. Nachos are topped with chipotle leek cheese, pickled jalapeños and mashed beans while the oyster mushroom ceviche is dressed with sunflower seeds and garlic aioli. Margaritas and cocktails spiked with CBD are among the plant-loving offerings as well.
172 NW 24th St, Miami
Tigertail and Mary
Michael Schwartz adds to his Miami food empire and branches out further into Coconut Grove with this polished newcomer that pays homage to the Grove’s bohemian energy. Executive Chef Stephen Ullrich’s menu follows the Schwartz protocol of seasonal and local ingredients with an emphasis on veggie dishes. But you can still score omnivorous dishes of oysters with mignonette, roasted bone marrow with Burgundy snails and Slow-Roasted Curried Lamb Shoulder ‘Thali.’ These dishes are part of a Family-Style section with larger dishes perfect for sharing, served with assorted pickles and sauces, brown basmati, and paratha. Pizzas are on the menu with combos like rock shrimp and chorizo and mashed fava with ramps, snap peas, asparagus and fontina cheese. Pastry Chef Antonia Grandberry tempts with vegan Pavlova with key lime curd and mango pineapple-coconut sorbet.
3321 Mary St., Miami; 305-722-5688