At a time of uncertainty in the world, Miami is pure escapism. It wraps its arms around us and says, “Enjoy. Everything’s going to be all-right, baby.” Here is our most recent selection of places to DINE around the districts in Miami.
Versailles restaurant is the oldest Cuban restaurant on these streets, and as such it has become a virtual town square in Little Havana. A quick pause to indulge in rich Cuban coffee and a pastry is a moment to savour.
Mignonette in the Edgewater District is a former 1930s gas station turned oyster bar/seafood haven. Chef Danny Serfer adopts a no frills/full flavor attitude. Try a flight of oysters, twelve to the order with selections from U.S. coast to coast, and conclude with a warm lobster roll and fries—American cuisine at its freshest.
Sette Osteria in the Wynwood District is hard to miss. It’s on the corner painted in zebra stripes and fits right into the neighborhood. The bartender mixes a mean cocktail, and in the American style, there are no skimpy pours. I’m happy with the focaccia straight from the pizza oven and a drizzle of EVOO. Insalata Caponata Napoletano with its assorted heirloom tomatoes is a treat. The chef works his magic with the humble eggplant in Melanzane alla Parmegiana. And take note: they offer a white pizza menu and a kid’s menu.
No.3 Social is the one and only rooftop bar and lounge in Wynwood. Survey the district and beyond while enjoying signature cocktails or locally crafted beer. Renowned Chef Norman Van Aken has incorporated Miami delicacies into his menu of street food from around the world. Inquire about his cooking school and have a hands-on demo at his Three Restaurant. Foodies can always learn something new.
Upland in the south of Fifth neighborhood is an outpost of the popular NYC restaurant created by owner Stephen Starr and chef Justin Smillie. This chef, a semi-finalist in the James Beard Best Chef in New York, has been heralded as a pasta savant. I am not one to gush over pizza, but the Sausage and Kale pizza with young pecorino, stracciatella and Parmesan is something special. Drunken Hamachi crudo with tequila, cilantro and key lime packs some punchy flavours. The menu is delightful Miami/Italian.
Sara Waxman is an award-winning restaurant critic, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and has eaten her way through much of the free world for four decades, while writing about it in books, newspapers and magazines. She is the Editor in Chief of DINE and Destinations magazine.