Miami’s dining scene houses a plethora of hot spots, from the South Beach strip to the prominent art community of Wynwood, Miami’s temperate climate makes it the perfect dining destination year-round, with many restaurants offering alfresco dining nearly every day of the year.
For February, The Daily Meal has picked four fabulous restaurants that are very much reflective of Miami's signature style, offering some of the best unique dining in South Florida.
South Beach: Sophisticated and sleek paired with over-the-top eccentric, Barton G. The Restaurant provides diners with an interactive experience. Dishes are served accompanied with props, much like characters are invented in childhood dress-up games: an old-fashioned silver toaster appears holding two lobster Pop-Tarts, pastries stuffed with Gruyère and lobster, and a giant sword arrives with the mandarin-laced soba noodles with yuzu-pomegranate butter. The entire meal is an experience that elicits awe and wonder, something lost in the everyday hustle and bustle. The PureBread Pudding, with caramel sauce, chocolate and vanilla crème anglaise, and vanilla bean ice cream, is served alongside white and black porcelain Frenchies — indulgences here come in pairings. And be sure to witness a chocolate monkey hanging from a smoking martini glass from the subzero nitro-bar.
Coral Gables: Proving itself worthy of the food-centric culture in Miami, what was once a pop-up restaurant is now here to stay. Serving an ever-changing menu that pays homage to experiences gathered at Slow Food’s Terra Madre in the "motherland" of Italy, The Eating House has diners booking reservations for a second go-around before they’ve even left the building. Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, winner of Food Network’s Chopped, creates a simple environment: pour-your-own water and place settings set with mismatched silverware, with dishes made from ingredients derived from local sources, like General Tso’s oxtail with "rice-less" fried rice and poutine served with polenta, short rib, "French onion," and ricotta.
Wynwood: Dine amongst the greats at Wynwood Kitchen and Bar, a contemporary American restaurant swathed in murals by internationally known street artists. Outdoor diners can gaze at 15 murals by leading international artists. The restaurant’s drink menu includes cocktails inspired by the artists that collaborated on the murals. For example, Absolut ruby red vodka, Campari, fresh grapefruit, and yuzu juice is inspired by one piece called "Nunca." Chef Miguel Aquilar uses farm fresh, local, and organic ingredients to create a mix-and-match menu designed for sharing. Popular dishes include the ropa vieja empanadas made with chicken and cilantro crema and the WKB Hamburguesita, the chef’s protein selection topped with pickled jalapeño, cilantro glaze, and iceberg lettuce. Going on a date? On the second Saturday of every month, Wynwood’s galleries open their doors to the public for the Wynwood Art Walk, which includes music, live performers, and a ton of food trucks. Make sure to snag a reservation at WKB beforehand.
MiMo: During the day, Blue Collar may be a bit hard to find, and that’s because you may mistake it for just another defunct art-deco style motel. Situated in the Biscayne Inn, this small-sized diner is often overlowing before happy hour begins. Chef and owner Daniel Serfer offers a warm and friendly vibe with his modern takes on American comfort food like hamburgers and sandwiches. It’s a perfect place for non-meat-eaters, too; Blue Collar’s vegetable chalkboard offers a plethora of choices, from roasted beets and goat cheese to kale that is sautéed in white wine and butter with shallots (pick from four choices for $14). Locals, like actor-director Billy Corben, are acknowledged by the chef who named the Corben after Billy, a sandwich of braised brisket on Portuguese muffins topped with Dijon and jus for dipping, served with potato latkes and apple sauce.
Amy Ferguson is the Miami City Travel Editor for The Daily Meal.