In 2002, Art Basel, the 30-year-old gathering of art galleries from around the world, decided to launch their fair in Miami Beach. Since then, the two-day event has morphed into a week-long art/fashion/music/food cultural extravaganza attended by everyone from the world’s top artists and collectors to renowned fashionistas and buzz-worthy celebrities.
In order to service the 100,000 visitors who will descend upon Miami this week, a variety of the city’s best chefs and restaurants have launched Basel-specific pop-ups, menus, and installations. Below is a selection of the not-to-be-missed savory specials of the week:
Michelle Bernstein, possibly Miami’s most beloved chef, is adding to her busy repertoire with an Art Basel pop-up located in the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. Just steps away from the Convention Center Michy’s Pop Up will function as a surefire pit stop for art buyers on a schedule. By day, the garden café will offer quick, healthy lunches using fresh, local ingredients as well as gourmet coffee and fresh-baked pastries — don’t miss her famous bread pudding. By night, the restaurant will get dressed up a bit for a diverse selection of light and appetizing tapas, starters, and plats de résistance such as salt crusted yellow tail snapper with ragout of baby artichokes and Moroccan couscous. Reservations are a must for dinner, and are available for Wednesday, December 3, to Saturday, December 6, from 6 to 11 p.m. in the Botanical Garden's Banyan Room and its adjacent terrace.
Chrome Hearts and David’s Café
Should you get hungry while perusing the shops, fairs, and galleries of the Design District, the newly opened Chrome Hearts boutique (whose fans include Zoe Kravitz and The Rolling Stones) will feature a pop-up during Basel with food from Miami’s legendary David’s Café. The two-story retail space, fashion showroom, and art gallery will offer one-of-a-kind lifestyle creations and art instillations from both emerging and established artists and designers. David’s Café will be serving their famous café con leches and Cuban sandwiches. Their traditional menu will be offered, as well as a special Pressed Veggie Cubano Sandwich.
Red Dot Art Fair & Bocce Bar
Part of what makes Art Basel Miami Beach so exciting, and have made the event grow so quickly, are the one-off art fairs that host additional artists and galleries during the same week. One such experience is the Red Dot Art Fair, known for its diverse pieces and unique vision. This year, Red Dot will host a pop-up restaurant from nearby Italian eatery, Bocce Bar. With offerings like a porchetta panino with spicy aioli, sundried tomato, and fontina cheese, and a fregola salad with pesto, olives, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes, this is one pop-up sure to see quite a bit of foot traffic.
Shikany Adds a Lunch Menu
New hot spot Shikany, located in the trendy and artsy neighborhood of Wynwood, will be opening its doors for lunch during Basel week. The restaurant will offer a full tapas menu beginning at 11:30 a.m. Guests can enjoy dishes such as causa and tomato salad, short rib and gouda empanadas, foie gras lollipops, oyster flights, and leche de tigre crispy pork belly. Shikany will remain open straight into dinner service, which features three-, four-, and six-course prix fixe tasting menus. And if you do head over to Wynwood, be sure to check out one of Miami’s best permanent art installations: the Wynwood Walls.
db Bistro Moderne & Andy Warhol
Not many people can say they’ve cooked for Andy Warhol, but famed chef Daniel Boulud is one who can. To coincide with Art Basel, Boulud’s Miami restaurant db Bistro Moderne will pay homage to the pop art legend with Warhol-inspired cocktails from December 2 through 4. The creative libations include the “Velvet Underground” made of gin, St. Germaine, banana, sparkling wine, and hibiscus, and the “Pop Art,” served in a Campbell’s Soup Can. Additionally, guests who visit the “Andy Warhol at Christie's” exhibition taking place on the fifth floor of the JW Marriott Marquis Miami (where the bistro is located) can redeem their ticket at the restaurant for a complimentary Warhol-inspired cocktail.
Truffle Pizza at The Setai
For the genuine high rollers of the week, South Beach’s beautiful hotel The Setai will be serving a $250 white truffle pizza from executive chef Mathias Gervais (last year they sold 359 of these pies in four days). To complement the pizza, mixologist Philip Khandehrish has created a “paint your own Negroni” using a one-ounce Nolets Reserve pour for $50.
Katsuya for Lunch and Art Installation
Not to be outdone on the Basel scene, one of the city’s hottest Japanese restaurants, Katsuya by Stark, located in the SLS hotel, will be opening its doors for lunch and offering some of their most delectable dishes, such as the yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, whitefish sashimi with crispy onion, and Wagyu filet with foie gras robata. The restaurant will also host art duo Hunter & Gatti as they premiere their latest series of works, titled “I Will Make You A Star.” The exhibit will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and will feature painted portraits of celebrities including Pharrell Williams, Bruno Mars, and Jamie Dornan.