It appears as if the new hotspot for foodies on Miami Beach is the South of Fifth neighborhood. Once known for being a quieter, more residential area with only a few venerated classics like Smith & Wollensky and Joe’s, it seems as if more and more restaurants, cafés, bakeries, and bars are forgoing the more popular - and populated - Lincoln Road, Washington, Collins, and Ocean for the southernmost tip of South Beach. To add to the increasing roster of drinking and dining destinations in the neighborhood is The Flat, deemed a “before experience”, slated to open mid February.
The Local House is a new restaurant located inside the Sense Hotel on Ocean Drive. Upon entering the restaurant, patrons are greeted with warm, welcoming colors and a modern décor, reminiscent of local Miami culture and design. When we visited, we opted for outside seating to enjoy the gorgeous South Beach weather and ambiance. This delightful restaurant was abuzz with lively patrons enjoying brunch with unlimited mimosas and culinary treats prepared by their exceptional chef, Guily Booth. The menu offers a variety of delicious, affordable tapas-style plates, making it very difficult to decide. We sampled a variety of small plates that included the Local Ceviche, Melon Citrus Salad, Bacon-wrapped Dates, Goat Cheese Croquettes, and Octopus Carpaccio. The Local Ceviche is made with grouper, red onion, cilantro, and choclo, a starchy variety of corn from South America. The grouper offered a meaty bite and was perfectly flavored with fresh ingredients, making it a great take on traditional ceviche. The Melon Citrus Salad offered more mellow flavors and was composed of assorted melon balls with feta, limejuice, and mint. The Bacon-wrapped dates were a sweet and salty treat, although a delectable spicy guava sauce and a topping ofpea shoots that accompanied the Goat Cheese Croquettes made a bold statement. These little bites of heaven proved to us that goat cheese and guava should always go together. The Octopus Carpaccio was topped with a creamy sauce, crunchy capers, diced tomatoes, a chorizo “dust”, arugula, and orange slices. The chorizo dust gave this dish a salty flavor without the overpowring heaviness that is usually associated with eating sliced chorizo. The orange slices brought a welcome bit of freshness.
Three new restaurants are debuting in South Beach this December, and two of them not only carry pedigrees to get excited over but are also suggesting that perhaps Miami Beach is becoming America’s newest - and most stylish - Little Italy. SoBe has been attracting models, artists, and entrepreneurs from Italy ever since their paesano, Gianni Versace, put the southernmost part of Miami Beach on the map, and the resulting migration is making South Beach a veritable mecca for Italian-from-Italy cuisine representing everywhere from Sicily and Sardinia to Piedmont and Venezia. The other restaurant, while Italian by way of its designer from Bologna, is a departure from the pizzas and pastas of the other two and promises to offer a farm-to-table concept with an international flair. Just in time for Art Basel!
The food scene in Miami is a direct reflection of the city’s diverse population. There’s endless seafood, Cuban sandwiches, and all the classic southern American fare you can think of. Here are five new Miami eateries that offer the things that make Miami’s dining scene so wonderful while throwing in their own unique flare to their menus and overall focus. All different in their own ways these new hot spots are sure to appease to any foodie in the Miami area.
J&G Grill (9703 Collins Avenue)
Having debuted in June of this year, Kane Steakhouse is one of the newest additions not only to the South Beach dining scene, but to the burgeoning South of Fifth neighborhood. While much of South Beach is a yearlong raucous Spring Break, the South of Fifth area could be seen as an intimate, yet chic, cocktail party – quieter, more mature, and definitely much more romantic. The intimacy of the neighborhood is further accented by the intimate elegance of the steakhouse’s décor, which gives diners the sense of being invited to a dinner party at a friend’s penthouse loft. A low, sexy lighting scheme casts a glow upon a dining room that flawlessly marries the past and the present by acknowledging Miami Beach’s history with an Art Deco formality and combining it with a much more casual vibe that is in tune with our modern dining sensibilities. An illuminated white onyx bar is the focal point in a room rich with deep grays, blacks, mirrors, and polished whites, dotted here and there with assorted objets d’art and framed photographs that all fall within said color scheme. The overall design effect is elegant, modern, yet very comfortable, just like being at a good friend’s house.