James Beard Award winner Chef Andrew Carmellini's latest venture in Miami has proven to be a major success with locals and tourists, alike, since it's inception in November of last year. Located in the W South Beach, The Dutch has become Miami Beach's go-to spot for local, farm-to-table fare showcasing the unique produce and plentiful seafood that we have in South Florida. It's a little hard developing seasonal menus when there really are no seasons in Miami (except, perhaps, for hurricane season and tourist season), and Chef Carmellini admits to having to adjust to the region's unique seasons. “The seasons are basically opposite from what we have going on up in New York right now, it’s wild; I still can’t get over the beautiful heirloom tomatoes we were getting all winter long in Miami, so I’m really excited for spring," states Carmellini.
Having been the first haute cuisine chef whose restaurant I visited on my very first trip to New York City, Chef Daniel Boulud has a special place in my gastronomic heart, and I was thrilled when he decided to open an outpost of his DB Bistro Moderne in Miami. While Chef Boulud offers many ingenious creations that fuse his classically trained French background with New World flavors, it's his impossibly gourmet interpretations on the All-American hamburger that gained him perhaps the most acclaim. In fact, he can be credited with starting the whole gourmet burger craze that seems to have been sweeping the country. His signature burger encases red wine-braised short ribs and foie gras, is topped with tomato confit and a horseradish sauce, and is sandwich between a house made bun.
Whether you love or hate the Vegas-style monolith of a resort on Miami Beach, any self-respecting foodie has to admit that the Fontainebleau complex offers one of the best concentrations of fine dining to be had anywhere in South Florida. While it would be a dream-come-true to one day get a Michelin-starred restaurant in Miami, such a thing won't realistically happen for quite some time. Fortunately, there are some other awards that an exceptionally good restaurant with a lot of financial backing can aspire to that aren't as unattainable and are much less "francocentric". The much-coveted AAA Four Diamond award has already been awarded to two of the Fontainebleau Resort's restaurants. Scarpetta, perhaps the best Italian restaurant in South Florida, was the well-deserving recipient of one, and Hakkasan, the resort's gourmet Cantonese restaurant, was the recipient of the other. The Fontainebleau can now add Gotham Steak to its list of award-winning restaurants, for it too has caught the attention of critics and has scored the resort its third AAA Four Diamond award, making The Fontainebleau the only resort in Florida to have three restaurants with such an distinction.