From a Mediterranean café and a Latin cabaret, to a quaint New England seafood house and an American diner, we check out five talked-about new eateries that Miami foodies are most looking forward to savoring this season.
The Continental, Miami Beach
Inspired by the much-loved Philadelphia staple, now in its 20th year, the 225-seat outpost of Stephen Starr’s Continental is an updated throwback to glamour with a mid-century modern look serving continental classics, global fare and Chinese specialties.
The Setting: Inside the Collins Avenue restaurant, see mid-century modern décor with bold primary colors, soft wood tones, and vintage and custom-designed furniture and fixtures. For a splash of the tropics, lush greenery hangs from dark wood beams. Outside, more seating and a bar area are just steps away from the ocean.
The Cuisine: Designed to be shared, items on the menu include mouthwatering stars like the cheesesteak eggroll with sriracha ketchup, crispy artichokes with lemon aioli and even a build-your-own sushi bento box. The lengthy beverages list contains inventive cocktails (try the bright pink Dragonfruit Mule) and classic martinis (go straight up with The Continental Martini). Now open
As a breezy restaurant, oyster bar, grand café and bakery, the Mediterranean-driven Marion serves a mix of traditional and modern dishes from all over the region with plenty of cocktails to imbibe.
The Setting: Step into a traditional European-like café here. Mixed mosaic of broken marble and terrazzo floor; walls draped in whites, creams and pale pinks; imported French lace curtains and vintage sconces; and quintessential Drucker brasserie furniture all help set the mood.
The Cuisine: Created by renowned executive chef Jean Paul Lourdes, standout delicacies include fish flown in from the Spanish coast and cooked over Japanese charcoal; milk-fed lamb belly; whole organic rotisserie chicken; and raw seafood platters. Desserts are a must. Indulge in the bittersweet chocolate terrine, frosted cheesecake or some of the bakery’s other sweets and confections. Opens September 2015.
El Tucán, Brickell
A modern-day cabaret and cocktail lounge, El Tucán (adjacent to Marion) takes you back to the glitz and glam of a bygone era when music and food took center stage.
The Setting: An intimate theater-style venue, El Tucán will house a resident 12-piece Latin band. The dinner-and-a-show hot spot will be open late for after-hour partygoers and will feature live Latin, international and tropical music to keep you going.
The Cuisine: Also helmed by chef Lourdes, the food will be a mainstay here. Expect the kitchen to serve modern Latin cuisine with hints of Amazonian ingredients. Opens October 2015.
Izzy’s Fish & Oyster, South Beach
Local favorite chef and restaurateur Jamie DeRosa, from nearby sister restaurant Tongue & Cheek, pays homage to fond memories of growing up on the shores of Narragansett at this laid-back, petite gem (it seats 50 indoor and outdoor) in the South of Fifth neighborhood — the area’s first authentic New England dining locale.
The Setting: The decor is quintessential Rhode Island — gray stone-tiled floors, whitewashed brick walls, antique tin and reclaimed wood ceilings, ornate details of metal mesh (think lobster traps) and plush leather banquettes. Sweeping murals featuring sea creatures by Claudio Picasso add a touch of whimsy to the airy space.
The Cuisine: Enjoy a dozen or two of just-shucked oyster and fresh catches of the day, which you can see inside the gleaming, glass-encased raw bar; sit at the 15-seat, white marble bar for an up-close-and-personal view. Also on the menu by DeRosa and chef de cuisine William Crandall, formerly of Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Azul, are two variations of Maine lobster roll (hot and cold), fried clam bellies and, of course, New England clam chowder and classic whoopies. Stop by on Wednesdays for clam bakes starting in October. Opens September 2015.
Apeiro Kitchen & Bar, Midtown Miami
With Apeiro (Greek word for “infinite”) comes a unique, “progressive” dining concept serving delicacies across the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Italy to Spain and Greece.
The Setting: At 6,129 square feet, the ample restaurant will seat 320. Sit indoors, outdoors on the covered alfresco patio or up at the illuminated, 30-seat circular bar that spans both areas.
The Cuisine: A wide-ranging rustic menu broken down into small plates, soups, crudo, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, grilled and roasted housemade pastas and kabobs lets diners mix-and-match any way they want for countless options. House favorites include Moroccan spiced lamb ribs slathered in rosemary-fig barbecue sauce, double-cut pork chops and the prime rib gyro. At the bar, late-night small plates will be served into the wee hours. Opens October 2015.