Miami Restaurant News
As if Brad Kilgore wasn't busy enough minding his Wynwood restaurant Alter (which is sold-out nightly), he has taken on the title of culinary director at the cultural Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. In this role, the talented toque is in charge of curating the Arsht Center's food and beverage options, beginning with the on-site restaurant, Brava by Bradley Kilgore. To help him in the kitchen when he can't be in two places at once, Kilgore has solicited Toscana Divino's Jeff Maxfield. An à la carte menu features "food with no boundaries" with French techniques and presentation. Brava will open on performance days with seatings for evening and matinee showings, as well as post-curtain seatings for those without tickets at 8:15 p.m. Brava by Bradley Kilgore, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132, 305-949-6722.
You know what they say: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That's precisely what the principals behind the newest bar in Coral Gables did when they took over the space that was once Ticety Tea Bar. They've foregone the tea and instead opted for alcoholic libations instead. Enter Copper 29, a prohibition-inspired bar shaking things up with handcrafted cocktails from La Mar's previous beverage manager Eleftherios Kraunakis (but you can call him Lef). There's also food by chef Omar Montero, formerly of The Setai and Cantina La Veinte. Happy hour daily from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. seems to be a hit amongst Coral Gable's financial and corporate crowd, who flock here for $5 wines, $4 select beer and a rotation of $7 cocktails. Next up on the agenda: after-hours jazz and Latin nights. Copper 29, Miracle Mile, 206 Miracle Mile, Miami, FL 33134, 786-580-4689.
The guys behind taco shack and not-so speakeasy Bodega are doing it again, only this time they're taking their fast-casual game and using it to elevate the archetypal sandwich. Situated across the street from sister concept Bodega, Halves & Wholes was inspired by classic American sandwich shops. As a result, culinary director for Menin Hospitality Bernie Matz has come up with a dozen options, all of which proffer a Miami twist and are stacked with in-house roasted meats, artisanal cheese and secret homemade sauces. Of course, a sandwich is only as good as its bread, and for that Matz has solicited the talents of the famous Old School Bakery in Delray Beach. So far, the star of the menu seems to be the crazy chicken and the eggplant croqueta. There's also a selection of soups, house-made potato chips and cornichons, and even ice cream sandwiches for dessert. Halves & Wholes is open until 5 a.m., daily. Halves & Wholes, 1600 Alton Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-704-3600.
The poke craze is real --- so real that a place dedicated solely to the Hawaiian favorite has opened in Brickell and is already looking at locations in Wynwood and Lincoln Road. The family-operated business has taken the trendy salad (served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine) consisting of raw fish sliced and then mixed with seasonings. In a modern twist, the dish now has a base (most typically of white rice) with a plethora of fixings. At Poke 305, they're mixing healthy poke bowls with everything from salmon, tuna and crab salad (all in one bowl) to whitefish and even chicken for non-fish eaters. There are seven signature bowls to choose from, which have been made with "Miami flavors" in mind (think guava and passion fruit sauce) or you can make your own. The base can be either white or brown rice, quinoa or mixed greens. Poke 305, 169 SE 7th St., Miami, FL 33131, 305-563-3811.
Lunch in Brickell just got a bit sunnier thanks to Bahia, the poolside oasis nestled on the seventh floor of the Four Seasons. Chances are, you've been to Edge Steak & Bar, the hotel's steakhouse helmed by Aaron Brooks. If you haven't, happy hour there includes $1 oysters (so time to get going). Having recently undergone a revamp, Bahia offers a menu that takes its inspiration from coastal Mexico. This means dishes such as spicy adobo pork ribs, tacos (using masa tortillas with fillings like short rib, cochinita pibil and fried soft shell crab), and a Bahia bowl featuring gigante beans, vegetable salpicon, arroz verde, crema picante, queso, guacamole and a choice of short rib, cochinita pibil, mojo chicken, mahi mahi or shrimp asada. Bahia is open every day, with lunch served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the bar pouring drinks until 6 p.m. Bahia, Four Seasons, 1435 Brickell Ave., Miami, FL 33130, 305-358-3535.
EAST, Miami, the first U.S. outpost for hospitality magnet Swire Hotels, which has properties in Hong Kong and Beijing, is taking reservations for rooms and tables at the hotly anticipated Quinto La Huella. The incarnation of Parador La Huella might be off the sands like that of its original Latin American location, but the emphasis on grilled meats is the same. A small but broad menu features flatbreads straight from the wood-fired oven, a plethora of cuts, and even a sushi menu. Up on the 40th floor, cocktail garden Sugar mixes up Asian-inspired handcrafted libations amidst some of the sweetest views anywhere in Miami. A small tapas bar menu is an added treat. Quinto La Huella, EAST, Miami, 788 Brickell Plaza, Miami, FL 33131, 786-805-4646.
Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Honored at Tales of the Cocktail
Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply with the return of legendary barkeep John Lermayer (who helped pioneer Miami's craft cocktail movement), has taken home the coveted title of Best New American Bar at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans --- the country's premier craft spirits trade event and drinking festival award show. The late-night bar and eatery, which opened last year, has quickly become a favorite for locals looking for a safe haven amongst South Beach's velvet ropes and overpriced drinks. Besides proper cocktails in a laid-back environment, Sweet Liberty also proffers a bites menu conceptualized by Michelle Bernstein (her hubby David Martinez is an owner-partner). It's these little things that aren't advertised --- like their seven day a week rose and oyster happy hour where bivalves are just 75 cents --- that make this drinking den extra sweet. Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company, 237 20th St., Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-763-8217.
Uber On the Menu
Uber, the ride sharing company, has added food to its offerings, bringing the dishes from Miami restaurants you know and love to you in "Uber-speed." Yes, you might need to download one more app to your phone as the service is independent of Uber (look for UberEats in the app store), but with more than 100 restaurants to choose from (including local favorites such as Ms. Cheezious, Mandolin, the Salty Donut, DIRT, Bachour Bakery & Bistro, Zuuk Mediterranean Kitchen, Baby Jane and many more), be assured you never have to go out for food again. Delivery is available daily from 8 a.m. to midnight in an area from Brickell to Hollywood and all of Miami Beach. The catch? There's a $4.99 delivery fee but, no surge pricing ever. As with Uber, there's no need to tip your driver and you can rate your experience. Just remember, drivers can also rate you.
Cindy Hutson is a name synonymous with Miami flavors. Her restaurant on Miracle Mile, the aptly named Ortanique On the Mile, has been serving Caribbean-meets-Floridian fare (dubbed "Cuisine of the Sun") for more than 16 years. And now, she's bringing her notorious coffee and cocoa encrusted wild salmon and jerk chicken pasta to downtown with the opening of Zest. Located in the Southeast Financial Center in the heart of downtown, Zest is open for lunch and dinner daily, with an adjoining Zest Mrkt dishing out breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Think grab-n-go gourmet delights such as a shawarma of the week. As for Zest, the menu features Ortanique On the Mile favorites and new creations such as root beer braised heritage pork belly, crispy buttermilk oysters and grits, curried octopus, and lobster rundown doused in a scotch bonnet pepper coconut sauce. Zest, Southeast Financial Center, 200 South Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33131, 305-374-9378.
Following a change in name and concept, The Fed Food + Drink has shuttered. The Fed Food + Drink, 5132 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137, no phone.
Randazzo's Little Italy, a classic red sauce Italian joint on the end of Miracle Mile, has closed its doors and folded its red checkered tablecloths permanently. With a surprising 13-year run, the place grew to be a favorite among locals and visitors who came for owner and former boxing pro Marc Randazzo and the Randazzo’s meatballs with Sunday gravy. Business, according to partner Jim Ferraro, was not doing well. No word on what will happen in the future, though Ferraro hopes to contract with an operator who would keep the place as a restaurant. Randazzo's Little Italy is No More, 385 Miracle Mile, Miami, FL 33134, no phone.