Miami Restaurant News
Lilikoi Organic Living is a small, charming neighborhood joint in South of Fifth that emphasizes organic ingredients and clean eating. Frying is done using coconut oil. Meats are all hormone free and there are a bounty of vegetarian options. Juices, smoothies, sandwiches, salads and mains comprise the healthy and hearty menu. Lilikoi Organic Living, 500 South Pointe Dr., Ste. 180, Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-763-8692.
If foie gras and beef dim sum sounds like something of interest, then go to Tanuki, which opened its first U.S. location on Alton Road. Choose from nigiri, sashimi, maki, platters and boats, as well as a slew of wok items, Tanuki signatures (think uni rice crackers with eel and truffle) and expected entrées like miso marinated salmon or Peking duck. Tanuki, 1080 Alton Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-615-1055.
The New York City speakeasy, Employees Only, has made its first foray outside the Big Apple with a Miami debut at the Washington Park Hotel. In addition to Miami, the beloved watering hole will be opening locations in Singapore and Austin, Texas. Employees Only is the signature restaurant and bar for the Washington Park Hotel, comprising four landmarked Art Deco hotels with 181 guest rooms. The Employees Only New York counterpart pours 183,000 cocktails per year, and dishes up impressive food from an exotic menu. Employees Only, Washington Park Hotel Complex, 1050 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139, 786-264-3945.
Taste of the Nation Returns May 12
Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry will hold its South Florida fundraiser at Soho Studios (2136 NW 1st Ave., Miami). Enjoy food and drinks from more than 50 chefs and bartenders. The cost is $125 for general admission (7 p.m.-10 p.m.) and $200 for VIP plus after-party admission (6 p.m.-12 a.m.). For more information, visit the official website
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.
French chef Laurent Tourondel shuttered his Ocean Drive mainstay BLT Steak, which opened in 2009, to make way for a fresh concept: LT Steak & Seafood. Like BLT Steak, LT Steak & Seafood showcases seafood as well as steaks. So what has changed? New dishes such as crunchy curried crab and grilled red snapper are on the menu, and there are ample and more inventive takes on sushi and ceviche. BLT Steak, The Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-673-0044.