What started out as a family-run food truck slinging hot dogs under a bridge in Brickell now has two locations dishing out some of the city's best arepas. We're talking about Doggi's, which recently expanded from its Coral Way flagship to Biscayne Boulevard in Miami's Upper East Side (or MiMo). Housed in the same shopping center as Ni.Do Cafe, Doggi's is a welcome and much-needed quick-casual addition to the neighborhood. Though the restaurant has a more modern look (with hashtags lining the walls) than its former counterpart, the menu remains the same, with more than a dozen arepa varieties, a plethora of patacon, pepitos and burgers, and favorites such as tequenos and empanadas. Doggi's Arepa Bar, 7281 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33138, 786-558-9538.
The Salty Donut will have some serious competition when Philadelphia-based Federal Donuts opens in Wynwood. Though no date has been announced, the donut shop best known for its gourmet and unique doughnuts (think strawberry and lavender) and Korean-style fried chicken confirmed that it is opening a 2,200-square-foot space in the hip Arts District. Federal Donuts, 250 NW 24th St., Miami, FL 33127, no phone.
With the 58-story SLS Hotel & Residences in Brickell almost complete and on target for an October debut, SBE and Related Group have announced plans for the property's culinary partnerships and concepts, which include chefs Jose Andres and Michael Schwartz. With The Bazaar a smash at the South Beach SLS property, Andres will be expanding his horizons to include the vast ocean with Bazaar Mar. The restaurant will feature seafood from Caribbean and local waters, dishing out a sea of snacks ranging from ceviches to crudos to tiraditos. Menu favorites from The Bazaar will also make their way onto the menu. Likewise, Schwartz will be introducing an Italian concept (his first in Brickell) Fi'lia, which will open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and follow the chef's philosophy of simple and honest cooking with hand crafted breads, pizzas, and pastas. SLS Brickell, 1300 S. Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33130, no phone.
From the guys who brought Miami gourmet burger joint LoKal and craft beer bar Kush comes The Spillover, a cider and mead bar and sustainable fish house in the heart of Coconut Grove and in the historic Mayfair Hotel. The emphasis here, as it is in owner Matt Kuscher's other concepts, is local ingredients and food that's good for you. Only instead of focusing on burgers and beer like his other concepts, Kuscher's taken to the sea. To that end, he's dishing out a lobster BLT and Reuben (both packing an entire Maine lobster), conch strips, Ocean City crab cakes, pan con minuta, spear-caught Florida grouper sandwich, and fish and chips (among other things). A new burger -- the bababooey -- is also on the menu, as is guava bread pudding and treats for pups. More importantly, there is the diverse selection of ciders, meads and sours, ranging from Spain, Italy and France to California, New York, and Missouri. Lunch & Dinner Daily. The Spillover, Mayfair Hotel, 2911 Grand Ave., Miami, FL 33133, 305-456-5723.
The guys behind the insanely popular My Ceviche are doing the fast-casual yet locally sourced and ingredient conscious thing again, except this time they're going Mediterranean. At Zuuk Mediterranean Kitchen, former BLT Steak executive chef Sam Gorenstein enlisted the help of former colleague (and BLT Steak's latest executive chef) Daniel Ganem to bring the concept to life. The idea is simple: Build your own Mediterranean bowls. Start with the base (either salad or rice) then add up to three dips or spreads (options include roasted red pepper hummus, kalamata olive yogurt dip, za'atar-feta, baba ghanoush, mint tzatziki, and traditional hummus) before moving on to proteins and veggies. Think hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken seasoned with turmeric, oregano and lemon; baked falafel; seasonal roasted vegetables; or slow roasted beef or spiced lamb kefte for an additional $1.95. Lunch & Dinner Daily. Zuuk Mediterranean Kitchen, 1250 S Miami Ave. #105, Miami, FL 33130, 305-200-3145.
Fusing the best of Japanese and Spanish cuisines, and then spiking it with Miami flavor, Kueno is the newest and most delectable addition to culinary incubator and hipster mecca Wynwood Yard. The brainchild of Ricardo Sanz from Kabuki in Madrid and Miami natives, cousin and pro-soccer star Anthony Ricci and Matias Ricci, Kuenko offers a plethora of donburi (rice bowls) ranging from spicy tuna to butterfish to fish tempura --- all with a fried egg on top for good measure. Bowls are priced at $10.38 and there are vegetarian options for non-pescaterians and non-carnivores. For dessert, hit the neighboring Korean shaved ice truck. Lunch & Dinner Daily. Kuenko, Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami, FL 33137, 908-858-3656.
Camila Ramos got her start brewing and pouring coffee at Gainesville’s Volta Coffee, Tea and Chocolate in 2008. She then joined the Panther Coffee opening team in 2011 and went on to become the director of retail operations for the brand while also competing in a plethora of national competitions giving her serious barista street cred and national recognition. All this ultimately led Ramos to go off on her own with All Day, a coffee and eggs joint sandwiched between The Corner (and in partnership with owner Chris MacLeod) and Fooq's in downtown. The aptly named All Day is open all day (from 7 a.m. to midnight and pun intended), boasting a menu made up of several java choices (from pour over and hot drip to cold brew and nitro), eggs, tartines, and sammys. The after-five menu features heftier options such as pink shrimp and grits, sous vide steak tartare and Brussels sprouts cooked by former Gigi chef Michael Lutka. All Day, 1035 N Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33136, 305-699-3447.
If you are a tea drinker, chances are you've sipped one of JoJo Tea's many seasonal teas at restaurants all over town. For the last five years, the Miami-based tea company has been supplying the city's top eateries the likes of Zuma, Eating House, Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Yardbird and more with tea straight from the source. And now founders Michael Ortiz and Tico Aran have taken their tea game to the next level by opening the Tasting Room in Coral Gables. The “reservations only” tea experience will give tea lovers a chance to have their very own private tea party where they will taste from one or five different teas whilst getting some serious tea history, and maybe even a little meditation. Yes, there are meditation cushions (Ortiz found tea through teaching meditation). Teas change seasonally and have been specifically curated by Ortiz. JoJo Tea Tasting Room, 951 S. LeJune Rd., Miami, FL 33134, no phone.
Olympic gold medalist and two-time NBA Champion Ray Allen can now add restauranteur to his impressive resume. The former Miami Heat player along with his wife Shannon opened Grown, a fast-casual organic concept in South Miami. Born out of a need to feed their children something fast yet nutritious and delicious, Grown puts special emphasis on seasonal and sustainable products, with a lot of vegetables and herbs coming straight from the restaurant's rooftop garden. For menu development and execution, the Allens have tapped executive chef Todd Kiley from Chicago restaurant group Rainforest Cafe. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered -- everything from small-batch, from-scratch soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps, gluten-free backed goods, made-to-order cold pressed juices, fruit smoothies and fair trade coffees and teas. Grown features a drive-thru as well as a grab-and-go section. Grown, 8211 South Dixie Hwy., Miami, FL 33143, 305-663-GROW.
Richard Hales, the man responsible for Midtown favorites Sakaya Kitchen and Blackbrick is doing it again, only this time he's bringing hot chicken to Miami with the opening of Bird & Bone at the ever-hip Wynwood Yard. With a summer opening planned, Hales is giving his popular Dim Ssäm à Gogo truck a makeover to turn it into Bird & Bone on the fly. On the menu: hot chicken, ribs and sides. His signature dish will feature spicy fried chicken on Zak the Baker bread topped with a cooling pickle. There will also be chicken wings, nuggets and half a chicken --- all of which will be offered from the mild to fiery heat spectrum. Those who don't like it hot will also have the option to order their bird "Southern" style with no sauce, as well as ribs of the day with both dry and wet rubs. Sides like pimento mac 'n' cheese, green godess cole slaw and wedge fries will also be available. Bird & Bone, Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami, FL 33137, no phone.
The New York City speakeasy, Employees Only, will makes its first foray outside the Big Apple with a Miami debut at the Washington Park Hotel sometime this fall. In addition to Miami, the beloved watering hole will be opening locations in Singapore and Austin, Texas. Employees Only will be 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. No word yet on what the Miami location has in store, but expect a long line of people eager to sip classic and modern cocktails. Employees Only, Washington Park Hotel Complex, 1050 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139, no phone.
Amazon Restaurants Expands to Miami
Amazon Prime members have another reason to love the online marketplace, and it involves food from local restaurants delivered to your door in under an hour. That's right: Amazon Restaurants, which has already launched in major markets such as New York, Houston, San Francisco and Seattle (where Amazon was born), has expanded to Miami. Thus far, more than 50 restaurants are on the platform including local favorite Taquiza, Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Ten Fruits, La Latina, Ice Box Cafe, Bunnie Cakes and Doraku, with more promised to be coming in the very near future. Non Amazon prime members can take full advantage of the service for free should their order exceed $20. Hungry? Visit the official website and have food at your door in less than 60 minutes.
The Fed's New Concept, Name & Menu
If you were a fan of The Federal's cookies and cream french toast, you'll be sad to know that the neighborhood joint, which opened in 2012 has undergone renovations and reopened with a new concept, name and menu. It is now called The Fed Food + Drink, renamed by owners and life partners Cesar Zapata and Aniece Meinhold, who felt it was time for a change that spoke to their lifestyle changes, as well as the evolution of the neighborhood. Translation: situated next door and between an organic store and yoga studio (and also a Dunkin Donuts), The Fed is going lighter, fresher, healthier. There will be no more pig wings; instead, items such as cilantro edamame hummus, tropical guac, salmon poke and beer-battered avocado now grace the menu. There is also a bevy of tostadas, skillets and bowls, packing everything from cauliflower and Miami smokers bacon to sweet plantain. Fret not --- brunch still proffers $20 bottomless mimosas. The Fed Food + Drink
An Exclusive Culinary Experience with Rare Cars
It was only a matter of time before someone decided to make a showroom highlighting the world's most desirable cars into a dining room. Enter Supercar Rooms, an auto art gallery in Wynwood from the visionary behind UK's esteemed London Motor Museum Elo. At Supercar Rooms, six of the world's most coveted cars are on display alongside outdoor dining "pods" for members. How does one become a member? Just show up and it's free. Once in the club, repeat visits will determine ongoing membership. Open Friday through Sunday for dinner, Supercar Rooms partners with rotating restaurants that dish out a special chef's tasting. Your exotic car-meets-culinary-experience will set you back $3,000 for a pod. Another alternative is to sit at the bar for a cocktail and post-dinner entertainment of rotating DJs and musical acts. Auto dining the latest and greatest, 2022 NW 1st Ct., Miami, FL 33127, 321-499-5086.
Shake Shack Introduces Chicken Sandwich
After 12 years of flipping patties and dishing out arguably some of the best burgers in the country, Danny Meyer's burger empire Shake Shack has introduced a crispy chicken sandwich. Dubbed Chick'n Shack, the creation stays true to Shake Shack's commitment to using 100-percent natural, antiobiotic-free meat. Priced at $6.29, the Chick'n Shack is composed of crisp chicken breast, lettuce, pickles and buttermilk herb mayo between a GMO-free potato roll. Like with their burgers, it pairs exceptionally well with cheese fries and a milkshake. Shake Shack, Lincoln Road Mall, 1111 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-434-7787.
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.
MIAMI RESTAURANT CLOSINGS
French chef Laurent Tourondel has unexpectedly 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 will showcase seafood as well as steaks, and will continue an "extensive" selection of raw fish and sushi. So what has changed? New dishes such as crunchy curried crab and grilled red snapper are on the menu, and there will be ample and more inventive takes on sushi and ceviche. The restaurant has also undergone a makeover to match the property's larger expansion that will include two other restaurant concepts by Tourondel scheduled to open in Fall 2016. LT Steak & Seafood is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. BLT Steak, The Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-673-0044.
Miami's culinary sweetheart, Michelle Bernstein, has shuttered her MiMo namesake Cena by Michy's. Bernstein opened the original Michy's in 2006, immediately becoming a neighborhood joint renowned for its elevated yet approachable fare (fried chicken, anyone?), as well as putting the locally acclaimed chef formerly of Azul on the culinary map. She continued to open concepts such as Sra. Martinez, Crumb on Parchment (still open), and Seagrape at the Thompson (now Hyatt), from which she parted ways earlier this year. Then, in 2015, after nearly a decade, Michy's closed for renovations and reopened after a couple of months under the moniker of Cena by Michy's. Apparently the restaurant's revamped mid-century space, boozy slushies, and new and improved menu wasn't enough to sustain it. The closure has been tied to lease negotiations with the landlord. Bernstein and husband David Martinez are in talks about other possible concepts, but nothing concrete is in the pipeline just yet. Cena by Michy, 6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33138, no phone.