Miami & South Florida Restaurant News
/ Openings / Closings
/ Chef Shuffle / News
Bytes / Culinary
Events / Wine
Dinners / Sign
up for our free, monthly newsletter / News
Chef Bee's street Thai food joint, NaiYara, has been a long time coming. Originally planned for fall 2014 and with a planned opening sometime within the "next couple of weeks" (dependant on a few final permits), NaiYara will be the newest addition to the culinary offerings in Sunset Harbour and in good company with local favorites such as Pubbelly, Barceloneta, Lucali, and PB Sushi. Chances are you've had chef Bee's food before, be it at Khong River (RIP) where he was opening executive chef, back in the day at Nobu where we worked his way up the culinary ladder to sushi chef, or, more likely, at his decade-old Oishi Thai in North Miami. At NaiYara (named after his daughter), Bee plans on bringing the same technique and innovation found at Oishi Thai while bringing back childhood favorites and dishes that speak to his roots. For that, he's sourced the help of his mother, who is also his business partner in the project. The menu will be an amalgamation of Thailand's many regions, with exotic and familiar flavors and even some dishes straight from Bee's grandmother's recipe book, copies of which were sold at the local village market. Think organic crispy bok choy with garlic chips topped with sweet sesame soy; crispy chicken dumpling with spicy garlic soy vinaigrette; and tom yum nahm khon. Akin to Oishi Thai, NaiYara will also boast Japenese specialties (i.e. uber fresh sushi and sashimi), as well as Bee's off-menu secrets for those in the know. NaiYara, 1854 Bay Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-944-0525.
Brickell just got hotter, cooler, and classier with the opening of El Tucan. A dinner-and-a-show venue from the team behind South Beach hotspot Baoli, El Tucan elicits a vibe unfound anywhere else in Miami. Open Thursday through Saturday and with two to three shows nightly, be prepared to be wowed by the performers and musicians taking the stage, which on any given night might range from a clown doing Lorde covers (totally creepy in a good way) to a local Haitian sensation and legend bringing back Motown's greatest hits. You'll also be able to order up a bevy of bevvies conceptualized by none other than Miami's cocktail kings, the Bar Lab Boys. As for food, you can nosh on items like manchego stuffed churros, cooked up by New Zealand-born chef Jean Paul Lourdes who's worked at restaurants in Paris, Tokyo, London and Hong Kong. El Tucan, 1111 SW First Ave., Miami, FL 33130, 305-535-0065.
Cinnamon rolls and strawberry milkshakes are back for another season at Knaus Berry Farm in Homestead. You can get your dose of rolls, breads, and pecan, Key lime or guava pies through mid-April 2016. Whether you want a dozen (or two) of warm buns or a day’s worth of strawberry picking, a Saturday at Knausberry is a Saturday well spent. The farm, which was founded in 1956 by brothers Ray and Russell Knaus, sold fresh berries and then expanded to a bakery operation after a few folks got a taste of Ray’s wife’s cookies. A visit to Homestead has become a South Florida tradition for locals and tourists alike. Ray passed away in August, but his daughters are continuing the legacy. Knaus Berry Farm, 15980 SW 248 St., Homestead, FL 33031, 305-247-0668.
Chef Michael Schwartz (Michael's Genuine Food & Drink) has expanded his casual pizzeria concept, Harry's Pizzeria, with a location in Coconut Grove. Pizzas sport aromatic wood-oven crusts and inventive chef/ingredient-driven toppings. Harry's Pizzeria, 2996-98 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove, FL 33133, 786-655-0121.
The partners behind South Beach's rustic Italian joint Macchialina are venturing out into Asian territory and cuisine with the opening of Bazi at The Marlin Hotel. Michael Pirolo (who was Scott Conant's chef de cuisine during Scarpetta's launch) and Jen Chaefsky will be dishing out a selection of raw items, noodle and rice dishes, heavy-hitting mains, and wait for it…three-course Peking duck dinners. It’s not meant to be authentically Asian but rather a representation of flavors from the Far East in a style that Pirolo and Chaefsky enjoy eating. Think Cantonese-style Florida shrimp with ginger, chives and Shaoxing wine, or peanut noodles with king crab and Florida shrimp. The duo is committed to sourcing locally wherever possible and making everything in-house. Bazi, The Marlin Hotel, 1200 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-695-0101.
If you've never seen Alex Guarnaschelli heating things up on “Iron Chef America” or passing judgement on an episode of “Chopped,” then keep your eyes peeled for the celebrity chef as she gears up to lead the culinary team at the soon-to-open (October) Nautilus Cabana Club inside Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel. Managed by China Grill management, the space will have the look and feel of a European beach club. The menu, developed by Guarnaschelli and chef de cuisine Lucas Marino, will focus on healthy, simple dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Nautilus Cabana Club, Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel, 1825 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-503-5700 .
Later in 2015, artisan bread maker Zak Stern will move from his quaint and simple 26th Street bakery that churns out 1,000 loaves of bread daily, along with toasts, soups, pastas and limited pastries, to a 7,000-square-foot space as a fully functioning and full-time restaurant. By full-time we mean (in true Miami fashion) a 24-hour “ventanita” serving up pasteles and croquetas around the clock. Stern’s bread can be found anywhere from Cena by Michy (Michelle Bernstein was Zak The Baker’s first buyer) and Michael's Genuine Food & Drink to Vagabond and even Whole Foods. But it's at his flagship operation in Wynwood where you can actually watch the craft of bread-making and baking firsthand. And yes, you'll still be able to view Stern and his army of bakers work their magic at the new location. Zak The Baker, 405 NW 26th St., Miami, FL 33127, 786-347-7100.
Eden Roc Miami Beach and Nobu Hotels will introduce Nobu Hotel at Eden Roc Miami Beach. The property will include a signature Nobu restaurant as well as a new oceanfront dining concept. Eden Roc Miami Beach, 4525 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33140, 305-531-0000, 855-433-3676.
Cypress Room Transitions to Cypress Tavern
Michael Schwartz's ode to fine dining, Cypress Room, has gotten a dress down. The white tablecloths are coming off, deer heads will no longer grace the walls, and instead of Cypress Room is called Cypress Tavern. The American grill and cocktail bar is serving approachable yet elevated food. Think French onion soup, marrow bones, steak tartare and steak frites. For the first time, Schwartz is also serving up Saturday brunch. On the menu: lobster omelette, croque madame, bucatini carbonara and the famous Cypress burger. You didn’t think that was going to anywhere, now did you? Cypress Tavern, 3620 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33137, 305-520-5197.
Blue Ribbon Headed to Miami?
If Blue Ribbon Sushi is a must-stop during your annual visit to New York City, get excited because word on the street is that brothers Bruce and Eric Bromberg are bringing the popular eatery and uber-fresh fish to Miami. While restaurant reps are denying the facts, evidence soliciting for executive chef and general manager on Craigslist suggest otherwise. This would mark Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill’s fourth outpost (other locations currently include Los Angeles and Las Vegas) and its first foray into the Miami dining circuit since the Bromberg brothers founded Blue Ribbon in 1992.
Sun Life Stadium Food & Drink Updates
Football season and beer go hand in hand, which is why Sun Life Stadium welcomed two taprooms to its vast arena this year. Located near Sections 117 and 147, the dual taprooms will be pouring 16 local Florida brews on tap until the stop at the end of the half. There will also be up to 36 (for now) local, regional and national bottle varieties of craft beer and cider available. But Sun Life Stadium isn't just making reinforcements in the suds; it has also welcomed Cuban landmark Café Versailles, Key West Sloppy Joe's and South Beach hotspot Bodega Taqueria y Tequila to the concession offerings. So if you want to watch the Dolphins during their 50th season with a Cuban sandwich, conch fritters or al pastor tacos in one hand and craft beer in the other, you can now do so right from your seat at the game. Sun Life Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens, FL 33056, 305-943-8000.
Blue Collar Ups Its Menu Offerings
Local chef Danny Serfer has upped the ante at his neighborhood joint Blue Collar, located in Miami's Upper East Side. Serfer, an Allen Susser protégé, was amongst the first to open an eatery in the then-desolate MiMo district three years ago. In lieu of its burgeoning resurgence, however, the apt blue-collar chef is staying one step ahead of the game by adding new dishes and keeping old favorites. New lunch discoveries include conch fritters and fried green tomatoes. For dinner, you can bite into scallops with fennel, peas and clam jus. If you're wondering about Serfer's daily vegetable board, don't fret --- it's still very much available and has some newcomers, a la roasted fennel, to the evergreen and ever-green mix. Blue Collar, Biscayne Inn, 6730 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33138, 305-756-0366 .
Chef Paul Qui (of qui in Austin) will open his first Miami restaurant, Pao, at Faena Hotel Miami Beach. Faena Hotel Miami Beach, 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33140, no phone.
Morimoto South Beach has closed after about a year of business. Morimoto South Beach, 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139, no phone.
Piola, the longstanding (15 years) Italian pizza joint on Lincoln Road, is no longer tossing and turning out dough. After a sudden announcement that the restaurant was being forced to give up its lease and removed against its own will, the prolific locals’ spot famous for its "aperitivo" happy hour held a funeral in its honor on Monday, August 31, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Plans to relocate to a new location are apparently in the works, although the “where” is up in the air. The Brickell outpost continues to dish out the well-known pies. Piola, 1625 Alton Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33139, no phone.
De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean at Hilton Miami Bentley/South Beach has shuttered. De Rodriguez Cuba on Ocean, Hilton Miami Bentley/South Beach, 101B Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, FL 33139, 305-672-6624.
View our calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in Miami