NaiYaRa One year after opening, NaiYaRa’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down. Here, Chef Bee—formerly of one of our all-time favorites, the defunct Khong River House—presents dishes the fickle foodies of South Beach can sink their teeth into in more ways than one. Start with Thai Street Dumplings (Ad Zaab), little chickeny jewels served with oyster sauce and Thai chili. Bee also concocts a beef jerky like no other, accompanied by a spicy dipping sauce (called nahmjimjao—practice before you go) that’s made with tamarind, lime juice and chilies. Offerings like Pad Thai will please those who are a little less adventurous when it comes to Asian-inspired recipes, while curry fans can partake of the yellow variety in Bee’s Chiang Rai curry with egg noodles and skirt steak, or red curry served atop crispy duck, basil, red peppers and charred cherry tomatoes. There’s even a raw bar serving up Salmon Tacos with spicy mayo, avocado and truffle oil, and White Fish Truffle with lychee, yuzu, Hawaiian sea salt and Wasabi caviar. The experience is as close to a trip to Thailand as your tongue can get without boarding a plane.
1854 Bay Road, Miami Beach, 786.275.6005; naiyara.com.
olla Elevated Mexican food is not the easiest thing to find in Miami. Not that there is any dearth of Mexican eateries, of course—ranging from drive-throughs to posh establishments where a taco the size of your palm will run you about 20 bucks. But a spot that’s at once unpretentious and authentically rico comes along only once in a while, and OLLA is one such spot. Scott Linquist, who also brought Miami Coya, has created a menu comprising small and large plates, the former consisting of offerings like ahumado, smoked salmon, soft-boiled egg, tomatillo-poblano salsita and bolillo served in a jar and many of the latter including mole as a primary ingredient, including Coloradito, a fork-tender duck breast with duck carnitas, sour cherry salsita, roasted peanuts and fruity nutty red mole. Heartier appetites will perhaps be best sated by a Cazuelita (try the Dorado, with beer-battered mahi, shaved cabbage, garlic mayo and habanero pickled onions) or an Enchilada, from traditional Queso (cheese) to the more inventive Marisco, made with king crab, lobster, crema and requeson, a type of Hispanic ricotta. Small-batch spirits are here to enhance the eating experience, including a variety of tequila and mescal plus beers and wines from Mexican and local brewers—and, of course, a selection of cocktails.
1233 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, 786.717.5400; ollamiami.com.
Toscana Divino Just as the name suggests, this cozy, fashionable eatery in the heart of Mary Brickell Village is all about Tuscany. The ambience is lovely whether you choose to eat outside in the courtyard or indoors in the art-filled dining room, but this place is all about the food (the presentation is also worth noting—it’s impeccable). Whether your penchant for Italian falls into the “Tradizione” category (traditional authentic dishes) or “Moderna” (inspired by seasonal ingredients but rooted in Italian classics), you’re sure to leave the table planning your return visit. In particular, the Truffle Dinner Experience is bliss-inducing—have you ever even imagined the possibility of a dwarf peach with shaved black truffle, served in a wine glass and meant for you to shoot back in one delicious, all-encompassing bite? The simplest of creations, fresh tagliatelle with parmesan butter and white truffle Piemonte, is all about pleasure; a filet with roasted kale mashed potatoes and black truffle comes cooked to perfection and butter-tender, but perhaps the biggest surprise—and definitely the most entertaining—is the Lollipop dessert, an Ecuadorian chocolate cherry in syrup with black truffle on a stick. Go. Mangia. Delight.
900 S. Miami Ave., Miami, 305.371.2767; toscanadivino.com.