Gourmand

DÔA
Whatever Asian-inspired dish—from sushi to dim sum—you’re in the mood for, this is the place to satisfy your craving.

Perhaps the first thing you should know about Arjun Waney’s (he of Zuma and Coya) latest concept is that the name is not pronounced “D-O-A”—it actually sounds like “Dow-ah”, which means “the door” in Japanese. So pass through that door into this restaurant and enter a culinary paradise that’s best appreciated if you do so while very hungry, because deciding between the various temptations—dim sum, ceviche, sushi and sashimi, hot pots and stir-fries, and dinners from the Robata grill—is not the easiest task. Better yet, take a hungry crew with you so you can get a little bit of everything and share. Start with refreshing Arjun Scallop Tartare with sweet chili, leche de tigre mayo and sesame rice crackers and some sushi, maybe the DÔA Ceviche Roll and some Sirlion “A La Pobre” nigiri, with truffle soy and quail egg. Don’t miss the homemade steamed buns—Chifa Duck with hoisin, scallion and cilantro is a standout. And pick from the Robata Grill menu as well, maybe Thai fish with lemongrass, soy and rocoto, Lamb Chops or Branzino.

The restaurant caught a lot of guff for offering up a $750 margarita for Cinco de Mayo earlier this year (to be fair, the ultra-luxe libation was two-for-$1000), but that was a one-off. The Happy Hour specials are actually fab, with $7 signature cocktails such as the Sensei’s Apprentice, a mix of Maestro Dobel, honeydew, cucumber and lime, and ShisoRumi, a concoction of Flor de Caña, lime, shiso and soda; $5 beers and $5 bar bites, from pork belly buns to vegetable spring rolls to crispy squid with sansho pepper, chili, cilantro and lime. 2000 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305.587.2000; doacantina.com

Employees Only

One meal and a cocktail or two, and you might just get the urge to apply for a job here yourself.

If your palate runs to the rich side and umami is your mission in life, this little speakeasy, recently transplanted here from the West Village in New York City (it’s the restaurant’s third outpost), has your name all over it. Dinner, which is served from 9 pm to 1 am (a late-night menu is available from 1 am-4:30 am daily) every night, is all about luxurious food. Not necessarily fancy, but most definitely luxurious, the menu consists of what the founders dub New American fare with Eastern European touches that pay homage to executive chef Julia Jaksic’s Croatian heritage. Think appetizers like Bone Marrow Poppers with a pastry shell and Bordelaise, Ricotta Gnocchi with Shiitake mushrooms and English pea pesto; a Cheese Plate with lavash, herbs and honeyed pistachios, or a Caviar Board with classic accoutrements and buckwheat blini. Entrées are equally decadent: Chicken Schnitzel with sour cream mashed potatoes and red cabbage slaw; a 26-oz. Seared Bone-In Ribeye with horseradish potato au gratin; even Truffled Grilled Cheeese with Parmesan fries and truffle mayo. Then there are the cocktails—and lots of them. If we had to pick three to tell you about, we’d mention the Billionaire Cocktail, Knob Creek single-barrel bourbon shaken with fresh lemon juice, EO Grenadine and Absinthe Bitters; the Fraise Sauvage, Fords Gin shaken with wild strawberries and Tahitian vanilla and finished with EO Prosecco di Conegliano Brut; and the Mata Hari, Remy Martin 1738 Cognac shaken with Chai-infused Martini Rosso and pomegranate juice, served straight up.
1030 Washington Ave., Miami, 786.264.3945; employeesonly.com

Rust Wynwood

One of the trendiest neighborhoods in Miami is home to one of the most down-to-earth eateries.

asual, fun, and artsy—it is located in Wynwood, after all—this popular gathering spot is making its mark in an ever-burgeoning Miami neighborhood, thanks to its chill vibe and globally inspired offerings. Tapas range from Croquetas with Uruguayan sausage, arugula and aioli to Ceviche Dorado with housemade aji amarillo sauce and Eggplant and Cheese Roll Ups, thin slices of baked eggplant stuffed with fontina provolone, mozzarella and goat cheese and topped with housemade tomato-basil sauce. Move on to something more substantial, like Chivito Uruguayo, a sublime combination of beef tenderloin, ham, mozzarella, bacon, green olives, roasted bell pepper, boiled eggs, aioli, French fries and fried eggs; a Mahi Mahi tartine, made with capers, sweet tomatoes, bruschetta, arugula and lemon dressing; or a toasty flatbread—the Blue Cheese and Pear with mozzarella, blue cheese, fire-roasted pears, caramelized onions, radishes and micro greens is a true taste sensation. Salad-holics will appreciate the healthy Red Quinoa Salad, which is vegan, as is the Italian Lentils Salad with butternut squash, beets, mushrooms, housemade cashew ricotta and lemongrass balsamic reduction, but there’s also a Chicken Cobb. Desserts address all possible cravings, from the more virtuous Seasonal Fruit Salad with Lemon Sorbet to the decadence of Panqueque de Dulce de Leche, served flambéed with vanilla ice cream. 2621 NW 2nd Ave., Space 28, Miami, 305.576.6811; rustwynwood.com

The Arketekt by Aficionados

Creativity is the name of the game here, from the cool wine program to the fabulous food.

The concept of this latest restaurant, brought to you by the team behind Aficionados Brickell Wine & Spirits, is all about creativity—from the name, which is the phonetic spelling of “architect”—to the cuisine and the way wine and spirits are offered. Chefs Jean Paul Desmaison (former owner of La Cofradia in Coral Gables and Jeal Paul’s House) and Ivan Mackliff (formerly of The Big Easy, Andu Bistro, The River Oyster Bar, et al) offer a menu comprising an extensive array of small plates and local craft cocktail menu along with a wine program designed to allow guests to taste and select before committing to a full bottle (there are also lots of half-bottles available). Choose to share with the table Shrimp a La Plancha with avocado crema, egg tartare and Pisco Thousand Island, or Pork Belly with roasted corn and queso fresco salsa and sherry vinaigrette; or go solo with a tasty flatbread, Butternut Squash Gnocchi with kale and crispy mushrooms, toasted seeds and sage butter or a juicy Arketekt Burger. Dinnertime treats include small plates like Truffle Fries, Croquetas and Empanadas, more than a dozen medium plates to choose from including Pan-Seared Salmon with Vidalia onions, orange escabeche and yuca cake; Quatro Mac n Cheese made with Parmesan, Gruyere, cheddar and Manchego; and Charred Cauliflower with lemon Tzatziki and garlic chips. Heartier eaters can tuck into the New York Strip with Malbec gorgonzola sauce and roasted fingerling potatoes. The menu for Brunch—arguably Miamians’ favorite meal—offers many temptations, so the restaurant’s deal of 2 items for $22 is a good one, especially if you wake up craving both savory and sweet. May we suggest a PBJ Waffle Stack with a side of Yo’ Break Fast Flatbread? 1200 Brickell Bay Drive, Ste. 107, Miami, 786.482.6989; thearketekt.com

 

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