Chef Daniel Boulud introduces his Mediterranean concept to Downtown Miami.
Second acts can be truly amazing, and that’s what we’re counting on from Chef Daniel Boulud. Having the long beloved shuttered db bistro moderne, the prolific French master is opening his second location (the first opened six years ago on New York’s Upper West Side) of Boulud Sud, where he’s offering coastal cuisine inspired by flavors from the Côte d’Azur, Spain, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Turkey and beyond. “Boulud Sud [is] a celebration of all things sea and sun, both in our menus and the relaxing design,” promises Boulud. “The mezze-style shared plates and colorful culinary influences reflect the warm, coastal climate of the Mediterranean, and after our pop-up experience with this concept, it became clear that the flavors of the Riviera are a perfect fit for the evolving culinary scene in Miami.”
An important component to any hip downtown eatery in the Magic City, an energetic lounge and bar is also part of the scene, where the Miami vibe will be present in the form of live plants and greenery and warm natural woods used in the décor. At the helm in the kitchen: Executive Chef Clark Bowen, who has been an integral part of the Daniel Boulud team for seven years. Continuing his well-established rapport with Chef Boulud, together they’ve developed a menu that highlights local ingredients, while building on a foundation of existing Boulud Sud favorites using spices, seasonings and cooking methods found in the Mediterranean such as Octopus à la Plancha, Arabic Lamb Flatbread, Taramasalata, Sicilian Grilled Swordfish and Moroccan Chicken Tagine. Pastry Chef Saeko Nemoto, who has also been working with Chef Boulud for many years in New York and Miami, is presenting both original desserts and variations on classics from the New York location, including the much-beloved Grapefruit Givré topped with sesame halva, rose loukoum and grapefruit sorbet.
255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Miami, 305.421.8800; bouludsud.com/miami
If you can’t make it to Italy this year, make a reservation here.
With two Michelin Stars under his belt, chef Antonio Mellino and his son Raffaele bring together the essential elements of Italian fine dining with slow food culture bringing a sensorial epicurean experience with its stunning yet simple cuisine with a focus on fresh and delicious ingredients. Forte Dei Marmi, located in a beautiful 1938 Mediterranean-revival building renovated by Miami star architect Chad Oppenheim, will transport you back to the sea town of Lucca, Tuscany, after which it’s named; I visited the city last summer and still daydream about the simple, exquisite Italian dishes issued from the kitchens of the cafés at which we dined. Those daydreams can be realized right here, from the Grilled Farm Organic Seasonal Vegetables, Raw Red Prawn Carpaccio with Smoked Burrata, Vitello Tonnato with dehydrated capers and marinated egg yolk and Tempura Fried Zucchini Flowers. But those are just the starters. Primi Piatti (first courses, for those of you unseasoned in Italian dining) include delicious Spaghetti alla Chitarra with fresh basil pesto, Sicilian pistachios and langoustine, and Ravioli with smoked mozzarella, pachino tomato (from Sicily) and basil, while a lengthy list of Mains includes light-as-air Mediterranean Branzino Fillet with artichoke purée, green beans and zucchini blossoms, a slow-cooked Suckling Pig that’s roasted for 36 hours and served with roasted Brussels sprouts and quince purée, and, a 45-oz. Prime T-bone for two served Florentine-style with green beans and new potatoes. There’s also a Chef’s Tasting menu, which at $110 for 5 courses (add $65 for the wine pairing) is really, we think, an offer no one can—or should—refuse.
150 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, 786.276.3095; fdmmiami.com
The best and freshest Florida has to offer is showcased here on the plate—and in your cocktail.
We watch for anything and everything Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth do, so of course we’re excited about the latest offering the Dynamic Duo has brought to South Florida: Stiltsville Fish Bar, in Sunset Harbour, is all about locally sourced seafood and ingredients, whether you’re hankering for a snack (or a few) or a huge plate of comfort food. From the former, do not miss the Sweet Corn Spoon Bread made with buttermilk cream and scallions (and the option to add butter-poached lobster); Wood Grilled Oysters with greenneck butter and charred sourdough, or a Butter Lettuce & Avocado Salad with grilled corn, summer squash, zucchini and breakfast radish served with creamy buttermilk ranch dressing. If you do decide to go big, you may have trouble choosing between the mouthwatering Shrimp N’ Grits with Creole sausage, melted tomato, sweet peas and shrimp butter; Creamy Gnudi with Melted Heirloom Tomatoes finished with Dade County orange and tarragon-infused extra-virgin olive oil, and the Gremolata and Bone Marrow-crusted NY Strip with buttermilk whipped potatoes, grilled broccoli and tomato jam. Offerings such as Fingerling Potato Tostones with Black Garlic Aioli and Lemonade Brined & Charred Broccoli elevate sides to an entirely new plain of flavors, but that is how this team rolls: the cocktails, with a focus on rum—Key West vibes and all that—intrigue with fun monikers like Sunny’s Strawberry Sunset, which consists of Elyx, St. Germain liqueur, yellow Chartreuse, Orgeat, lime juice and fresh strawberry, and Oaxacan Paradise, a combination of Vida Mezcal, Hamilton Jamaican Black, pineapple juice, lemon juice, Orgeat and chocolate bitters. Sometimes chefs are inventive to the point where you just feel puzzled by their dishes. Not the case with McInnis and Booth, two like minds who bring together the best each has to offer and translate that to us lucky diners.
1787 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach, 786.353.0477; stiltsvillefishbar.com