Le Jardinier – MIAMI
In August, two of the most highly anticipated new restaurants of the season opened their doors in the Miami Design District’s Paradise Plaza: the South Florida location of the L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, and Le Jardinier, a new concept created by longtime Robuchon protégés. Le Jardinier, a modern vegetable-driven restaurant, is a casual yet sophisticated concept created by culinary director Alain Verzeroli, who currently serves as executive chef of the restaurant’s flagship location in New York City. “Le Jardinier is focused on modern cuisine utilizing the highest quality vegetables, seasonal ingredients, and fresh herbs,” said Verzeroli. “The menu and concept were inspired by the way sophisticated diners are eating globally, and by a desire to have lighter gourmet experiences. It’s exciting to discover the incredible products native to South Florida that we can showcase.” The menu features vegetable-forward cuisine rooted in classic French technique, with plants playing a prominent role in the menu. Signature dishes include Bass with fennel, tomato confit and Meyer lemon, and Watermelon Salad with heirloom tomatoes, ginger, and mint. Desserts, focusing on the use of organic ingredients, are centered around seasonal fruits balanced by bitter, acidic, salty and sweet flavors. Executive Pastry Chef Salvatore Martone leads the creation of the dessert menus, with Pastry Chef Yara Mage managing the program locally. Refreshing and indulgent treats includes the Blueberry made with blueberry and lemongrass with an eggless merengue.
151 NE 41st St., Ste. 135, Miami, 305.402.9060; lejardinier-miami.com
Esotico – DOWNTOWN MIAMI
The much-anticipated tiki-inspired concept by Daniele Dalla Pola (DDP) and Graspa Group owner Graziano Sbroggio, Esotico Miami is a tropically chic restaurant and bar offering a spectacular cocktail menu reflecting global influences and overflowing with fresh, original, potent concoctions. DDP is a cocktail globetrotter and a connoisseur of tiki culture and arguably one of the world’s best tropical mixologists, he has traveled extensively, gaining expertise in crafting cocktails inspired by exotic and remote locales, including two of his favorite places: Hawaii and the Caribbean. Esotico Miami’s comprehensive cocktail menu contains an assortment of original creations influenced by tiki-cocktail history. The offerings include close to 230 rums, signature drinks, limited edition mugs, large-format social cocktails for sharing, and sections dedicated to Negronis, rum flights, gin and tonics, mocktails and beer. The varied and eclectic menu, dubbed “tropical chow,” tempts with a variety of seafood, meat-centric and vegetarian options.
Esotico Miami, 1600 NE 1 Ave., Downtown Miami, 305.800.TIKI; esoticomiami.com
Sushi By Bou- MIAMI BEACH
Tucked away on the second floor of The Villa Casa Casuarina, within Gianni Versace’s former suite, resides Sushi By Bou, an exclusive sushi bar bringing experiential omakase to South Beach. The popular New York City concept is the brainchild of Michael Sinensky and Erika London of Simple Venue, which focuses on transforming underutilized spaces within existing hotels into experiential culinary concepts. Guests can choose between a 30- or 60-minute omakase dine in the expanded suite, which houses two four-seat sushi bars with a modern neoclassic style that honors the mansion’s existing architecture and original design. Diners are encouraged to arrive early or stay late for private access to the G-Lounge, where a personal bartender serves up a selection of fine Japanese whiskeys and craft sake cocktails in the pre-dining space complete with emerald couches and a fireplace. The 60-minute omakase experience includes 17 courses for $125 (including tax and gratuity) while the 30-minute option includes 12 courses for $65 (exclusive of tax and gratuity). Oh, and the suite is equipped with an Instagrammable self-service sake vending machine where guests can select their choice of three sakes for $40 or add a sake pairing to the experience at an additional cost.
Sushi By Bou at The Villa Casa Casuarina, 1116 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, 305.922.9195; sushibybou.com