Cerveceria Del Barrio – MIAMI BEACH
When a restaurant has more than 30 locations in Mexico and decides to open its first U.S. location in Miami, it’s worth checking out. La Cerveceria de Barrio is one such eatery, choosing for its first stateside locale a spot on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. The 260-seat seafood cantina is not just another taco joint—far from it. In addition to tacos—more than 15 varieties, including Rib-Eye with grilled cheese and avocado, Crispy Gulf Shrimp tempura-style with garlic mayo, and Octopus with caramelized onions with Swiss chard, arbol chili, leeks, tomato, garlic, onion and squid—there’s a laundry list of items ranging from raw bar items to appetizers to burgers and tortas (imagine a sandwich married to a taco) to main courses and of course, desserts. Highlights for the extra-hungry include the Molcajete Mixto, a lava rock bowl piles with skirt steak, chicken breast, shrimp, bell peppers, spring onions, cactus leaves, panela cheese and either red guajillo sauce or green tomatillo sauce; the Pescado a La Talla, a charcoal-grilled Guerrero-style snapper fillet marinated in chile ancho and roasted garlic sauce; Surf and Turf Fajitas with all the trimmings; and Seafood Lasagna, bursting with Gulf shrimp, Mexican octopus, fish fillet, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, sweet peppers and parmesan cheese. If you’ve got any room left at the end of the meal, finish it off with a sweet ending—you can’t go wrong with the Nutella empanadas. The best part? If you’re doing Basel this year, you can always walk off all the calories.
836 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305.535.7400; lacerveceriadebarrio.com
Fiola – CORAL GABLES
From the nation’s capital to The Magic City comes Fiola Miami, the second location of the Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Fiola in Washington, D.C., that is a favorite haunt of celebrities, politicians and power players alike. (And isn’t that what Miamians value most in a restaurant?) Conceptualized by critically acclaimed Chef Fabio Trabocchi and his wife/business partner, Maria, Fiola Miami’s menu offers contemporary interpretations of Italian classics. An assortment of antipasti includes Burrata of Buffalo Mozzarella, crudos such as Ahi Tuna with San Marzano tomatoes, Taggiasca olives, capers, sorrel and Meyer lemon, and Bison Tartare with Castelfranco radicchio, Maitake mushrooms, and Parmigiano crema. Italian caviar, oysters and stone crabs are available from the raw bar, and artisanal charcuterie boards featuring Spain’s celebrated Cinco Jotas paleta shoulder of Iberian pig are also first-course options. Mains not-to-miss are inspired by Italy’s many coastal and inland regions, like the Rare Skillet-Seared Ora King Salmon with porcini crema, Matsutake mushrooms and smoked trout roe; Fiola Prosciutto-Wrapped Veal Chop for two, and wood-fired Wagyu Beef Short Ribs. And then of course there is the pasta: Select from dishes such as the Bucatini with Red king prawns, sea urchin and Espelette pepper, and Lobster Ravioli. Desserts showcase a twist on classics, with creative takes on straightforward favorites like tiramisu and beignets. On Sundays, there’s a Jazz Brunch, with performances by University of Miami Frost School of Music students, to be enjoyed in tandem with an XXL Lemon Ricotta Pancake, Egg White Omelet Caprese or Crab Benedict and Steak & Eggs. Sunday evenings, Sunday Family Dinner, featuring four courses, is served family-style, with a bottle of wine, for $60 per guest. “My wife and I have shared the Fiola Miami vision for years, and to see it come to life as we welcome our first guests is a rewarding experience,” says Trabocchi. “We are honored to join this flourishing culinary community and look forward to offering a space for memories to be made, both in our kitchen and among those who dine with us.” Salute!
1500 San Ignacio Ave., Coral Gables, 305.912.2639; fiolamiami.com
Donna Mare – MIAMI BEACH
The Miami food scene has evolved continuously over the past 30 years, with just about every cuisine in the world now available to us whenever the craving hits. But some things remain constant, like our love for Italian food. That’s proven on an almost monthly basis, as among the spate of openings there is always at least one new Italian restaurant. In Miami Beach, Donna Mare at the Cadillac Hotel is one of the latest. Chef and partner Manuel Mattei, who grew up in Italy’s Lombardy region, created the concept to pay homage to his roots and to his mother’s legacy of preparing authentic cuisine from the heart. In that vein, he offers up locally sourced traditional fare and seafood including Neapolitan pizzas from a wood-fired oven, homemade pastas, locally caught grilled fish and grass-fed meats. Dinner dishes spotlight Italian favorites such as Branzino in Padella with butternut squash, potatoes and spinach; Genovese Wood Oven Pizza with pesto, mozzarella, arugula and parmesan; and Linguine Vongole with Manila clams, garlic, parsley and pinot grigio, to name a few. A semi-private dining space is also available within the restaurant, accommodating up to 24 guests. “I look forward to sharing my Mamma’s legacy with those living in and visiting Miami Beach through traditional dishes that give diners a taste of coastal Italy,” says Mattei. “Fresh ingredients are at the heart of every dish we prepare, just like they were when I was growing up.”
3925 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305.538.3373; cadillachotelmiamibeach.com