3 Local Eateries to Try This Month

Abiaka, Bulla Gastrobar, and Nativo Kitchen & Bar are proving to be culinary scene stealers


The new wood-fire grill restaurant at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood showcases the culinary techniques of solid fuel grilling inspired by South Florida’s unique, bold flavors. Overlooking the resort’s beautifully landscaped pool, Abiaka celebrates everything that is amazing with live fire and solid fuel grilling, using both orangewood and white oak charcoal to bring the natural flavors of the ingredients to the forefront of the palate. The open-kitchen concept gives guests a peek at the action as chefs grill up seafood, meats and Florida-fresh produce on open flames using state-of-the-art J&R wood-fire grills and Josper coal ovens. Small plates range from simple offerings such as Toast, embellished with fresh tomato, queso fresco, EVOO and herb salad, Avocado Hummus, and Charcoal Roasted Oysters to a selection of Greens that includes a purist’s Grilled Endive Salad with blue cheese and grapefruit vinaigrette to a lush Lobster Salad featuring root vegetables and lobster vinaigrette. Large plates are divided into two categories—Ocean and Land—with notable selections such as Wagyu Skirt Steak made with a spiced rub and house sauces and a Pork Skirt Steak served with salt-roasted potatoes, roasted garlic aioli ad mojo verde. But that’s not all: There’s also the Feast section, with plates enormous enough for sharing, where you’ll find immense lobsters (3 lbs., but you can choose to go with a half), Grilled Whole Fish and Bone-In Beef Rib. Sides are straightforward but creatively accented—wood-grilled mushrooms are enhanced by the addition of smoked salmon roe and horseradish cream; roasted broccoli gets a bump on the wow-factor scale with the addition of Manchego cheese and Caesar dressing. Bring us two orders, please.

Abiaka at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 954.248.5944

Bulla Gastrobar – CORAL GABLES

Longtime favorite Bulla Gastrobar—with locations in Coral Gables and Doral—has launched a selection of new seasonal dishes and cocktails for winter (and yes, February is still winter). New items on the menu include Carrilleras con Fideos with pasta, braised beef cheeks, sofrito and minced parsley, as well as Bombas de Rabo with braised oxtail, oxtail truffle reduction and mustard aioli. Guests can enjoy a perfectly grilled Pulpo a la Parrilla with octopus, corn purée, salsa criolla and black pepper, or a classically prepared Piquillos Rellenos featuring piquillo peppers stuffed with braised pork and pimento cheese. Save room for the Tarta de Santiago for dessert, a delightful concoction comprised of traditional Spanish cake, toasted almonds, powdered sugar and vanilla ice cream. Make sure to wash it all down with a refreshing Sangria 43—red wine, brandy, Licor 43, triple sec, Sprite, pear, red apples and chopped orange—or a Spiced Old Fashioned, made with Old Forester Bourbon, winter-spiced syrup, Angostura bitters and orange bitters—to complete the perfect meal.

2500 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, 786.810.6215; 5335 NAW 87th Ave., Doral, 305.260.6543; bullagastrobar.com

Nativo Kitchen & Bar – MIAMI

The vibrant new Nativo Kitchen & Bar, helmed by executive chef and rising culinary star Pablo Lamon, is now open on Brickell. Conceived as the go-to convivial gathering spot for Brickell residents and denizens of Downtown Miami, Nativo Kitchen & Bar is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and daily Happy Hour) at its stunning new lounge offering views of the city and Biscayne Bay. Native Argentinean Lamon says he’s inspired by the city’s current food culture, remarking, “Miami is an inspiring place to be working as a chef today. Nativo’s menu can’t be described as any one style of cooking since I want it to represent my take on Miami, which is internationally influenced but truly original.” Dishes focus on responsibly sourced products and incorporate cooking techniques, spices, colors, aromatics and design with a Latin American influence. For starters, check out Chef Pablo’s signature Causa De Pulpo with octopus al escabeche served on a bed of puréed purple potato, avocado and lavender pickled orange; for heartier appetites, large plates include the Marinated Steamed Fish with avocado foam and farro salad and a Beet Glazed Short Rib with carrot purée, a refreshing pickled Brussels sprouts salad and oyster mushrooms. All desserts are also Chef Pablo’s creations, including the Hibiscus Créme Caramel with lavender crème anglaise, topped with hibiscus puffed rice and served with a lavender creme Anglaise poured tableside. A thoughtfully curated selection of cocktails is also in the offing, because—well, this is Miami.

In the Conrad Miami at 1395 Brickell Avenue, Miami; 305.503.6529

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