Miami In Season: Restaurant Roundup

Winter brings a new crop of restaurants to Miami, featuring delicacies from around the globe. Here is the best of the bunch.
Venezuelan chef Lorena Garcia reigns over Chica.

by Rebecca Wallwork

Izakaya at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach

The Lido Bayside Grill has long been a magnet for locals and snowbirds looking for a laid-back outdoor dining experience and lively happy hour. Now, though fall 2020, guests can experience the waterfront restaurant in a new guise, thanks to the limited-run Izakaya residency, featuring shareable Japanese-infused dishes heavy on locally sourced seafood and seasonal produce, and packed with umami flavor. 40 Island Ave., Miami Beach,

Tastes of Japan at Izakaya, The Standard

Orilla Bar & Grill

Argentine chef Fernando Trocca brings an outpost of his Buenos Aires restaurant, Orilla, to the upscale South of Fifth neighborhood, at the new Urbanica The Euclid Hotel, which opened its doors in November. The South American- and European-inspired menu includes plates small, medium and large, along with zesty sides like roasted carrots with fennel seeds, and heirloom tomatoes with pine nuts and capers. An open kitchen anchors the plant-filled indoor/outdoor dining rooms. 426 Euclid Ave., Miami Beach, 

Orilla’s family-style black rice with squid and bacon


This new spot on the Upper East Side is worth visiting for the lush décor alone—The Rockwell Group-designed space is filled with tropical plants, mosaic tile, rich hues and brass details. The restaurant brings chef Lorena Garcia home to Miami, and the menu includes dishes from her native Venezuela, as well as other Latin American regions. The meat game here is strong, but diners can also enjoy lighter appetizers like grilled octopus, seasonal ceviche, tacos and arepas. 5556 NE 4th Ct., Miami,

Mama Joon

This vegetable-driven Mediterranean restaurant is nestled in the stylish Life House Collins Park Hotel. Rami Zeidan, the man behind Life House, worked previously with The Sydell Group, the food and beverage pioneers behind The NoMad and The Line hotels. Fittingly, Mama Joon—the Persian word “joon” means “soul, spirit, life”—is a warm, cozy space with soaring ceilings and a canal-side terrace in one of the few quiet pockets of South Beach. From the mezze to small plates like kale and beet salads and a delicious butternut squash, everything on the menu is designed to be shared. 2216 Park Ave., Miami Beach,

Le Jardinier

If the tasting menus at the new L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon feel a little too indulgent for your winter plans, his longtime protégé, Michelin-
starred Alain Verzeroli, has a vegetable-forward concept rooted in the same classic French techniques right downstairs. Even better: Some of Verzeroli’s elevated bar bites, like pumpkin croquet, heirloom beets and spicy carrot hummus, appear on the happy hour menu, available Tuesday through Saturday from 3–7PM and Sundays from 7–9PM. Pair your pick with an Aperol Spritz or a signature cocktail, like the Rosé Sour. 151 NE 41st St., Miami,

Le Jardinier’s bar bites include pumpkin croquet.


Combine your passion for contemporary art and love of Basque cuisine at the new restaurant opening in the Rubell Museum’s new campus this January. LEKU will be helmed by 30-year-old Executive Chef Mikel Goikolea, formerly of Azurmendi Prêt à Porter. The indoor/outdoor space will showcase a “Basque grill” for wood-fired items such as local fish, Maine lobster and seasonal vegetables, and the menu will also include dishes like Basque lobster salad, vegetable tartare with beets and “porrusalda,” the traditional Basque leek and potato soup. 1100 NW 23rd Street, Allapattah,


Enjoy a taste of Tulum in the buzzing Faena District of Mid-Beach when Grupo Gitano brings an outpost of their Yucatán restaurant and bar to Casa Faena this December. Expect bohemian prints, tropical foliage and a disco ball installation. The menu has a focus on clean eating, with a modern take on Mayan-inspired Mexican fare. 3500 Collins Ave., Miami Beach,

Morrofino Barcelona

After expanding from Spain to the Bay Area, the Telefèric Restaurant Group now brings their most famous fare—tapas and pintxos—to Miami Beach, with the opening of Morrofino Barcelona inside the new AxelBeach Miami hotel, the latest incarnation of a circa-1940 art deco building in the heart of South Beach. Here, in a minimalist space steps from the hotel’s pool, Executive Chef Julio Aguilera, who has helmed two Michelin-starred kitchens, will be turning out both traditional tapas and plates with a twist. 1500 Collins Ave., Miami Beach,


A traditional, 15-course omakase menu will be the star of the show at Shuji Hiyakawa’s new namesake restaurant, coming to Wynwood in January. The new 28-seat space (plus eight at the counter for omakase) will honor the Japanese art of kikubari (paying attention to others), with an emphasis on seasonality and simplicity. 2700 N. Miami Ave., Miami,

Wave at 1 Beach Club

The 1 Hotel South Beach already has an enviable rooftop pool and restaurant among its many dining options; in early 2020, it adds Wave, as part of the 1 Beach Club’s expansion. In keeping with the brand’s wellness-focused ethos, the new restaurant—open to club members, hotel guests and the public—will offer a sea-to-table concept, with fresh, organic, local seafood anchoring a poolside-friendly menu that also includes mezze platters, salads and grilled entrees with both Latin and “Mediterranean Riviera” twists.
1 Beach Club members enjoy priority seating and access to special events. 2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach,

Traymore by Michael Schwartz

You already know the fresh, clean Floridian flavors by chef Michael Schwartz (of Michael’s Genuine; Amara at Paraiso). At his latest venture, at the wellness-centric COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, they’re combined with Southeast Asian influences that speak to the COMO brand’s roots. Traymore features a raw bar and a market table, where options include carpaccio with heart of palm and wok-charred wild salmon with four-sprout salad. 2445 Collins Ave., Miami Beach,

Traymore’s fresh vegetable rolls

And Then There’s…

Save room for even more bites at these spots, coming soon.

The Gramercy

Kiki on the River’s Roman Jones and chef Steve Rhee open a new spot in Coral Gables in January with a focus on American classics, including a tableside
tossed Caesar salad. 55 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables


While construction of chef Niven Patel’s new restaurant wraps up, diners can get a sneak peek at the Erba pop-up, next door to Patel’s Downtown Dadeland location of Ghee Indian Kitchen, and sample made-from-scratch pasta along with roast chicken, whole fish, and roasted vegetables from Patel’s own farms in Homestead. 8975 SW 72nd Place, Kendall

Nativo’s red grouper, marinated in herbs

Nativo Kitchen & Bar

When the Conrad Miami in Brickell launches its $10 million renovation in December, the hotel also unveils a new restaurant and bar on the 25th floor. Executive Chef Pablo Lamon (a Top Chef alum who’s worked at The Matador Room and 27 Restaurant) will helm the kitchen, channeling the flavors of his native Argentina. 1395 Brickell Ave., Miami,