Eat Here Now

The dining scene in South Florida has become even more vibrant, with New Yorkers joining locals in opening new spots. Hotels are upping the ante with exciting projects from Miami to Palm Beach, and big-name chefs are among those unveiling dining rooms. Below, some of the most buzzworthy spots.
Drift serves up fresh seafood straight from the waters of South Florida.

By Beth Landman

 

Abbalé Telavivian Kitchen

Located in a house South of Fifth, this cozy spot from Omer Horev and Sam Gorenstein is filled with plants, banquettes and pillows. It is serving up trending Telavivian fare with lots of veggies. Don’t miss charred local cauliflower or Moroccan-spiced local fish. 864 Commerce St., Miami Beach; abbatlvkitchen.com

 

Avra Miami Estiatorio

Arguably New York’s most popular and successful restaurant is branching out to Miami, opening an outpost in the Estates at Acqualina, which features lobbies designed by Karl Lagerfeld. The Acqualina resort itself recently opened Ke-uh, an Asian fusion restaurant, with a head chef hailing from Nobu Miami. 17885 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach; theavragroup.com

 

Ogawa

Only 12 people are seated at this luxe omakase spot enhanced by a garden and art pieces. Chef Masayuki Komatsu uses seasonal ingredients from Japan accompanied by Suntory whiskys, premium malt beers or boutique sake and wine. 7223 NW 2nd Ave., Miami; ogawamiami.com

Grilled halloumi cheese over spring greens, from Dune by Laurent Tourondel

Orno

Chef Niven Patel, one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2020, is bringing farm to table to a new level, growing much of the produce for his new Orno, within the Thesis Hotel Miami, at his nearby farm. The New American menu has such highlights as Roasted Fall Squash with hazelnut, cranberry and marjoram; Charred Sunchokes with a shallot vinaigrette and golden raisins; and Australian Lamb Chops with medjool dates and banyuls vinegar and coriander. 1350 S. Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables; ornomiami.com

 

DUNE by Laurent Tourondel

The “LT” behind BLT Restaurants is taking over the restaurant inside Fort Lauderdale’s tony Auberge Beach Residences and Spa, which has an ocean backdrop. He is creating a global menu ranging from sashimi and nigiri to organic chicken “diablo.” 2200 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; dunebylt.com

 

Moréa

The entrees on the menu are divided into “From the Wood Grill,” “From the Hearth” and “From the Garden” at this new Mediterranean from North Carolina-based LM Restaurants, which offers a range of everything from mushroom “Bolognese”
to whole fish to a tomahawk steak. 701 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale; moreadining.com

 

Drift

The oceanfront Opal Grand, which opened last season with a lobby restaurant, The Monkey Bar, is launching a stylish second restaurant this season, inspired by sailing culture. Bread, pasta and pastries are made on premises, and there is an emphasis on local seafood and produce. Look for such dishes as Florida snapper with grits, roasted peppers, baby arugula tomato jam and smoked chili oil. 10 N. Ocean Blvd.; Delray Beach; opalgrand.com

 

Polpo Palm Beach

The Eau Palm Beach Resort is unveiling an outpost of Polpo, the popular Greenwich, Connecticut, restaurant from Ron Rosa, who also founded Campagnola and Ecco in New York. Expect fresh oysters, spicy “angry” lobster and whole fish deboned tableside. 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan; eaupalmbeach.com

 

SeaSpray Inlet Grill

A dock-and-dine restaurant opened at the Waterstone Resort & Marina this year with such offerings as ancient grain salad and fresh local fish. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own boat—paddleboards and Jet Skis are available for rent. 999 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton; seasprayboca.com

 

Corvina Seafood Grill

There’s an island influence at this massive, highly designed new spot in downtown Boca that offers an array of sushi rolls, a raw bar, charbroiled oysters and such Florida-style dishes as plantain-crusted corvina with sweet potato mash in curry sauce. The giant saltwater aquarium is a focal point. 110 Plaza Real S., Boca Raton; corvinabocaraton.com

 

The Boca Raton

The legendary resort—formerly known as the Boca Raton Resort & Club—was purchased by MSD (Michael Dell’s real estate and investment company) in 2019 and is undergoing a massive renovation including a complete overhaul of its restaurants—four in partnership with Major Food Group (Carbone, The Grill).

This first, the recently opened The Flamingo Grill, is a retro chop house designed by David Rockwell and featuring such dishes as golden beet carpaccio and dressed lobster with curry aioli and pickled green apple. MB Supper Club, due in December, is also a nod to nostalgia, focusing on the retro vibe of the 1930s and ’40s. Look for old-school offerings such as veal Oscar and duck
l’orange. 501 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton; thebocaraton.com

 

Farmer’s Table

This restaurant, which also has a location in Boca, and emphasizes clean cuisine such as wild salmon with quinoa and cauliflower “rice,” and vegan meatballs with spaghetti squash, is now offering “table talk” health lectures in collaboration with Hippocrates Health Institute and other wellness experts. 951 U.S. Hwy. 1, North Palm Beach; dinefarmerstable.com

 

Akira Back

Chef Back, who earned a Michelin star at Dosa in Seoul and is known for blending modern Japanese cuisine with authentic Korean flavors in dishes like Cucumber Kimchi, is due to open an eponymous spot in The Ray hotel this January. 233 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach, akirabackdelray.com

Ember Grill’s heavenly lobster and sweet corn ravioli.

Ember Grill

Making its debut this fall in The Ray, the food is focused around a wood-burning Josper grill, which turns out such delectables as Peruvian spiced chicken and whole branzino. 233 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach, embergrilldelray.com

 

Barrio Bar

Latin street food is the draw at this 100-seat outdoor space in West Palm Beach’s Rosemary Square. Wash down braised beef empanadas, blistered shishitos and quinoa salad with spicy margaritas. 700 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach; barriowpb.com

 

MESO BEACH HOUSE

A sister restaurant to the renowned Mediterranean spot in Rye, New York, is due to open on the Intracoastal in Delray. It will serve clean and elegant food such as grilled lobster and whole branzino. 900 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach;
mesobeachhouse.com

Strawberry ricotta cheescake and wood-oven apple tart from Prezzo

Isla

Former Marea sous-chef Matthew Foley will helm the kitchen at this all-day Australian-influenced cafe from New York’s Parched Hospitality. The eatery is due to launch in January, and will have many veggie dishes such as an “impossible” sausage roll and roast squash with tandoori labneh. 1401 Clare Ave., West Palm Beach; islacafes.com

 

Prezzo Palm Beach Gardens

A reincarnation of the 1990s northern Palm Beach County spot that once was the site of a famous bar scene, this trattoria serves up wood-fired pizza that originally made Prezzo famous, as well as imaginative interpretations of authentic Italian classics like Frutti di Mare, Smoked Burrata and Chicken Milanese. 4520 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; eatprezzo.com