Miami Heat

The Magic City boasts several buzzy new spots this season.
Enoy a Southern American brunch at Rosie’s: The Backyard.

By Beth Landman

The dining scene in Miami is so hot that top New York restaurateurs have been flocking south to launch their newest projects. Below, a few of the top contenders.

Avra Estiatorio Miami

After opening its third Manhattan space, the popular brand just unveiled an awe-inspiring dining room within The Estates at Acqualina. The menu is classic Greek, from tomato salads to charred octopus to grilled lamb. Leave room for yogurt and honey or baklava. 17945 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach;

Donatella Arpaia  Photo: Deanna Candelas. Courtesy of Noma Beach

Noma Beach at Redfish

Coastal Italian cuisine will be the main focus of celebrity chef Donatella Arpaia’s new restaurant with an open bay view in Matheson Hammock Park. Black sea bass and steak are prepared in a wood-burning oven, while other attractions include spiny lobster when in season and the chef’s famous meatballs. 9610 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables;


Food & Wine’s Best New Chef of 2020, Niven Patel, premiered his New American restaurant within the Thesis Hotel in Coral Gables. He sources ingredients from his backyard farm, and prepares many of them over an open flame. Among the items on his ever-changing menu are Vidalia onion gratin, and bucatini with sunray venus clams. 1350 South Dixie Hwy., Coral Gables;

Fabel Miami

When you dine alfresco in December, you feel like you’re beating the system, and where better to do that than on LA architect Matthew Rosenberg and chef Ian Fleischmann’s new rooftop restaurant and lounge in Wynwood. A list of rare wines accompanies the Mediterranean fare. 50 NW 24th St., Miami;

MaryGold’s Florida Brasserie

The Florida-inspired brasserie from Brad Kilgore focuses on local seafood and house-made pastas. Among the other offerings are a veggie-friendly cabbage terrine, and hay-smoked chicken with scrambled eggs for two.  2217 NW Miami Court, Miami;

Mayfair Grill

The $50 million renovation of Mayfair House Hotel & Garden in Coconut Grove includes two new eateries. The Mayfair Grill celebrates wood-fired food of the Southwest, along with agave cocktails and Napa valley wine. The other, Sipsip, is a Caribbean rooftop bar with daiquiris, conch fritters and rock lobster rolls. 3000 Florida Ave., Coconut Grove;

Sushi by Scratch Restaurants

Opened in a historic Coconut Grove house, this outpost of the Michelin-starred Montecito raw fish mecca serves up a 17-course omakase that is strictly nigiri. 3242 Charles Ave., Miami;


Antonio Bachour’s new Parisian bistro in the Miami Design District, with a chic bar, outdoor patio and glass-enclosed bakery, is a perfect place to pop in after visiting the nearby shops. 180 NE 40th Street #102, Miami;

Isabelle’s Grill Room & Garden

A new chef, Ashley Stanton, and a decor update have revamped The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove’s signature restaurant. The trellised outdoor deck is an idyllic dining spot in which to enjoy pappardelle with mushrooms, Meyer lemon and ricotta salata; roast chicken with corn succotash and farro ragout. 3300 SW 27th Ave., Miami;

The Key Club

This bar and grill from David Grutman features contemporary American fare and has already attracted a high-profile crowd who can be seen downing chips and caviar, coconut lobster rolls and sushi. 3015 Grand Ave.; Coconut Grove;

Rosie’s: The Backyard

Conceptualized by Jamila and Akino West, this Southern American food spot with European influence is strictly outdoors this season. It’s noted for lemon ricotta pancakes and Gulf white shrimp and grits. 7127 NW 2nd Ave., Miami;

Bayshore Club. Photo courtesy of Grove Bay Hospitality

Bayshore Club

What was once a Pan Am seaplane terminal and hangar is now a waterfront bar and grill overlooking Biscayne Bay from Grove Bay Hospitality Group. Diners enjoy tuna tartare cones with avocado mousse, grilled fish tacos and coconut chicken n’ rice. 3391 Pan American Drive, Miami;


Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors predominate the new South Florida restaurant from Chicago-based restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You. Menu standouts include smoky garlic hummus, shawarma-spiced skirt steak with watercress, horseradish labneh, and black garlic mushroom jus, and diver scallops with fig, fenugreek, sumac and date vinaigrette. 9700 Collins Ave., Suite 101, Bal Harbour;

Beauty & The Butcher

Due in December, this seasonal small plate concept with a rotating meat program from Top Chef champ Jeremy Ford and local restaurant group, Grove Bay Hospitality, focuses largely on meats and seasonal vegetables. Look for cozy booths and a large U-shaped bar. 6915 Red Road, Coral Gables;