7 of the Most Exciting New Restaurants to Book in Miami
Just in time for Art Basel Miami Beach, check out these newly launched spots that pair striking design with equally spectacular cuisine
Art Basel Miami Beach, which runs from December 8 to 10 this year, always ushers emerging artists and rising stars in the gallery world into the global spotlight, so it’s no surprise the rapidly growing culinary capital’s most anticipated restaurants are ready to greet them. Whether searching for a stylish spot to dine during the fair or looking to curate an itinerary for an upcoming trip to Miami, Galerie has mapped out restaurants in the city’s top neighborhoods that should be on everyone’s radar.
Here, a look inside seven newly launched spots that know how to pair striking design with equally spectacular cuisine.
1. Mirabella, Miami Beach
The Morris Lapidus–designed Fontainebleau Miami Beach has long been a landmark and dining destination—plus the backdrop for everything from Elvis concerts to blockbusters like Goldfinger and The Bodyguard. Following his first Florida stint at Lido Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel and Residences at The Surf Club (and short-lived Osteria Morini on Miami Beach), five-time Michelin-starred chef Michael White is bringing his magic touch to Fontainebleau’s newly opened Italian eatery, Mirabella.
David Collins Studio transformed the former Scarpetta space, giving it a Caribbean coastal cottage feel with Serena & Lily woven rattan shades, Sika-Design bamboo outdoor furniture, and South African artist Lucie De Moyencourt’s hand-painted ceramic shells, which line the back wall. A pink-hued Lilypad chandelier by Lara Gonzalez makes a statement overhead, while Merida Studio’s blue-and-white-striped wool rugs add a nautical touch to the glass-enclosed terrace overlooking the ocean. Crafted in collaboration with executive chef Paul Keyser, the menu blends the best flavors from Italy and the Mediterranean with dishes like black truffle-topped bluefin tuna tartare and bone-in veal chop parmigiana with Stracciatella.
2. Pastis, Wynwood
Wynwood’s graffiti-clad converted warehouses have welcomed some of the city’s most talked-about restaurant openings, infusing an upscale air into an area known as Miami’s epicenter of eccentricity. Among the handful of haute transplants like Carbone and Uchi, iconic French bistro Pastis, whose original locale sits in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, has been given a Miami spin by James Beard Award-winning duo Keith McNally and Stephen Starr. McNally and Paisley Design’s Ian McPheely were once again behind the look of this outpost, which borrowed a few design elements from the original, including white subway tiles, the curved zinc bar, and cherry-red banquettes. You’ll still find Pastis’s signatures like French onion soup and escargots on the menu, plus additions like spaghetti limone with bottarga that channel Amalfi Coast and South of France vibes.
3. Bouchon Bistro, Coral Gables
Superstar chef Thomas Keller—most famously known for Napa Valley gamechanger The French Laundry and Per Se in New York—worked with Bouchon’s original designer, Adam D. Tihany (also behind The Beverly Hills Hotel and Belmond Hotel Cipriani), on the latest opening of the French bistro in Miami’s historic Coral Gables neighborhood. Located inside the H. George Fink-designed La Palma Building—an example of the Coral Gables-originated smaller Mediterranean-style architecture—Bouchon Bistro pays homage to the structure’s heritage with classic mosaic floors, a zinc bar, and antique light fixtures—as well as hand-painted murals by French artist Paulin Paris, whose work is found in all of Keller’s Bouchons and Bouchon Bakeries. Expect traditional French fare (steak frites, tartare de bœuf) and a raw bar, plus by-the-glass selections of Napa Valley reserve wines.
4. Casadonna, Edgewater
Blending coastal and Riviera-inspired Italian recipes from towns like Taormina, Positano, and Naples, Casadonna fuses the best of Miami’s mid-century modern aesthetic with poppy prints and pastels synonymous with Groot Hospitality’s other spots like Swan and Strawberry Moon. Partnering for the first time with another nightlife mogul, Tao Group Hospitality (known for namesake restaurant and nightclub brand TAO), the restaurant is located in the same waterfront landmark Mediterranean-revival building as the Miami Women’s Club. For its series of indoor and outdoor spaces, designer Ken Fulk said the group envisioned the “grandeur of nearby Vizcaya and the exotic allure of the Long Bar at Raffles in Singapore.” Enter through the double-height Courtyard Bar into the original atrium, a lush, open-air patio with a retractable roof, before moving into the restaurant’s rooms lined with parquet wood flooring, blown-glass chandeliers, and Miami skyline views framed by the 1920s-era building’s original windows.
5. Eva & The Oyster Bar, Coconut Grove
The two-for-one sister spots are cornerstones of Coconut Grove’s new open-air shopping and dining center, CocoWalk. Caribbean-inspired The Oyster Bar centers around bar bites simply dubbed snacks. Indulge in the daily selection of oysters on the half-shell or conch salad with Peruvian crackers paired alongside playful spiked snow cones and twists on tropical cocktails. At neighboring Eva, chef and restaurateur Michael Beltran and executive chef Ashley Moncada serve up Mediterranean-style dips and breads, as well as dishes like whole snapper wrapped in grape leaves and oyster spanakopita, in the modern space anchored by a marble-topped main bar with Parthenon-inspired stone columns.
6. Maty’s, Midtown Miami
The vision of Val Chang, the co-creator of Miami Design District Nikkei restaurant Itamae—which Chang ran with her brother, Nando, and father, Fernando—Maty’s is named after the chef-owner’s grandmother, and the menu is heavily influenced by her family and traditional Peruvian fare—particularly that of her native Chiclayo. The beauty of Chang’s cuisine is that nothing is overcomplicated. Dishes like yellowfin tuna with aji limo chile peppers and finger lime are composed with vibrant ingredients and subtle seasoning, so they don’t need much more to shine. In the tiny space next door, the family will soon open a 12-seat omakase-style counter called Itamae AO.
7. Branja, Upper Buena Vista
For his first US venture, MasterChef Israel winner Tom Aviv designed a whimsical open-concept kitchen and covered, cathedral-like outdoor terrace designed to take diners back in time to 1970s Tel Aviv. The stained-glass ceiling is reminiscent of Chagall and everything from the 45-foot-tall mural of vintage Tel Aviv vignettes to handcrafted terrazzo-topped tables, reclaimed synagogue benches, and the Lenny Kravitz-designed bar repurposed from the Delano Hotel’s The Florida Room—which now forms the Chef’s Table—sticks to the retro-chic theme. Dishes change seasonally and reflect the chef’s signature style of infusing inventive twists into classic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes, like the Fishwarma, a salmon-grouper mix mimicking slow-roasted shawarma.