Best Bars In Miami: Scarpetta & Area 31 | Miami, FL

Four new spots prove that the city is more than a destination for misbehaving tourists

Sra. Martinez Michelle Bernstein turns her talents to tapas at this sleek Design District spot (pictured). Spanish classics like pimentos de padron ($10) sparkle, but the real winners are her New World adaptations like tender, yogurt-marinated lamb pinchos ($18) and crispy artichokes ($14). SeƱora Martinez (Bernstein's married name) loves her pig, too, from bacon-wrapped dates ($8) to Manhattans made with bacon-infused bourbon ($12). 4000 NE Second Ave.; 305-573-5474

Scarpetta Scott Conant's popular NYC restaurant gets a beach makeover at the sprawling Fontainebleau hotel. It's rustic Italian gone high-end, with stylish presentation and silky handmade pasta. The disco-nautical design scheme is a bit jarring but redeemed by killer apps like creamy polenta with wild mushrooms ($16), impeccable service (a Miami Beach rarity) and outstanding people-watching. 4441 Collins Ave.; 877-326-7412 or

Area 31 Named for the nearby United Nations-designated fishing area, chef John Critchley's sustainable-seafood restaurant at EPIC Hotel makes eco awesome. Pristine flavors of the sea come through in dishes like a perfectly realized fritto misto ($12), simply prepared snapper ($18) and fluffy ricotta gnocchi with tuna bolognaise ($21). Plus, the dining rooms offer knockout views of downtown and Biscayne Bay. 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way; 305-424-5234 or

Red Light Restaurant At this funky canalside diner in North Miami's Motel Blu, chef Kris Wessel's stylish, Cajun-inspired menu changes weekly, but favorites like barbecued shrimp ($17) and Caribbean grouper ($19) tend to stick around. Dining outside can be downright sultry, so cool off with a bowl of homemade ice cream. 7700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-757-7773 or

Editor's note: Sra. Martinez and Red Light Restaurant have closed.