The Most Exciting New Restaurants in Miami for 2018
Miami's culinary game is at an all-time high this year. We've already seen the opening of a Michelin-starred sushi restaurant, a sleek food hall stocked with a dozen new restaurants and bars, and a mysterious omakase restaurant hidden inside a Wynwood taco shop. And yet, there's still a handful of new spots gearing up to debut across the Magic City, including Bradley Kilgore's Kaido and Ember, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ABC Kitchen and Brian Nasajon's late-night haunt, Mason. Here's what you need to know.
The Taco Stand and Hiden
California's The Taco Stand opened its first East Coast location, stocked with Mexican eats like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, carne asada fries and churros, in Miami's Wynwood Arts District. But it's what's behind the recently opened joint that makes The Taco Stand a real standout: Find a secret omakase restaurant, aptly named Hiden, with an eight-seat speakeasy-style counter serving a curated menu of cold and hot items and a sushi selection with ingredients flown in from Japan. The only way to enter is by entering a numeric code on the door, provided to diners via email after reserving a seat through Tock.
Bradley Kilgore, a Food & Wine Best New Chef of 2016, is behind two restaurants expected to open this year in Miami's Design District. The chef/owner of Alter in Wynwood and Brava in Downtown will introduce Japanese-inspired cocktail lounge Kaido and Ember, also a wood-fire, modern American bistro.
Taking the place of Miami's coveted late-night spot, Gigi, chef/owner of Wynwood's Beaker & Gray Brian Nasajon has stepped in to transform the space into what Nasajon says will have an "authentic, old-school diner feel." The spot is expected to open on the edge of Wynwood in Miami's Midtown neighborhood and will have house-made bagels and pastrami, as well as possibly a peanut butter-laminated croissant.
Aside from a fast-casual, family-friendly menu that includes tacos al pastor roasted on a vertical spit, this latest project from Coyo Taco founder Anna Robbins will also incorporate a margarita bar, plenty of vegan options and a tiendita stocked with provisions such as imported Mexican ingredients, sodas and snacks.
Set inside Miami's upscale Design District, St. Roch unites 12 distinct food and drink concepts within a 10,000-square-foot hall. Inspired by the Big Easy's flagship St. Roch, Miami's version includes a vegan concept by chef Chloe Coscarelli, an Italian pasta spot and a Southern fried chicken joint. It's Miami's fourth food hall to open in the last six months, joining Brickell City Centre's two Italian marketplaces—La Centrale and Casa Tua Cucina—and Wynwood's Asian emporium, 1-800-Lucky. In the next year, keep a look out for even more food halls: The Citadel in Little River and Time Out Market in South Beach.
Jean-Georges Vongerichten's new American restaurant, ABC Kitchen, will open in Miami's Design District this year as well. As is the case at the chef's popular Manhattan restaurant, it will specialize in ingredient-driven, locally sourced items. Joёl Robuchon will join in with a pair of nearby places: L'Atelier and La Boutique.
New York City's Michelin-starred Sushi Azabu has flown south to open a location inside Miami Beach's Stanton Hotel on Ocean Drive. Expect both a main dining room and a secluded 11-seat sushi bar hidden behind the kitchen. The restaurant will have Tokyo-trained chef Masatsugu "Masa" Kubo's sashimi, nigiri and a large selection of robata-grilled items, like Japanese-style fried chicken and salmon on a bed of miso and cabbage.
Clarissa Buch is a writer and editor who has covered Miami for more than half a decade. She focuses on food and culture (and food culture).
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