Gourmand Getaway: Atelier Crenn 2019

Driven by childhood memories, San Francisco’s chef Crenn created an elegant dining experience for the guest, inspired by the past and presented ahead of its time. The care, thought, and detail behind every unbelievable bite shows why she continues to soar.

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Cafe La Trova: Que Rico Vacilón

Who knew we needed yet another Cuban spot in Miami? I mean, aren’t we already synonymous with everything Cuba? Pero, parece que sí, and I’m drinking the Kool-Aid guarapo, señores y señoras!

Stationed perfectly en la Calle Ocho, Cafe La Trova brings sazón and a little refresher on the traditional Cuban fare. The reason? James Beard Award-winner Chef Michelle Bernstein. Unless you’ve been living under la saya de tu abuela, you already KNOW she’s South Florida royalty: Bernstein, not tu abuela. Google her si no sabes, porque I don’t have time to recap.

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Star Power at Fiola Miami

What’s that? Another restaurant has opened in Miami? Prices are high? Prime hours are blocked on OpenTable? Packed at all hours?  So? What else is new? Sounds just like another day in South Florida. Restaurateurs, chefs, investors and everyone in between continue flocking south, trying to sway their way into our hearts and stay for the long-haul. Ha! If it was only that simple. Curious and hungry (as usual), I made a reservation and have visited several times. Spoiler alert: I can now say I am swayed and impressed.

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Sushi by Bou Miami

Last year, Hiden’s arrival inspired me to visit other local omakase-style restaurants within the same price range (old favorite NAOE and newcomer Azabu). I called it “research.” I knew I needed to try the new Sushi by Bou South Beach installation at the grand Villa Casa Casuarina (known to locals as the Versace mansion) the second I read about it. How would it compare? Who is Bou? What makes this one special?

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California Dreamin’ at Silverlake Bistro Miami

Going back to Cali? Hmm, I don’t think so.

The talented team behind cult-favorite La Fresa Francesa, chef Benoit Rablat and Sandy Sanchez, gifts South Florida another gem: Silverlake Bistro. Knowing their history, I knew I’d probably be in for a treat. Several visits later I confirmed this restaurant also demands our full attention. 

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NAOE MIAMI: Kingdom of Cory

One of South Florida’s most well-respected restaurants hides behind a nondescript single door, and a sheer white curtain. NAOE, a natural Japanese cuisine hideaway, continues to receive high rankings and accolades without any signs of slowing down. And yet, “Where is that?” is still a question I often get. Two words, Miami: Brickell Key.

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Buyer’s Remorse at The Den (Azabu)

“Did you hear about Azabu? It’s a Michelin-starred restaurant that just opened in Miami!” Or so I misleadingly heard and read over and over. Except that’s not factually accurate and there’s so much wrong with that statement. This rumor has become a terrible game of telephone throughout our city. Sushi Azabu is actually not currently ranked on New York City’s Michelin Guide. As per my research, the last time it received a one-star rating was on October 2015 (when the 2016 recipients were awarded) and has not yet regained its star (the 2019 list was announced today).

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The Surf Club Restaurant by Thomas Keller

The Surf Club Restaurant brings classic dishes and stellar service to South Florida. It’s not a void that needed to be filled, but rather an addition to our growing collection of brilliant chef-driven concepts. Already sailing smoothly and only in its first week, the forecast looks promising.

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El Cielo Miami

Occupying the ground level of a Brickell high-rise, El Cielo is currently celebrating a three-year anniversary. Three. Years. In Miami? Bravo! Needless to say, it took me a while to visit this Colombian restaurant chain by chef Juan Manuel Barrientos Valencia.

Unless we are talking about Chicago’s Alinea (and the reason you won’t find me at Barton G. or Nusr-Et), I’m not really into overly gimmicky dinners. From all the advertising and social media posts (and there are many), I figured I’d have to navigate through smoke and fluff just to get to the food. By the time dinner ended, with a full-on smoke show, of course, I pondered just how many times I would want to relive that experience now that I knew what it entailed.

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