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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Michelin-Starred Restaurants in Miami

Hear this well: As of May 2018, Miami still does not have a Michelin Guide. A restaurant cannot have a Michelin star, or two, or three without a guide to award them.

Do we need a guide? Of course not. We dance to the beat of our own drum. However, like it or not, having our own guide and/or placing on this list would put an official and prestigious stamp on what we already know: we rock.

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Habitat by José Mendín

I waited for the dust to settle before visiting the new Habitat by José Mendín. The space, formerly occupied by Chef Tom Colicchio’s Beachcraft, seemed untouched. And that’s a good thing. The interiors, in sandy neutrals and beachy woods, remain as stunning as ever. Now, I”m hopeful this new venture by the Food Comma Hospitality Group (Pubbelly Noodle Bar, Pubbelly Sushi, Baja Bao, PB Ysla, and PB Burger) can survive our temperamental dining scene. This is Miami, after all, restaurant revolving-door capital. Offering a complete sea to table experience, Mendín’s new dishes aim to apply modern techniques to create new flavor profiles drawing from Spanish, Latin and Asian traditions.

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Órale, Tacology!

As if I needed another reason to love Miami’s newest star, Brickell Centre. Executive Chef Santiago Gomez (Cantina La Veinte, Nobu, and NYC’s Michelin-starred Daniel) is currently celebrating the one-year anniversary of his saucy hot spot. And let me tell you, when it comes to Mexican food, la fiesta no termina en Tacology. The larger than life space drew […]

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