I’ve been in Miami for the past month performing in the Actors’ Playhouse production of Godspell. I was excited to take the role, but sad to miss out on my favorite season for food in New York – the fall harvest. So to drown my seasonal sorrows, I decided I would eat my way through South Florida, checking out all the newest and best restaurants in Miami. It’s not a budget friendly endeavor for a regional-theater-actor-salary, but hey, I do it for you! Below are my favorite finds – the must-try spots for your next So-Flo vacay.
1. Gigi – This Midtown Miami spot feels a little like Momofuku south. Delicious food, amazing pork buns and other asian inspired fare. Look out for the grilled octopus which has been a long time special but should be making it’s way to the permanent menu in the near future. Another plus about Gigi? It’s open late – 5 AM on weekends! And their wine list is insanely reasonably priced – you can get decent glasses for as little as $5. Try the Gigi – cava with fresh passion fruit puree.
2. The Local – Located in Coral Gables, this place stays true to it’s name, using local ingredients in all the dishes. Everything from Florida Grouper Collar to Black Truffle Carbonara round out this amazing menu. Plus, they’ve got Florida grass-fed burger that I’ve yet to try but makes my mouth water every time I see it. Great cocktails, draught beer and wine as well.
3. Yardbird – I usually stay away from Miami Beach restaurants because they tend to be all hype. If Yardbird has been hyped, it deserves it because its consistently delicious southern fare is amazing. Chef Jeff McInnis (of Top Chef fame) succeeds in all aspects of the menu (lots of local sourcing) from exquisite salads to the best Shrimp and Grits I’ve ever had. You don’t need to be Southern to know that this food is just darn good.
4. Eating House – Coral Gables is bringing the deliciousness! Starting out as a pop-up restaurant that occupied a lunch spot during the evenings, Eating House received such rave reviews and success, they are now there permanently! They’re currently closed for renovation but will be open starting in November. Because their menu changes daily, I can’t point out any must-try items – but let’s just say if you see “truffle” and “polenta” in the same sentence, order it.
5. Harry’s Pizzeria – Anyone visiting Miami should check out the Design District and Wynwood. And while there, hit up Harry’s. This pizzeria, from chef Michael Schwartz of Michael’s Genuine fame, makes perfect Neapolitan pies with local ingredients. Definite must-haves are any of the rotating specials, as the braised fennel pie, which is a mainstay on the menu. Finish your evening with a homemade biscotti and cup of locally roasted Panther Coffee.
Have any Miami restaurant suggestions for me? Tweet me @hungry_in_bk and let me know, or leave a comment below. I’ll make sure to add it to my list of spots to check out! I’m always looking for new places that think local.