It’s no secret that creativity and indulgence are two hallmarks of Miami, and this notion also pertains to the culinary scene and fine dining restaurants. It’s here in the Magic City where gifted chefs blend the wide range of international influence and diverse cultures present in South Florida – most notably South American, Asian, Caribbean and European. Many restaurants unsurprisingly take advantage of the tropical weather and marvelous coastal setting of Miami with open-air concepts and stunning outdoor venues, which means that dining in Miami is a remarkable experience. The generous Atlantic Ocean that surrounds the Florida Peninsula also means an astonishing variety of high-grade seafood and fresh catches. While Miami is certainly famous for its share of Cuban and Latin American gastronomy, the city is on the cutting-edge of everything and especially susceptible to worldwide food trends. After being overlooked for decades by other traditional heavyweights such as New York and Las Vegas, Miami’s recent culinary revolution has thrusted the city into the conversation as America’s favorite culinary destination.
Put quite simply, Nobu Miami is the place to see and be seen when it comes to the Magic City. Located at the ultra-trendy Shore Club, the vibrant and sophisticated restaurant is led by the internationally-acclaimed Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the driving force behind the innovative food, jaw-dropping delivery and overall success, making it a firm favorite along Miami Beach. Guests are treated to a stunning interior that’s characterized by teak walls, ceilings with opulent chandeliers, golden cherry blossom décor, washi paper art and crystal glassware for a multi-sensory dining experience. The award-winning menu takes a contemporary twist on traditional Japanese cuisine with South American influences from Peru and Argentina with dishes that include sushi, sashimi, tempura, teriyaki, seafood, fish and ceviche. The extensive wine selection is dominated by California-grown grapes while there’s also an impressive collection of sake as well. The outdoor champagne bar area offers seaside views of the Atlantic and the intracoastal waterway with a bar led by an expert mixologist, where it’s not uncommon to run into some of the biggest celebrities.
The signature restaurant of the brand new Four Seasons at The Surf Club is La Sirenuse, an intimate space that brings Mediterranean culture and genuine southern Italian cuisine to Miami Beach. Brought to life by Parisian designer Joseph Dirand, the former ballroom space is now decked out in a botanical chic that lends muted sage green furnishings, sizeable potted plants and gold accents throughout. There’s also a shaded terrace where diners are treated to sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. A relaxed, barefoot chicness characterizes the atmosphere throughout, while the genuine flavors of Italy’s Amalfi Coast are nothing short of heavenly and exquisite. The inviting menu offers several flavorsome Mediterranean dishes whose ingredients have been meticulously sourced and flown in from Italy. When you’re finished with your meal, it’s definitely worth checking out the central bar that boasts Miami’s largest collection of champagne and a signature collection of cocktails.
Situated in the newly renovated Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Hakkasan is the first Florida outpost of the high-end restaurant chain that originated in London. Considering the cool, contemporary space, international flavors, high-grade quality and attentive service, the Hakkasan is the pinnacle of fine dining in every sense. The restaurant puts forth excellent Cantonese cuisine while making use of the rich ingredients of South Florida. Whether you come for a dim sum lunch and signature cocktails or Peking duck with caviar and wok-baked lobster, you won’t leave disappointed. Inside, the ambiance is opulent and modern with an interior that features teak walls and turquoise hues that seek to evoke the sea and sand.
Amara at Paraiso
Inspired by the marvelous bayside setting, Amara at Paraiso is the restaurant that brings together the bold flavors of Latin America, abundance of coastal ingredients and diversity of South Florida’s food culture. The 4,500-square foot indoor-outdoor space was designed by Meyer Davis Studio and takes advantage of the natural beauty of Miami’s coastline for the quintessential waterfront restaurant. The warm and welcoming decor makes for a certain level of sophistication, but at the same time the establishment harbors a dynamic energy that flows through the staff and clientele–the true Miami experience. Amara at Paraiso takes after owner Michael Schwartz’s ever-growing culinary experience and farm-to-table ethos with a menu that stretches from South American favorites to freshly-caught seafood.
Located in the architectural gem that is the Biltmore Hotel, Palme d’Or has been one of the heavyweights in Miami’s fine dining scene for quite some time now. The establishment is a beacon of elegance, housed in a 1920s-era dining room with elegant décor throughout. Led by Chef Philippe Ruiz, Palme d’Or is the longest-running French fine food restaurant in all of Miami and puts forth an excellent menu of culinary delights with an award-winning fine wine list to boot. In addition to the exquisite plates, the acclaimed diner astonishes in both its spectacular presentation and exceptional service. Aside from a long list of bespoke à la carte choices, the chef offers a six-course prix fixe experience and a nine-course tasting menu.