Hotels in this story
As foodies flock to South Beach on February 25 for Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival, they’ll be excited to find a burgeoning restaurant scene awaiting them. As Frank Bruni recently wrote in the The New York Times, chefs are the new stars in Miami.
So while we’ve already told you where to stay in Miami for the festival, now it’s time to think about dinner reservations. Sure, not every must-try restaurant is in a hotel (our area of expertise), but you may be surprised to find how many of the city’s top eateries are. Two of the five spots Bruni recommended in detail were in popular (and hip!) hotels — Hakkasan in Fontainebleau and Area 31 in the Epic Hotel — and below we’ll expand on his list.
Here are the hotel restaurants that foodies shouldn’t miss while visiting Miami:
Hakkasan serves haute Chinese cuisine (Bruni loved the tea-smoked ribs) in dark alcoves surrounded by carved teak walls. Scott Conant’s Scarpetta serves the Italian food that made the NYC original all the rage. See the menus for Hakkasan and Scarpetta here.
Bruni praised this restaurant for its “seafood done with a lighter touch.” The minimalist space overlooks the towers of downtown, and the menu (which emphasizes sustainable seafood) includes a section that is “a changing roster of half a dozen kinds of fresh fish.” See the menu here.
One of many gems in chef Michael Mina’s foodie crown, Bourbon Steak delivers primo steaks and seafood classics, of course, as well as Mina specialities like Maine lobster pot pie. The Bar Burgers menu is all the rage. See the menu here.
Two Italian brothers opened up the first Il Mulino in New York City almost 30 years ago. Today they delight with their traditional Italian dishes (pappardelle with sausage; veal ossobuco) at 13 locations. See the menu here.
Palme d’Or is a formal French restaurant at the historic Biltmore hotel. The menu from chef Philippe Ruiz doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but dishes like sauteed jumbo langoustine and roasted monkfish cheeks are worth the trip. See the menu here.
You shouldn’t visit Miami without sampling the Latin fare, and this is a great place to start. Ola’s menu opens with nine creative ceviches (not to be missed) and moves onto main courses like sugar-cane tuna and crispy pork with fried yucca. See the menu here.
Nobu Miami Beach
Nobu may not be the most novel recommendation, but there’s no denying that the Japanese cuisine of chef Nobu Matsuhisa has become world-renowned for a reason. Try the famous black cod with miso or the rock shrimp tempura. See the Nobu website here.
STK – Miami
Just opened in early 2010, this outpost of a trendy steakhouse (first opened in L.A. and New York) is off to a popular start and is sure to live up to the hype of its predecessors. Try the Shrimp Rice Krispies and the Lil’ Big Macs. See the menu here.
Chef Laurent Tourondel (BLT = Bistro Laurent Tourondel) presents a modern American steakhouse crossed with a French bistro in this outpost of his growing empire. For an alternative to beef, try the seven-spice duck breast with foie gras. See the menu here.
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