Miami is quickly becoming a city known for its up-and-coming restaurant scene. With buzzing tourism, award-winning chefs, and a growing amount of food festivals, Miami has become a target for restaurateurs.
The city is accustomed to getting an influx of northerners looking for a winter reprieve, but in recent years Miami has been a hotbed for well-known NYC establishments. With growing urban areas like Wynwood, the Design District, Midtown and Uptown, Miami is ripe with opportunity for new food spots.
New York City, on the other hand, is known as one of the top food cities in the world, its diverse cuisines spanning from Japanese, Indian and New American to Latin, Ethiopian and Nordic. You can easily get lost in the plethora of menus. NYC is often a place where restaurant owners first test their chomps - although they are starting out amongst the big leagues, the city remains a breeding ground for well-known chefs and restaurants.
A handful of New York to Miami transplants have paved their way into the magic city, including notable staples like Serendipity, Mercadito and Shake Shack. And let’s not forget the occasion restaurants: Il Mulino, Gotham Steak, Scarpetta, Nobu, The Dutch, and Catch are all nestled in some of Miami Beach’s most notable four- and five-star hotels (Acqualina, Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau, Shore Club, the W, and the James Royal Palm, respectively). DB Bistro Moderne, located on the border of Brickell and downtown, also finds its home in a luxury hotel (JW Marriott Marquis). This placement not only aligns with their brands, but also equally positions the restaurants to both travelers and local foodies.
Other transplants worth noting are Wolfgang’s Steakhouse (the owner, Wolfgang Zwiener, was Peter Luger’s head waiter for years before building his own steakhouse empire); Estiatorio Milos, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that boasts fresh ingredients, with a stress on fish; and Lucali, an upscale pizza place and wine bar that infuses more gourmet ingredients than your typical pizza joint (plus, they use a wood-burning oven).
Light a Fire Where it Counts
What do our local Miami chefs think of their new neighbors? Zagat raised the question to Michelle Bernstein, a James Beard Award Winner and owner of Michy’s restaurant. “Because we have all these people that have come to open restaurants in the last couple of years, [we have to] light a fire where it counts and say ‘we have to get as good as they are’... It’s made me a better cook,” she said.
For more dish on Miami restaurants, including some of the above, check out Foodable's Top 25 monthly lists here.