South Florida has an evolving, ever-growing culinary scene, which makes it THAT much exciting to keep up with. This Top 10 list features some of Miami’s Top 25 veterans, but here we are taking a closer look to learn more about the top five restaurants. Read below to learn overall scores for all ten restaurants!Read More
In honor of National Rum Day, the luxury beach club Nikki Beach is offering their most popular cocktail for half off.
Yes. You guessed it.
It’s the mojito. The cocktail will be available all-day for just $7.
But what’s a mojito without a lively atmosphere?
This popular Miami Beach destination combines the elements of music, dining, entertainment, fashion, film and art into one. With its Southern French style, iconic white day beds, and lively DJs and dancers, Nikki Beach is sure to surpass expectations.
In case you’re not in Miami, but would still like to enjoy a Nikki-Beach style mojito, here’s what you need:
- Club Soda
- Muddle the mint, sugar and lime together
- Rum and ice are then added and shaken
- Top your drink with club soda and fresh mint leaves
In some ways, once football season begins, the stadium becomes the second home of a dedicated football fan. Traditionally, it’s a place where family and friends gather together to cheer on their favorite team to victory, but some would argue that good food and beverage make up a big component of a positive game-day experience as it is watching the home team win.
As consumers become increasingly immersed into food culture they are demanding better quality food and diverse choices throughout the restaurant industry— football concession stands are no different and feel the same pressures from fans.
At the Hard Rock Stadium, choices beyond hot dogs, burgers, and fries are available in multiple floor levels with local restaurants and recognized chefs flocking over to Miami Gardens to showcase their selections.
However, because Miami is so diverse, it only makes sense that transplant concepts, like Fuku— a fast-casual concept featuring spicy fried chicken from New York’s popular Momofuku Group — would also be featured at the stadium.
Fuku at Hard Rock Stadium is celebrity chef David Chang’s first venture into South Florida, but it’s the third time he opens one of his fast casual concepts inside an establishment that features sporting events (Fuku can also be found inside Citi Field stadium and Madison Square Gardens arena in New York).
Did you know there is a kitchen tucked inside Miami's Wynwood neighborhood that is solely dedicated to making food for your furry friends? It’s called Dishes For Dogs, or DFD, for short. But don’t get it twisted! This is not a dog restaurant.
“We’re a kitchen that, you know, cooks and manufactures...dog food using USDA certified human-grade ingredients,” says Mason Fox, co-owner of DFD. “We are just making food so that people can come in and buy it and increase the quality of their dog’s food.”
The idea for DFD was inspired by a toy-sized, playful Pomeranian named Ripley, who had a few health issues. After some research by Michael O’Rourke, founder of Dishes For Dogs and Ripley’s owner, he knew that home-cooked meals would be the best option for his canine friend. O'Rourke turned out to be right and Ripley is currently healthy and happy as DFD's mascot.
Consequently, after identifying this specific need in the dog food market for home-cooked meals, he decided to build a business around this concept and partnered up with Dr. Shmalberg, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, to perfect the recipes.
“Regarding the creation of the menu, ...the nutrition guided everything,” Fox adds. “We gave Dr. Shmalberg full freedom to create just the most appropriate and balanced meal that he could make, using different proteins.”
Dishes For Dogs currently offers six balanced meal varieties made with only USDA certified ingredients, avoiding all preservatives and fillers. The recipes include different vegetables mixed with one of the following proteins: beef, turkey, lamb, chicken, salmon, and wild venison. The recipes are formulated to provide specific benefits, such as: supporting a healthy immune system, digestion, and maintaining current health, which includes brain function, skin/coat health. There are gluten-free and grain-free options available, as well. Finally, they also provide two meals formulated for dogs with skin problems made with braised buffalo and coconut cod.
The food is sold in individual frozen packages that can be thawed at home and portioned according to your dog’s size.
DFD is also the first dog food company in the country to partner up with UberEATS to provide fresh home-cooked, ready-to-eat meals for dogs. And if a customer wants to stock up on meals for the week or month, they can order the frozen packages and have them delivered through the app.
"We're hoping to convince people that we are capable of helping, because we really do believe that," Fox affirms.
Coyo, as locals call it, is one of the most popular fast-casual modern-Mexican cuisine concepts in the area. It features outdoor seating with four royal blue, communal-style picnic tables that sit eight people comfortably, along with large umbrellas for a sun-and-rainproof experience. The simple industrial style that reigns the interior of Coyo allows its open kitchen to take center stage, where guests can watch the hard-working staff prepare their food from the comfort of their high-top table or booth seating.
Executive Chef Scott Linquist, a Los Angeles native who spent most of his professional career cooking Mexican food, has based the Coyo Taco menu on authentic Mexican flavors and cooking techniques, but has modernized it to fit everyone — from the casual foodie to the health-conscious or vegetarian guest.
Their corn grain tortillas are hand-pressed and cooked on-site every hour throughout the day. It’s no surprise Coyo’s philosophy, which is "todo fresco," means “everything fresh.” They incorporate this philosophy to everything they do inside the restaurant/bar and out in their commissary kitchen by using fresh and local ingredients.
“We are not cutting corners in the processes… our duck carnitas [Carnitas De Pato], is a process of doing a confit with a duck leg for hours at a really low temperature. Whenever we do our Cochinita Pibil, Yucatan-style pork, it’s for 12-hours, we cook it overnight wrapped in banana leaves. We do barbacoa with short rib with a similar process. So, we’re not cutting any corners,” Linquist said, who just opened his own restaurant in partnership with entrepreneur Aaron McKown, called Olla.
Coyo is also home to a “secret” bar past a light blue door located at the far end of the restaurant. It serves specialty, crafted drinks with fresh ingredients — specializing in margaritas— and is open every day of the week except on Sundays.
Linquest assures that the margs and the tacos are not the only items that make an impression on Coyo’s guests, but also the sound quality to their not-so-secret back room.
“In this small 12,000 square-foot space, we have some really powerhouse equipment to really put out great sound, so that attracts a lot of DJs that can come back and play in the bar for an intimate audience,” Linquist added.
To learn more about Coyo Taco, check out our first REACH Miami video episode above!
In this “On Foodable Side Dish,” we visit three popular Miami restaurants to learn about what chefs are cooking up this holiday season down in sunny South Florida.
Pastel De Choclo at La Mar by Gastón Acurio
Executive Chef Diego Oka brings us the Pastel De Choclo, or corn and beef pie, from Peru, his native country. This dish is one of Oka’s personal holiday favorites. What makes this dish so special is its main ingredient — Choclo, or Peruvian corn. Grown in the Andean Mountains, this type of corn comes with extra large kernels, a creamy chewy texture, and a starchy flavor that sets them apart from the North American sweet corn kernels that we are used to eating in the United States.
To prepare this dish, yellow chili peppers paste, white onion, olive oil, salt, butter, white sugar, choclo, yellow corn, whole milk, eggs, and beef stew ingredients are needed.
Oka suggests to begin preparing the filling of the pie first and to really concentrate on making the dressing the best it can be since it will impact the overall taste of the dish.
First, blend the choclo and the yellow corns together with milk and reserve. Then cook the chopped onions with olive oil and salt for 30 minutes. Later, add aji amarillo (yellow chili peppers), sugar, and butter to the cooked onions until mixture is homogeneous. Afterward, put the corn pure on a bowl and add the cooked mix. Finally, add eight eggs one at a time and mix well.
For the beef stew, sauté the tenderloin and add chopped red onions to the same pot. Let it cook slowly. Then add panca paste (Peruvian red pepper paste) to the pot and cook. To complete the stew, add salt to taste, raisins, peanuts, olives, and finish with cilantro.
To create the pie, place the beef stew on the bottom of cooking tray or bowls to later top it off with the choclo mixture. Put the cooking container in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. After it’s taken out of the oven, the corn and beef pie needs to be chilled so the flavors can be better extracted. To serve, heat the dish again and serve with a Peruvian-inspired salad.
“In the kitchen, nothing is risky. You have to do what you like and put your heart in the preparation and the flavors...,” says Oka.
“On The Rocks” (Rhode Island Scallops Crudo) at Izzy’s Fish & Oyster
Germany native and Executive Chef William Crandall tends to go for the lighter dishes when the holidays roll around. His advice when it comes to planning a Christmas menu like the one at Izzy’s Fish & Oyster, The Feast of Seven Fishes, is “No. 1, make it fun for yourself to do, and, no. 2, make sure there is a nice variety...”
Crandall’s “On The Rocks” is a refreshing dish that uses Rhode Island scallops, Florida vegetables, and citrus topped off with international spices.
To begin, scallops must be thinly sliced. Texture is added to the plate by rolling the scallops over and stacking them next to each other to add height to the dish. Then add sauce to the dish — in this case, Crandall uses a sauce made in-house at Izzy’s called Florida Orange Ponzu sauce. Its ingredients are yuzu, shiro shoyu or white soy sauce, and kosho, or Japanese pepper corn.
For flavor and color, evenly distribute thinly sliced radish in between the scallops and add edible Florida plants. To add more texture to the dish, include dollops of whipped Florida avocado blended with oils, salt and lime juice. The final touch includes a dash of togarashi seasoning, a Japanese finishing spice made with chilis, sesame seeds, and nori, or edible seaweed.
To keep the fish dish fresh and cool, this plate is served over crushed ice, hence its name.
Noche Buena Cuban Lasagna at Finka Table & Tap
You cannot experience everything Miami’s cuisine has to offer for the holidays, or year-round for that matter, without checking out Finka Table and Tap’s menus, which feature a Cuban-Asian fusion cuisine.
For Noche Buena or Christmas Eve, Finka Chef and Owner Eileen Andrade acquired her inspiration from her Latin roots and demonstrated a dish that compiles the best flavors of a Cuban Christmas dinner.
For this dish, fried sweet plantains, Cuban-style pulled pork, yuca or cassava, mojo sauce, Swiss cheese, garlic and onion mojo, and parsley are needed.
To begin, set the first layer of the lasagna, which is the chopped fried sweet plantains over a buttered pan. Next, lay the pulled pork, which has been marinated for 24 hours, complete with seasoning, bay leaves, cumin, and lots of garlic. Then lay on the yuca mash, which will give your dish the Latin touch. The final step before putting the pan in the oven in 350 degrees for 20 minutes is to place the Swiss cheese evenly on top of the yuca layer.
To serve, top it off with onions bathed in mojo sauce and chopped fresh parsley to give the Noche Buena Cuban Lasagna some color.
This lasagna is a dish that Andrade likes to make at home with her close ones.
“I think it’s always fun to incorporate your family when making a dish…,” she says.