The Ten Best New Restaurants in Miami 2020
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It’s safe to say that when the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2019, most of us didn’t have a “global pandemic” on our 2020 bingo card.
Although restaurants were closed for months, many Miami chefs persevered. Some restaurateurs opened new establishments just before the pandemic, while others opened determined entrepreneurship amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Here are the ten best restaurants that opened in 2020 in alphabetical order.
Bibimbap with 2 Korean girls.
Photo by Amanda Julca
Sisters Jennifer and Michele Kaminski spent years watching their mother Chom “Sunny” Kaminski cook in their Indiana restaurant. Seeing the need for delicious Korean food in Miami, with a little help from culinary veteran Allen Susser, they opened two Korean girls. The virtual takeaway and delivery concept revolves around bibimbap, the Korean bowl filled with rice, meat, and vegetables (and usually topped with a fried egg – or raw if you’re hardcore). The sisters turn the staple food on its side with depictions like “Fish Better Have My Money,” made from cod and adorned with edible gold flakes ($ 17). and the “Impos Seoul Ible,” made from plant-based Bulgogi meatballs ($ 16). Meals come in adorable K-pop boxes and are easy on the eyes (check out the heart-shaped fried eggs!). But the real pleasure is in mixing all the ingredients together and eating these aromatic, soulful bowls of goodness.
Barbarellas Leslie Ames and Sebastian Fernandez
Photo courtesy Barbarella
Sebastian Fernandez and Leslie Ames, the couple known in Miami for their much-missed Coconut Grove house 33 Kitchen, rented a small bistro space in the Dadeland Mall in January and got to work on a new Mediterranean restaurant. They were supposed to open in mid-March before COVID devastated their schedule. When May came by and reopened the mall, they opened their outdoor patio. Menu items include pan-con tomato with white anchovies ($ 9), roasted beets with Greek yogurt, za’atar, glazed pecans, and mint ($ 14), and a spicy pancetta pizza with mozzarella, calabrese peppers, pomodoro sauce, and honey ($ 14).
The outdoor deck at Cafe Kush offers a quiet waterfront break on Biscayne Boulevard.
Photo by Victoria Winter for Selina Miami Gold Dust
Matt Kuscher is known for opening affordable restaurants that offer simple food and drinks made from high quality ingredients. Using the same approach, Kuscher recently opened his first bistro, one that can perhaps best be described as a sweet meeting between Paris and Miami. Kuscher has transformed the sorely missing Red Light in Little River into a place full of little treasures. (Look for a French “Where’s Waldo” and a nod to the neighboring Gold Rush Cabaret.) Although there are some cozy stalls here, opt for a spot on the ground floor on the large, sheltered deck, where you can look out for manatees can hold a day. Order a homemade vermouth on the rocks ($ 10) and read the menu: a mix of bistro staples like French onion soup ($ 8) and ratatouille ($ 14), plus Kush favorites like burgers ( $ 15) and grilled cheese and tomato soup pairing ($ 12). Don’t miss the Coq au Vin ($ 16) – a Paris-Miami mashup where the classic dish is braised with Wynwood Brewings Pop’s Porter instead of wine and served on a bed of cauliflower porridge instead of pasta. Like almost everything Kush has to offer, it’s unconventional yet delightful.
Matteson Koches beloved bagels have a permanent home.
Photo courtesy El Bagel
Matteson Koche’s long-awaited bagel shop opened in early March to many fans who were already familiar with its six-ingredient bagels, which are conditioner and preservative-free. Bagels are $ 2.50; Dozens and a half dozen are $ 12 and $ 22, respectively. The sandwiches include bacon, egg, and cheese ($ 9). and the Lox Supreme ($ 12 / $ 14 open faced).
Chef Masayuki Komatsu presents the fish of the night.
Photo by Zachary Fagenson
Shuji’s Wabi Sabi from Chef Shuji Hiyakawa is a favorite among Miamians who know their way around well-made sushi. The chef has now opened a chic Wynwood restaurant with restaurateur and art dealer Alvaro Perez Miranda and sushi chef Masayuki Komatsu, formerly Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill. The restaurant serves sushi as well as an expanded menu with agemono (fried dishes), yakimono (grilled or fried dishes), shirumono (soups) and zensai (starters). The restaurant’s gem is the Omakase ($ 175), which includes three starters, a dozen pieces of nigiri, a maki, a miso soup, and a chef’s choice of dessert.
Croquettes at Leku.
Photo by David Sanchez
30-year-old Mikel Goikolea heads the kitchen at the beautiful new restaurant on the ground floor of the Rubell Museum in Allapattah. Since opening in early July, Leku, which opens onto a courtyard garden, has been offering a menu of beet tartare with olive oil caviar (USD 11), traditional Galician octopus (USD 18) and Cinco Jotas Iberico ham croquetas ( $ 15).
Chef Marcus Samuelsson makes his debut at his highly anticipated Red Rooster Overtown restaurant.
Photo courtesy Red Rooster Overtown
Ethiopian-Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson has finally opened Red Rooster Overtown after months of COVID-related delays. This is the third Red Rooster (the original is in Harlem, a second in London) and promises to shed light on the historical and cultural significance of Overtown as a defining center of black art and music in Miami. As such, Red Rooster will serve as a venue for local musicians to show off their talents, while diners will enjoy dishes such as “Hot Honey Yardbird” (Samuelsson’s famous roast chicken) and “Obama’s Short Ribs” (a dish made by the original Red Rooster).
Photo courtesy Redfish by Chef Adrianne
Chef Adrianne’s redfish
9610 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables
The Red Fish Grill in Matheson Hammock Park was widely known as a beautiful place for dates, anniversaries and birthdays. The waterfront restaurant was badly damaged during Hurricane Irma in 2017 and remained closed until recently. Chef Adrianne Calvo is at the helm of the resurrected redfish, offering creative dishes like a pear salad made from arugula, goat cheese, crispy ham, and pistachios ($ 16) poached with Beaujolais. and ahi tuna sashimi with crispy shaved Brussels sprouts and pear, garnished with ponzu aioli, soy, and truffle ($ 17). Other dishes include cobia ceviche ($ 18) and herb-filled lemon and garlic-flavored branzino ($ 40). Don’t wait until your anniversary to check out this stunner of a restaurant.
The Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery extends over two former warehouse buildings.
Photo by Cailin Byrne
Miami has its share of dining halls, but you’ll have to travel to Fort Lauderdale to find one that has its own brewery and distillery. The Sistrunk Marketplace is a massive 24,000 square feet filled with everything you could want to eat or drink under one roof, including coffee from Bronte Café and food from Empanada Bodega, Chop Shoppe Meat Provisions, Needa ‘Pita, HotLime Craft Tacos and Ceviche, Heavenly Raw Vegans, Fuoco Roman Pizza, Nellie, and Country Kitchen. Wash your meal with a beer from the in-house Khoffner brewery or a cocktail made from vodka distilled on site by Shady Distillery.
Enjoy grilling for delivery or take away.
Photo courtesy Society BBQ
At the Society BBQ, head chef Richard Hales deviates from his Asian-inspired cuisine and makes you want to grill. Located in the Citadel Food Hall, this restaurant offers Brisket Burned Ends ($ 15), Pulled Chicken ($ 9), and Ribs. The lovingly smoked meat is available as a platter or in sandwiches. (Hales even offers vegan burned ends for non-carnivores.) If your aunt in Topeka would prefer brisket flowers on her birthday, keep in mind Society BBQ ships its meat nationwide.
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Laine Doss is the food and liquor editor for the Miami New Times. It was featured on Eat Street by Cooking Channel and in the Great Food Truck Race by Food Network. She won an Alternative Weekly Award for her contribution on what it’s like to wait for tables.