A Guide to Miami: Restaurants, Attractions and Where to Stay
Unlike many cities, Miami has exploded during the pandemic. Thousands of people have moved to South Florida where restaurants, attractions and retail stores have remained open as Miami’s tropical brilliance appears to be a panacea for life in lockdown.
“The pandemic has pushed Miami stock values up,” said Craig Robins, a real estate developer who has helped reinvigorate South Beach and other parts of the city in recent years. “In the Design District alone, eight new restaurants and two hotels are under construction. This growth is happening across the city.
Visitor numbers are also booming: for the week ending May 21, the number of transiting air passengers at Miami International Airport was 1,010,657, a 20% increase from 841,892. recorded for the same period in 2019, according to STR, the benchmarking of hospitality. analysts. For the same week, hotel occupancy (or rooms sold) reached 345,091, an increase of 14% compared to the 301,648 booked in 2019.
Here’s what’s new in Magic City.
A Michelin-starred steakhouse and mall gem
At Côté, the only Korean steakhouse in the world to hold a Michelin star, the pleasure factor is as important as the beef. Owner Simon Kim opened the Design District site in February 2021 with psychedelic lighting and a red-lit dry aging room that doubles as an art installation. Serious carnivores prefer the 10-course omakase steak ($185 per person), which is table-cooked over smokeless charcoal grills and served with pickled seasonal vegetables. Another popular choice is the “steak & egg,” a dish of filet mignon tartare and caviar ($58).
In Buena Vista, Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer’s 27-seat Boia De that sits in a sunny strip mall recently received its own Michelin star. The two chefs, who have worked together at Scarpetta, Carbone and Eleven Madison Park, make Tuscan-inspired small plates (starting at $15) that are humble and a bit surprising. Crispy polenta sticks with marinated eggplant and shed steak tartare topped with tonnato sauce and crispy capers are standout orders.
Eric Demby, the founder of Smorgasburg in New York, brought his outdoor food market to Wynwood last March when he noted how many restaurant professionals were looking for work. “We’re giving food entrepreneurs a huge public platform,” Demby wrote in an email, allowing them “to do their own thing with minimal upfront investment.” The event takes place every Saturday afternoon with over 60 vendors.
But the biggest impact on South Florida’s culinary landscape has been the arrival of Major Food Group, the Manhattan-based hotel group known for splashy restaurants like Carbone and Dirty French. Bandmate Jeff Zalaznick was in Miami with his family when the coronavirus hit there in the spring of 2020. They extended their vacation, and Mr. Zalaznick said he saw “an opportunity to raise the bar, to bring our style”. high energy, fine dining in Miami.”
Major Food Group delivered, with a crop of restaurants whose lofty glamor is matched by sky-high prices. First came Carbone Miami, which debuted in South Beach in January 2021 and is a collision of Sinatra-era elegance with South Florida flash; entrees include spicy rigatoni ($33) and veal parmesan ($69). Next, a Miami version of the Tel Aviv dance party that is Ha Salon with Israeli chef Eyal Shani, followed by Sadelle’s brunch spot in Coconut Grove with $125 bagel towers. On Brickell Avenue, in a zebra-striped, velvet-walled dining room worthy of Tony Montana, the Dirty French Steakhouse sells $275 Wagyu Tomahawks — bone-in rib-eye steaks served with the rib-bone whole.
Art Nouveau, shopping and urban greenery
Throughout the pandemic, the Design District has proven to be as much a cultural hub as a shopping destination. Locals and visitors flocked to the 18-block area lined with shops to see public art by Zaha Hadid, John Baldessari, Marc Newson and Buckminster Fuller. Beyond the new shops, there are recently commissioned works of art to view, including a window installation by Argentinian photographer Lucía Fainzilber, and two murals, “Interdimensional Portal”, by Afro-Brazilian muralist Criola , and “Baltimore’s Best: Mr. GirlYouCrazy and Dev, 2021-2022,” by Amani Lewis.
The Underline, a civic project in downtown Miami, is transforming 10 miles of barren land under the Metrorail system into gardens of native plants. You can stroll from Miami River to SW 13th Avenue, admiring the cityscape and functional artworks like Cara Despain’s terrazzo-covered ping-pong tables, which speak to rising sea levels.
Hotels influenced by Art Deco and the Hispano-Mediterranean Revival
Those interested in a hotel shaped by nightlife impresario David Grutman and artist Pharrell Williams won’t be disappointed with the influencer fever dream that is the Goodtime Hotel (rates from $243 ), which opened in April 2021. Inspired by its Art Deco surroundings, the 266-room property in South Beach features scalloped vintage bar seating, hand-painted greenhouse murals, and a 30-room pool club. 000 square feet (yes, there’s a DJ booth), which is packed with scantily-clad, selfie-taking millennials.
Also in South Beach, a former artists’ colony has been redesigned as the Esme Hotel (rates start at $250). The property spans the length of a city block with its 145 rooms and five restaurants spread across eight Hispano-Mediterranean Revival buildings. Fun Fact: Al Capone once ran an underground gambling operation from the property’s main building.
Twenty-five minutes north of the hubbub of South Beach is St. Regis Bal Harbor ($1,050/night), located on a dune-strewn stretch of beach. Non-hotel guests can enjoy an afternoon of tranquility by booking one of the property’s private beachfront villas.