Mast Capital building on Brickell Avenue, site of a hot new Italian restaurant opening this year


What are the hot restaurants Miami to watch for this year and other new ones that opened late last year you may have missed? This and other eating news.

Some of the biggest names in chefdom are headed to Miami. The scoop:


  • French chef Joel Robuchon will be bringing  his signature L’Atelier, Le Bar, La Boutique and La Terrace concepts to the elegant backdrop of the Design District this year
  • Thomas Keller of Per Se and French Laundry will be next up at  the new Four Seasons Hotel in Surfside in 2018
  • If you’ve wondered what was happening with the Mast Capital French chateau that has been dormant for awhile on the corner of 15th Avenue and Brickell Avenue, now we know. The Real Deal reports that Italian restaurateurs Fabrizio and Diana Bianconi, who own dining spots in St. Barts and Los Angeles, plan to open their first restaurant in Miami at 1500  Brickell Avenue.Named Bianconi, the Miami restaurant will feature homemade pastas, steaks and seafood
  • Also coming up, Arjun Waney of Zuma, Coya and most recently DOA fame’s next venture in Miami is La Petite Maison at 1300 Brickell Bay Drive. Miami will be the first U.S. location for the French Provençal restaurant, which is expected to open this year.
hot restaurants Miami

Upland Miami from Stephen Starr

The food scene continues to heat up in SoFi (south of Fifth). Restaurant impresario Stephen Starr has opened his fifth restaurant in South Florida, Upland, an outpost of his New York eatery  (others include the Continental in the Aloft in South Beach, Steak 954, Makoto and Le Zoo). I went there the other night to have a look and saw a number of friends who had just eaten there and gave it good marks. The décor is American brasserie with the requisite big open kitchen. The menu is described as California cuisine with everything from a raw bar and pizza to salads and entrees with something for everyone. Think South Beach prices. Valet parking.

hot restaurants miami

South Pointe Tavern photo courtesy of

Also in the neighborhood is the South Pointe Tavern, the kind of spot that’d be perfect to come to after a long day at the beach for a draft beer and a light bite to hold you over for dinner, for a super casual evening midweek if you’re in the neighborhood or even go yourself as a party of one. It’s intimate, friendly, and easy to strike up a conversation as it’s mostly bar. It boasts a large selection of whiskeys and tequilas and food items like ceviche, prosciutto and arugula toast and mushroom flatbread. 40 South Pointe Drive, 109, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (305) 763-8368.

Courtyard of The Setai Hotel with new bar

The courtyard of The Setai Hotel has always been one of the more elegant and sophisticated areas in town. Now they’ve taken it up a notch with its own bar and delicious bar snacks which I sampled last week. Find peking duck pancakes, scallop dumplings, tuna tartare and other light bites that are perfect for an evening out when you don’t want to eat too much but eat well. Plus, they put in a retractable roof so the space works rain or shine . Love the place.

best ice cream Weston

CREAM ice cream sandwiches

LAST BITES: A second Florida location for CREAM which I gave high marks to for its ice cream sandwiches served with warm house baked cookies, is opening January 28 in Weston at 4448 Weston Rd, Weston, FL 33331. The first location is in Aventura.Click here for my earlier review.

More restaurants have recently opened in Brickell City Centre. New entrants joining Luke’s Lobster include Pubbelly Sushi,   American Harvest, Santa Fe Café of Bal Harbour Shops, high end Big Easy Wine Bar & Grill from South Africa (big on meats), and the Vegan Dr. Smood. I haven’t been able to try them yet except for a kale salad at Dr. Smood which was fresh, oh so tasty (it had red cabbage, apple, goji berry, hemp seed, parsley, raisin, sunflower seed and cacao nib all chopped super fine) and had me wishing airports had this option. To make eating in the Centre more attractive, they’re now offering free underground parking for a limited time (two hours).



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