Good news on two fronts about outdoor dining in Miami. First, thanks to the Miami-Dade Restaurant Recovery Act, restaurants in many parts of town are able to spread out on sidewalks and parking lots to temporarily add or expand outdoor dining space. Happy to report on more outdoor dining picks with different cuisines and price points, and a charming Italian spot with great deals on wine and food. If you missed the post with my first list, click here.
Byblos Miami has one of the most exciting menus in Miami and the execution is tops. It’s one of my faves. The restaurant is named for the Lebanese city that was a crossroads of the Middle East and varied civilizations over centuries. So think Eastern Mediterranean including Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Spain and Greece – its foods, wines and even teas. Happily, they’re now set up for open air dining (no roof), accommodating 24.
And though the a la carte menu is limited, it features some of my favorite dishes including succulent lamb, Persian kale (crispy lentils, black beans, Aleppo pepper, labneh and Persian lime) and the Turkish manti dumplings (eggplant, yogurt sauce, molasses). Miami Spice, too. Reservations are recommended via Open Table, though walk ins are accepted. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner. Valet parking is available at the Royal Palm Hotel for $16 with validation. Takeout and delivery are also offered along with cocktails to go and wine .Byblos, 1545 Collins Avenue, in the Royal Palm Hotel.
For a review on Byblos;
On June 19 New York celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson will open The Creamery, a first take at what’s to come when the main restaurant, Red Rooster Overtown, opens. Though it’s really for takeout and delivery, guests can enjoy meals and snacks in the restaurant’s backyard outfitted with ten picnic tables placed 6 feet apart. Come here for the “bird menu” of chicken dishes such as CK’s Chicken Waffles, and Chips and Chicks (spicy Dorowat chicken chili, cheddar cheese sauce, plantain chips) and the “Side Chicks” such as grains and greens (local greens, sour orange, green goddess, cauliflower, farro).
And how could we forget the signature ice creams including Marcus’ cornbread (honey butter caramel, blackberry jam) or the 7th inning stretch (Berber caramel corn, caramel, potato chips)? Street parking. Note the picnic table area is not covered. The Creamery at Red Rooster Overtown, 920 NW 2nd Avenue. Open Monday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.
Many will be happy to hear of the reopening of Komodo including its handsome outdoor covered garden. Menu highlights include Peking duck, Komodo chicken salad, Thai beef jerky and dim sum and sushi rolls. Open 7 days a week for dinner. Takeout and delivery offered. 801 Brickell Avenue. Nearby garage parking.
The place to see and be seen, Swan in the Design District, is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch in its outdoor garden with covered seating for rain or shine. Menu highlights include the new Alaskan king crab tempura, corn ravioli, branzino for two, Wagyu burger and lobster and shrimp sliders. Open even day but Monday. Takeout and delivery available. 90 NE 39th Street. Nearby garage and street parking.
A Northern Italian experience is what it’s all about at Via Emilia Garden, a charming spot in Midtown. Up to 30 diners can be accommodated in a covered garden cooled by fans and with social distancing. A full menu is offered. The news is even better, as every Tuesday diners receive 50% off the entire menu with just a few exceptions. And on Mondays, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, all bottles of wine are 50% off so you can snare some real deals. The menu selection is excellent, a lot of appealing options. Friends and I had the chunks of parmigiano with balsamic vinegar, fried artichokes, bresaola with arugula and parmigiano, grilled vegetables, and the tagliatelle with ragu sauce. We thoroughly enjoyed everything (as you can tell, we were calorie watching except for a serious bottle of wine!). Open daily for lunch and dinner. Walk ins are accepted. Takeout and delivery are offered with special deals as well. 3500 N. Miami Avenue. Street parking.
NOTE FROM KAREN JULY 10: FOOQS CLOSED FOR THE SUMMER. Fooq’s has a devoted clientele in this neighborhood spot downtown. The concept was created by restauranteur and two-time Michelin star recipient, David Foulquier, to bring a new definition of comfort food to the table at the same time inspired by global travels and his Persian-French heritage. Executive Chef is Clark Bowen, whose pedigree includes Boulud Sud .
On my list to try are the lamb pita – braised lamb leg with baba ganoush, tomato, cucumber and sabzi salad; and the Persian Sunday with saffron ice cream, pistachio, medjool date and pomegranate. The new menu includes sausage pita, cavatelli putanesca and Barbari bread. Outdoor seating is offered in the tree covered garden and front of the restaurant with awning covering. It accommodates 22. Takeout and delivery are offered, and walk ins are accepted. Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Street parking. 1035 N Miami Ave.
Other restaurants I recommend for outdoor dining include Phuc Yea, Sushi Garage, all the Primes, Truluck’s and Amare.
Still concerned about dining at restaurants? In case you missed it, here’s my post on my first hand experience: