Eating and Drinking in Miami

Historically it has been very difficult for me to eat well in Miami. I am here for the weekend for the Alinea residency. I mentioned to a chef friend that I was going to Miami and he said I have to check out Alter. He worked with the chef at L20. We came for lunch and WOW was it fantastic! The meal used outstanding ingredients with thought provoking preparations. A little bit of technique, that I am sure the chef learned at L20 and Alinea, but not too much (no foams etc.). The fish was very fresh and the egg dish was amazing.

Small thoughtful winelist and easy to find something to drink. We chose the 13 Patrick Piuze Butteaux and it was fantastic and paired very well with all of the food but especially the fluke crude.

Highly recommended.

For dinner we went to NAOE. A Japanese restaurant in Brickell Key island. Perfect meal in every sense and definitely in the top tier of Japanese restaurants in the U.S. The meal starts off with one of the best bento boxes I have ever had. The Chef’s family makes both Sake and Soy Sauce.

I initially learned about NAOE from the Sushi Legend which is a great resource for finding Japanese Restaurants:

We drank 2011 PYCM Corton Charlemagne, 2005 Bachelet Gevrey Chambertin and a Sake from the families brewery - Nichie “Glory of the Sun” Junmai Daiginjyo. All worked perfectly with various dishes. The Bachelet was particulary beautiful.

Lunch at Coyo Taco:

Decent for Miami not at the level of Tacos I am used to from LA. Great music and a cool lounge that hosts DJs in the back.

We drank 2013 Beurer Stettener Schilfsandstein smuggled under the table!

Great coffee next door at Panther.

Alinea up next!

Alinea was outstanding. The food was extremely well executed and the only dish I did not like was the balloon that they served for dessert. The ingredients were fantastic and every dish was delicious. I had heard from one person that the food at the Alinea Residency in Spain was just the Chicago menu done in Spain. This was not the case in Miami I could feel and taste the Cuban and Miami influenced in many of the dishes. The service was extremely impressive and especially considering it was only their 2nd week.

On a related the note the Faena Hotel is really something to be seen. It just opened in December and although it is not my style (I am more of minimalist) it is something to be scene and was extremely well done.

hey robert
thanks for that sushilegend link
great stuff

He/she does a very good job and I could tell our tastes aligned by the reviews of places I frequent. They were spot on with NAOE.

Interesting he has nothing on the top list from LA except Sugarfish, which I found utterly unremarkable.

I used to love a Sushi place in a strip mall out by the Biltmore. But I’m going back a decade almost.

More of a drinker by than an eating city generally IMHO.

Russell, the place you are thinking of is Matsuri, which is very good (one of the better and authentic causal sushi restaurants I’ve eaten at and certainly one of the best in Miami) but not at the level of NAOE which in IMO is one of the better sushi places in the country. Robert thanks for the note on Alter will have to check it out. Miami has no where close to the fine dining options available in NY/LA but is getting a little bit better each year. Given the casual atmosphere in dining here, I think it would be difficult for a Michelin level (permanent) restaurant to do well in Miami but hopefully we will see some soon. The other problem is that Southern dominates the wine lists here so it is difficult to find a truly diverse wine list as you will see elsewhere.

necro-ing this excellent thread… going next week. what’s good? made a res at alter - looks great.

Likewise - going in June for the U2 concert. Never been previously. Alter looks great.

Wendy from Paris by Mouth just did a Miami trip. Check out her adventures on instagram. It looks like she hit Upland, Macchialina and Alter. I have only been to Alter.

Has anyone been to Matador Room (where last years top chef winner is)?

Necro time. Robert, thank you for the Alter recommendation. Did the full chef’s menu a couple weeks back. “Provoking” is a great way to put it - this was one of the more the original meals I’ve had in years.