MICHELIN Guide Inspectors spend all year on the road uncovering the best restaurants to recommend—and what they've found is too good to keep a secret. Whet your appetite with a sneak peek of the 2023 MICHELIN Guide Florida—eight new additions spread across Miami. Bon appétit!
It’s early days for this clean-cut brasserie, located in the construction-clogged Miami Worldcenter. An expansive patio, high ceilings and plenty of seating all around set the stage for a tight menu of French classics that most kitchens have long since forgotten. On sparkling Bernardaud porcelain, chef Michael Beltran delivers a hefty dose of nostalgia with escargot drenched in garlic butter, foie gras with berry gastrique and lobster with veal sweetbreads. Though rich, the cooking – and the environment, for that matter – manage to feel decidedly of the times. Know that these luxuries come with a price and are meant to be enjoyed, so anyone hoping to grab an easy omelet or burger with fries in between shopping will be disappointed.
Everything seems to sparkle inside chef Fabio Trabocchi’s Italian looker in Coral Gables. White tablecloths, dark hardwood floors, glass at every turn and a gleaming open kitchen set the stage in a restaurant that is busy any day and time of the week. Seafood, naturally, is the calling card here, and raw bar items like shrimp cocktail with tomato compote highlight quality sourcing. Caviar and truffles can find their way to any dish, if you ask, and housemade pastas like spaghetti alla vongole are portioned to share. From there, the grill does most of the heavy lifting for any whole fish and high-end steaks offered. Even though this is a prime destination for business meetings, the setting is far from stuffy, in part thanks to a suave service team.
Lido brings breezy, Italian coastal cooking to the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club. There is nothing better than a seat than on the terrace, which overlooks the pool and off to the ocean through a line of palm trees. Against this dazzling backdrop, the team delivers politely seasoned, well-sourced seafood. Crudo is an easy start, like bluefin tuna tartare with pickled seaweed and puffed wild rice. Plenty will be content with just a king crab salad, but don’t ignore housemade pastas like seafood risotto or spaghetti with clams. Larger plates include branzino with rainbow chard or tagliata with beef jus. An oasis that radiates tranquility, the restaurant is a pricey, albeit luxurious, retreat from the rest of the city.
Lion & the Rambler
It would be very easy to drive right by Chef Michael Bolen’s new restaurant, which looks rather unassuming on this equally quiet corner of Coral Gables. But on a small menu, his ambitions are clearly noted, and Bolen goes to great lengths to make as much as he can. Excellent, house-made bread is everywhere here, but the best is his rosemary focaccia, at once crispy and airy and served with a thrilling house-cultured butter that ages for 10 days. Steak tartare gets an elegant upgrade thanks to roasted capers and jalapeño oil. Tender pelmeni stuffed with squash arrive crowned in a delicious garlic foam. With ideas and talent in spades, this charming restaurant is just getting started but already is yet another win for the neighborhood.
Kudos to husband-and-wife team chef Akino and Jamila West. What started out as a wildly popular brunch pop-up in Overtown has evolved into this permanent brick-and-mortar in Little River. The outdoor-only space is as breezy as they come with dangling garden lights and ample shade covering an expansive patio. The notably Southern menu covers a generous amount of ground. Deviled eggs with chicharrones, biscuits in guanciale gravy and fluffy banana pancakes with vanilla custard are primo brunch favorites. Heartier hits, like fried hot chicken and waffles or a generous fried fish and grits with collard greens, satiate larger appetites. Tickets to an occasional dinner prix fixe sell out quickly and signal more good things to come from this successful duo.
Tambourine Room by Tristan Brandt
Inside the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort on a rather calm stretch of Collins Avenue, find this ambitious dining bijou helmed by chef Tristan Brandt and his trusted lieutenant Timo Steubing. The duo delivers a colorful, multicourse tasting grounded in French cuisine with notable Asian inspiration. The results are anything but timid: Expect rich, bold sauces and foams made with the likes of parmesan, lobster and saffron, and ginger turbocharging everything from tomatoes to scallops to wagyu. By contrast, the space itself is fairly Spartan, sequestered off to the side of the main hotel bar and defined mostly by oversized oak tables, blue leather chairs and modern light fixtures. Swing for the second seating of the evening for a longer menu.
The Gibson Room
A stage for live music and a long, backlit bar do not usually signal serious cooking, but this moody and groovy Coral Way restaurant is the rare exception. Candlelight bounces off the tables in a room painted entirely black, as chef Michael Beltran again expands his already-significant footprint across the city. His penchant for creative, bold flavors and his refusal to cut corners serve him well. For that matter, the menu does not fit into a tidy box: Croutons in the Caesar are filled with a mousse of anchovies. Agnolotti are handmade, packed with a clever venison bolognese. Wide as a dinner plate, the chicken schnitzel gets dolled up with salsa verde, a fried egg, and boquerones. There are no limits to what you’ll find or how long you’ll stay.
With no proper stove or gas oven on site, the team behind Boia De in Buena Vista brings wood-fire cooking to this rambunctious corner spot just a few doors down. And in an unexpected turn, it’s vegetables, not meat, that seem to get top billing on this finely honed menu. Carrot tartare with carrot top salsa or schmaltz-roasted maitake mushrooms with heirloom beans exemplify delicious sophistication. Even the lamb ragù lasagna is a light-hearted, garden marvel: The pasta sheets are made from mustard greens. There is, of course, some meat, as well as pizza, but it's the charred quail which recalls the best of backyard barbecues. All of it is very easy to take in and enjoy in a casual space that welcomes families and couples alike.
Hero image: © Douglas Friedman / Lido