Miami Food Scene 2012: Top 12 Uppers and Downers

Miami Food Scene 2012: Top 12 Uppers and Downers
Courtesy of Bunnie Cakes
Vegan pink raspberry lemonade Bunnie Cakes

In the past couple of years, Miami's food scene has joined the ranks of the nation's greatest dining destinations. The New York Times' Frank Bruni cited the rising Design District, including Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, for its great potential. Bon Appétit named Yardbird Southern Table & Bar among the nation's 50 best new restaurants. And the New York Post declared South Beach part of "a Miami food scene that's really catching up to the rest of America."

Though the Magic City still isn't San Francisco or New York, the past year has seen an impressive new lineup of small, low-to-mid-priced, chef-driven eateries such as My Ceviche, Blue Collar, the Federal, Macchialina, and Josh's Deli. Three powerhouse toques — José Andrés (the Bazaar), Katsuya Uechi (Katsuya), and Jean-Georges Vongerichten (J&G Grill) — also arrived in the past 12 months.

Wynwood continued to rise with additions like Bloom, Pride and Joy, and Wood Tavern. The same goes for midtown and the Design District — with the opening of Salumeria 104, Oak Tavern, South Street, and MC Kitchen.

Location Info

Map

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

130 NE 40th St.
Miami, FL 33137

Category: Restaurant > Contemporary

Region: Central Dade

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

1600 Lenox Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: South Beach

My Ceviche

235 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Caribbean

Region: South Beach

Blue Collar

6730 Biscayne Blvd., 130
Miami, FL 33138

Category: Restaurant > Burgers

Region: Upper Eastside/Miami Shores/Biscayne Park

Macchialina Taverna Rustica

820 Alton Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: South Beach

Josh's Delicatessen and Appetizing

9517 Harding Ave.
Surfside, FL 33154

Category: Restaurant > Deli

Region: North Dade

The Bazaar by Jose Andres

1701 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Spanish

Region: South Beach

Katsuya by Starck

1700 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: South Beach

J&G Grill

9703 Collins Ave.
Bal Harbour, FL 33154

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: North Dade

Bloom

2751 N. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33137

Category: Restaurant > Asian Fusion

Region: Midtown/Wynwood/Design District

Pride and Joy

2800 N. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33127

Category: Restaurant > Barbecue

Region: Midtown/Wynwood/Design District

Wood Tavern

2531 NW 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33127

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Midtown/Wynwood/Design District

Salumeria 104

3451 NE 1st Ave.
Miami, FL 33127

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Midtown/Wynwood/Design District

Oak Tavern

35 NE 40th St.
Miami, FL 33137

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Midtown/Wynwood/Design District

South Street

4000 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33137

Category: Restaurant > Soul Food

Region: Midtown/Wynwood/Design District

MC Kitchen

4141 NE 2nd Ave., 101A
Miami, FL 33137

Category: Restaurant > Brunch

Region: Midtown/Wynwood/Design District

But many pieces of the local culinary puzzle are still missing. After a painstaking study of the city's current food scene, New Times herein proclaims 2012 the year of the vod-bomb. Yes, we mean the ubiquitous drink known as the vodka Red Bull, the speedball, and the VRB. Why, you ask? Because while we benefited from a handful of Red Bull-induced uppers, we also coped with a bounty of vodka-inspired downers. So sit down, grab a caffeinated cocktail, and sample these top 12 uppers and downers of Miami's dining scene in 2012.

Top Six Uppers

1. Some food trucks go brick-and-mortar; others head to South Beach. Food trucks such as Latin House Grill and Yellow Submarine food trucks traded in their wheels for eateries. The two Kendall restaurants are now known as the Latin House Burger & Taco Bar and Rock That Burger. For those who stuck with the mobile-restaurant theme, there was some good news: As of September, South Beach allowed public food-truck roundups.

2. Are arepas the new burger? La Latina opened in late 2011, but the tiny arepa shop wasn't discovered by midtown masses until early 2012. Other areperia debuts include Brickell openings: Budare Bistro, Arepazo 2 (originally in Doral), and a new La Moon location.

3. Reeling in more seafood. In March 2012, James Beard Foundation semifinalist and ex-BLT Steak executive chef Sam Gorenstein opened a take-out and delivery joint in South Beach that sells local, delicious, affordable seafood. Other notable seafood eateries expanded: Casablanca Seafood Bar & Grill opened a second restaurant named Casablanca on the Bay in Edgewater, and old-time favorite La Camaronera underwent renovations to implement table service.

4. From popping bottles to slurping vegan juicing regimens. Juicing developed a cult following in Miami after the opening of Jugofresh, a brand of cold-pressed organic juices. Vegan and/or gluten-free bakeries (mostly home-based) have likewise flourished: Bunnie Cakes, Om Nom Nom Cookies, Peace A' Cake, the House of V, and Ginny Bakes. In 2013, we foresee a trend: More vegetarian, vegan, and health-minded eateries will make their way to the Big Orange.

5. Miami learns the art of the pop-up, sort of. Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli opened the pop-up Coral Gables restaurant Eating House for about six months. Following that success, the eatery turned permanent in November. Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta — the cocktail duo also known as Bar Lab — also popped up with the bar Broken Shaker. It opened in January, closed six months later, and then re-opened in December as a fixture at the Freehand Miami. Two things of note: Mixology is booming, and Miami loves pop-ups that don't really close.

6. Local food gets bigger and drunker. Miami already knows that local produce means better-tasting produce, and this year saw a greater emphasis on local ingredients at eateries and markets. Mandolin Aegean Bistro even launched an organic edible garden. In terms of booze, venues such as Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, Harry's Pizzeria, Lokal Burgers & Beer, and Dome Restaurant began supporting Drink Like a Local — a community of Florida craft breweries. Michael Schwartz also launched a homebrew under the moniker Michael's Genuine Home Brew. We bet Florida craft beers and microbreweries will be even bigger next year. Bud Light, watch out.

Top Six Downers

1. Miami lacks a major fish and/or farmers' market. Think Pike Place Fish Market in downtown Seattle. Or Greenmarket in New York. The absence of a real-deal fish market is stinking up the otherwise swelling local seafood scene. Meanwhile, Miami still hasn't learned the difference between a flea market and a farmers' market. Just to throw a couple out: The city could also use more locally owned cheese, butcher, and ice-cream shops.

2. Food-truck woes. Wynwood's monthly food-truck roundup — held during Second Saturday Art Walk — was plagued by permitting issues this past year. Some trucks, such as Sugar Rush, Gypsy Kitchen, and Coolhaus, were permanently shut down, moved out of state, or used solely for catering gigs.

3. The boutique burger scene is crazy, seriously. Most burger joint openings were chain-owned: Shake Shack opened a Gables location, its second in Miami-Dade; Fort Lauderdale-based ROK:BRGR expanded to South Miami; BurgerFi ventured to Aventura; and Elevation Burger opened near Dadeland Mall. This year also saw the closing of Damn Good Burger in downtown. Five Napkin Burger is now called Five Napkin Grill, after it traded its flattop for a grill. But 2012's most notorious burger story involves Joshua Woodward, the restaurateur who, along with chef Govind Armstrong, owned Table 8 and 8 Oz. Burger Bar in both Los Angeles and Miami. In September, 8 Oz. partner Eric Fried renamed the Alton Road restaurant and dubbed it American Burger. In October, Woodward was arraigned on attempting to induce a miscarriage in his then-girlfriend in 2009. A few weeks later, American Burger closed and Armstrong announced his intent to open a new 8 Oz. locale on Lincoln Road. Now that's crazy.

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1 comments
Europa425
Europa425

Dear friends, neighbors and fellow Europeans,

We would like to take a moment of your respected time, to introduce ourselves. 
We are a German, Hungarian family owned, boutique Deli and Gourmet market. Just like most Europeans we fell in love with Miami’s magical flair and tropical climate. After being 12 years Miami locals, and any trip to Europe, returning with suitcases packed with European groceries orders made by our friends, we decided it’s time to bring a taste of Europe to Miami Beach, with a traditional European deli, bakery, gourmet market and a coffeehouse all rolled into one just like back “home”/in Europe. We will carry a vast variety of the highest quality in, western and eastern European deli products, imported ethnic and gourmet groceries and bakery items. Please “Like” our page “Europa Delicatessen Deli & Gourmet Market” and give us your feedback on specialty brands and products that you would like us to carry and we will promise you as long as we can import it and meets the demand, we will carry it. In addition we will be offering traditional European salads, soups, sandwiches and platters served during breakfast Lunch and dinner, to dine in, take out or delivery. We are looking forward to serve you and welcome you to our home “Europa”.
Alexander & Timea

 
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