Miami's culinary world has drastically changed in the past few years. No longer relying on chains or famous faces, the city has seen its chefs come into their own, cooking passionate dishes filled with creativity that speak to Miami's vast roots and multiple cultures.
That doesn't mean, however, that out-of-town restaurateurs and chefs can't thrive in our environment. Take, for example, Stephen Starr. The Philadelphia-based restaurateur has opened several well-received restaurants, including his most recent, Upland, with chef Justin Smillie. Jean-Georges Vongerichten's interpretation of Latin cuisine at Matador Room, where Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford helms the kitchen, is another prime example of big names taking care to bring great experiences to Miami rather than simply phoning in an eatery.
Thomas Keller will take his legendary talents to Surfside's Surf Club Four Seasons in 2018. That's still more than a year away, but 2017 proves to be just as exciting. Here are five establishments to look out for this year:
1. Voltaggio Brothers' Monger at MiamiCentral Allows Guests to Curate Their Own Meals
Chefs Bryan and Michael Voltaggio have announced details about their first Miami collaborative restaurant. Monger will be located in Central Fare, the food hall that is part of downtown's MiamiCentral. The complex will feature retail, office, and residential space and will be the Miami hub for the Brightline train that connects the Magic City to Orlando.
2. Employees Only to Open Miami Beach Location
Award-winning New York City bar Employees Only is expanding its scope by opening locations in Singapore, Austin, and Miami Beach. According to the New York Times, Employees Only will open in the Washington Park Hotel complex, located at 1050 Washington Ave. The hotel's website confirms the imminent arrival of the beloved bar and restaurant, stating, "NYC’s beloved speakeasy, Employees Only, will make its first foray outside Manhattan with the Miami debut as the hotel’s signature restaurant and bar this fall."
3. Geoffrey Zakarian to Open Point Royal Restaurant at the Diplomat Beach Resort
During a culinary demo at the 2016 South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Geoffrey Zakarian mentioned he would open a restaurant at the Diplomat Beach Resort. So it was fitting that the celebrity chef announced further details at the New York Wine & Food Festival. Zakarian, cohosting the event Rooftop Chopped, shared specifics about the concept with New Times.
4. James Beard-Recognized Sullivan St. Bakery Setting Up in Little Haiti
No-knead bread pioneer Jim Lahey, a 2015 James Beard nominee for best baker, is planning a commercial and retail bakery steps from the long-standing Soyka.
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5. Lolo's Surf Cantina to Open in South of Fifth Neighborhood
Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood is about to get spicy. Lolo’s Surf Cantina, a restaurant concept by chef/partner Richard Ampudia, will offer Mexican-style dining inspired by Baja California.