Miami Art Week 2016: The Ten Most Artistic Restaurants in Miami for Art Basel
Miami will be the most exciting city in the nation when Art Basel and Miami Art Week return this week. With an action-packed lineup of contemporary art fetes, fashionable soirées, and restaurant dinners, the challenge comes in deciding what to do.
Thanks to restaurants that have incorporated different forms of art into their eateries, visitors to Art Basel get a taste of Miami's skyrocketing food scene while embracing everything from lavish sculptures and hanging fixtures to graffitied walls and abstract paintings all in one venue.
Although the options for places that unite gastronomy and art are eclectic to say the least, the bottom line remains the same: Offer a truly memorable multisensory dining experience for locals and visitors alike.
Here's to stimulating your taste buds and visual cortex during the world-famous art fair this December 1 through 4.
Photo by Andrew Meade
1. Wynwood Kitchen & Bar
Smaller is better at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. Mix and match small plates from the tapas-style menu created by chef Miguel Aguilar and quench your thirst with a glass or more of handcrafted beer, fine wine, liquor, and signature cocktails as you take in the visual feast that adorns every inch of the restaurant. With vibrant graphics by graffiti artist Shepard Fairey; larger-than-life paintings by Christian Awe, Santiago Rubino, Kenny Scharf, and Os Gêmeos; and a courtyard that is the beating heart of Wynwood Walls, this neighborhood hot spot wins in the food-and-art category.
2. R House
Chef/owner Rocco Carulli’s creative menu inspired by global flavors is a perfect complement to R House’s art-covered surroundings, highlighting works by international and local artists throughout the dining room and courtyard. Part restaurant, part art gallery, and part music lounge, Wynwood’s always-buzzing establishment offers a mélange of musical acts as you enjoy refreshing spoonfuls of yellowtail snapper ceviche ($14), hearty bites of braised lamb shank with a mushroom-coriander-cinnamon rub and port wine reduction ($32), and a glass of one of R House’s superb craft cocktails.
3. Crazy About You
For those who want to eat well on a budget, try entrées such as the I’m Crazy About You margherita pizza and Argentine churrasco that range in price from $19.99 to $32.99 and include an appetizer of your choice. Those who want to see art will enjoy the huge black-and-white murals of luxurious Italian rooms, vibrant paintings of cultural icons, hundreds of framed photographs, and wooden accents that create a warm yet stylish and romantic ambiance. Breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay are a bonus.
Courtesy of MC Kitchen
4. MC Kitchen
Chef and co-owner Dena Marino’s restaurant brings modern Italian cuisine to Miami’s Design District through seasonal dishes using local, quality ingredients. There are inventive takes on salads and pastas for vegetarians, but the seafood and meat dishes — such as stone-oven-roasted octopus ($18) and Garganelli Bolognese ($24), made with pork, ground veal, and venison — are the stars at MC Kitchen. The setting is warm thanks to Brazilian wood walls, friendly service, and a beautiful installation of butterflies trailing an airplane.
Courtesy of Joey's Italian Cafe
5. Joey’s Italian Café
Joey’s is the place to be. Just ask Beyoncé and Jay Z, who dined here in 2013. But this neighborhood mainstay’s claim to fame will always be its classic Italian cuisine, namely its pasta dishes and thin-crust pizzas. Try the linguine indiavolate ($20), made with black tiger shrimp and house-made spicy tomato sauce, and the dolce e piccante ($15.50), a pie topped with figs, Gorgonzola cheese, honey, and hot peppers. If the complex Venice-inspired flavors don’t give you a taste of southern Europe, the Italian Bisazza mosaic mural certainly will.
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