Lush palms, sandy coastlines, and blooming orange blossoms make spring in Miami worthwhile (and the looming summer heat less daunting). If you're a die-hard foodie, cherish the season with vibrant plant- and vegetable-infused plates from a bevy of the area's best restaurants.
These five dishes blend brightly colored ingredients like avocado and heirloom tomatoes, along with blackberries, raspberries, and mango, to create plates that look more like works of art than your next meal. The good news is they're wholly edible and will most likely initiate a party-in-your-mouth feeling with a mix of tangy, vivid flavors and sweet and savory textures.
5. Harissa Carrot Salad at Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill
Executive chef Timon Balloo's salad looks too good to eat, but know that it's worth every crunchy bite (don't forget to Instagram it beforehand). His harissa and carrot salad blend ($12)
4. Avocado Toast at Zak the Baker
Wynwood favorite Zak the Baker is known for its variety of toast plates. There's Nutella, veg creme cheese, gravlax, and, the most popular, avocado ($7). Think of the plate as a real-life garden smeared across a thick slice of feathery toast that was baked just hours earlier. Two scoops of crushed avocado are topped with chunky pieces of tomato, pinches of cilantro, and some sprouts. The colorful ingredients add a light and airy feel to the avocado's rich texture, creating the quintessential
3. Burrata at the Continental
Shaped like a flower, the Continental's burrata salad is a work of art, both in taste and design. The plate ($17) blends heirloom tomatoes, berries such as blackberries and raspberries, cucumber, and spinach. It's drizzled in a mix of sherry vinegar and black pepper oil and crowned with a small mound of burrata. It's enough to fill two diners but still leaves room for
2. Cauliflower at Kyu
The recently opened wood-fire Asian concept features more than meat and seafood. The eatery prides itself on offering a variety of veggie-centric dishes to complement its heartier mains. Among the most popular is the roasted cauliflower ($12). A smattering of charred cauliflower florets is placed on a bed of goat cheese and shishito-herb vinaigrette. The creaminess of the green-and-white paste is offset by the fresh and light texture of the veggies. Kyu recommends pairing the dish with a meatier plate, though it can be eaten alone too.
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1. Mango Salad at Zest
Zest, owner/chef Cindy Hutson's newest restaurant, brings her signature Cuisine of the Sun to downtown with a myriad of vibrant plates such as her fresh mango and burrata salad ($18). The dish uses heirloom tomatoes, arugula, baby iceberg, pepita seed pesto, toasted macadamia nuts, and a sorrel flower glaze, creating what looks and tastes like an edible rainbow. Though the burrata is rich, the variety of veggies she incorporates gives the plate a tasty balance.