As 2015 winds down, it's time to take a look in the rear-view mirror. This past year, we've eaten a lot of food and tried a lot of restaurants in Miami. With the city's culinary scene exploding, celebrity players and home-grown favorites have offered some wonderful restaurants.
A few weeks ago, food critic Zachary Fagenson counted down his top ten dishes of 2015. The rest of the Miami New Times food writers figured we'd chime in. We purposely chose not to include restaurants selected by our esteemed colleague (although Alter's blue crab shumai gets honorable mention as the perfect bite). Together, both lists provide a look back at the most satisfying, soulful, and creative meals we've enjoyed in 2015.
10. Fried Brie at Downtown Bistro
Anyone who loves cheese should try it fried. Three pieces of crisp Brie ($8) are served with
9. Smashed avo at Threefold Café
8. 50/50 burger at 180 Degrees at the DRB
If it's your first time at 180 Degrees, try the 50/50 burger ($15). It's made with a mix of chorizo and Angus beef and topped with queso
7. Fried clam bellies at Izzy's Seafood & Oyster
The fried clam bellies ($26) at Izzy's Seafood & Oyster have a unique saltwater flavor that's addictively delicious. Another element that makes this delicacy so special is that the slightly bitter orbs are indigenous to Maine and thus rarely seen on Miami menus. Bring on the tartar sauce.
6. Thanksgiving ramen at Talde at Thompson Miami Beach Hotel
OK, it won't be on the menu again until next holiday season, but that fact makes this dish only more desirable. Dale Talde's inspired creation starts with a base bowl of ramen and adds slices of glazed turkey, whole cranberries, stuffing balls, and creamed-spinach-filled wontons. This is the holidays in a bowl.
5. Burmese noodle wraps at NaiYaRa
Chef Bee's new Sunset Harbour restaurant only recently opened, but some dishes already feel like a homecoming of sorts. Take, for instance, the Burmese noodle wraps ($15). Thick noodles are wrapped around Thai chili paste, palm sugar, and peanuts and served with a sweet chili/soy dipping sauce. The dish was a popular bar snack at Khong River House that was sorely missed when Khong shuttered (with a promise to pop up somewhere on the mainland). Seeing the noodles on NaiYaRa's menu is like being reunited with your long-lost best friend.
Miami's year-round balminess necessitates light eating, so many restaurants offer ceviche and
3. Sizzling seafood wor bar at the Continental
Order the Continental's sizzling wor bar ($28) and you'll get dinner and a show. A team of servers marches through the dining room with a crackling, sizzling cast-iron platter of joy. Diners stop and watch this parade that places the steaming, fragrant presentation at your table — a colorful jumble of shrimp, lobster, scallops, and vegetables in oyster sauce. This is about as authentic a Chinese-restaurant-in-Brooklyn dish as you can get without taking a plane to Bensonhurst.
2. Vegan curry hotpot at Temple Kitchen
South Miami's Temple Kitchen's curry favor hotpot ($11) is a delightfully comforting midday meal. The hotpot pairs homemade green curry with red chili, fresh mushrooms, eggplant, crunchy edamame, and creamy coconut milk. The mixture is served atop organic wild rice with a stunning edible purple orchid. The coconut milk makes this dish surprisingly filling for a vegan lunch, and the red chili plants a subtle tingle on the lips.
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If you're looking for a mashup of everything that's good in this world, look no further than this plate of kimchee fried rice ($19). Who knew that a rich duck egg and the tangy funk of fermented cabbage would play so well together on a bed of fried rice? The dish, which can serve up to four people as a side or one