Sugar at East Hotel Is a Rooftop Oasis in Brickell

Sugar, a rooftop bar and garden on the 40th floor of the East hotel in Brickell is best described as an Asian-inspired jungle. The verdant rooftop oasis offers breathtaking views of downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay. 

In addition to offering gourmet cocktails, Sugar also has a kitchen that doles out a selection of streamlined Asian-focused fare such as boneless Korean chicken wings with sesame seeds, chili, and peanuts ($16); agedashi tofu with shiitake dashi and grated daikon ($14); steamed prawn and scallop dumplings with chili sauce ($16); and tamarind-glazed beef satay with fried shallots and palm sugar ($16). For dessert, there are coconut palm leaf crepes with Florida mangoes; chocolate cake with ginger chutney and lime sorbet; and a lychee crème brûlée (all $12).

"With unique views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline, it was an easy decision to offer the experience of a rooftop bar and garden to locals and hotel guests," Laurent Fraticelli, general manager of East, Miami, says. "Being Hong Kong-based, we chose to stick to our roots by creating Asian tapas and cocktails here at Sugar, on the 40th floor."
East, Miami (788 Brickell Plaza, 40th floor; 786-805-4655) is part of the new Brickell City Centre, the first North American venture for Swire Hotels, which owns hotels in Hong Kong and Beijing. Also located within the hotel is Quinto La Huella, a buzzing outpost of the popular beachside Uruguayan restaurant Parador La Huella, which was ranked on "Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants" twice, making it the best restaurant in Uruguay.

Like Quinto La Huella, Sugar was designed by Los Angeles-based Studio Collective. Massive lanterns, lush greenery, twinkling lights, and wood accents abound, but the highlight is certainly the view. What's more, there are plenty of intimate nooks to lounge in, as well as a statement bar made from reclaimed oak that's open on all sides to allow for extra seating.

During a recent visit, we enjoyed two signature cocktails, as well as a delightful breeze — the latter was a welcome surprise during an afternoon in July. Try the lychee blossom ($12), featuring Russian Standard Vodka, sake, and lychee. We also liked the East of Miami cocktail, consisting of Plymouth gin, green tea, and jackfruit. Both are light and refreshing, and, of course, everything tastes better with a view and fresh air.

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Valeria Nekhim was born in the Ukraine and raised in Montreal. She has lived in Manhattan and Miami. Her favorite part of food writing is learning the stories of chefs and restaurateurs.