No Name Chinese
Photo by Ginger Monteleone

Do you want a wine that goes best with roast duck and pickled vegetables? Or maybe you would like to know which varietals pair well with dumplings and steamed buns. Fret not. No Name Chinese has the perfect bottle to go with thoughtfully sourced and executed Chinese cuisine that turns what was once familiar into something that honors Chinese traditions with a South Florida twist. The turnip cake ($12) is a dim sum classic with sweet soy, Japanese mayo, katsuobushi flakes, lap cheong sausage, and shiitake mushrooms. Many of the dumplings here were picked up from Asian masters when the kitchen crew traveled around looking to fill out the menu and the classic take-out dishes. Among them are beef and broccoli ($20), which deploys grass-fed tenderloin and gai lan to create something that's guilt-free even if you devour the entire plate.

Stubborn Seed
Photo by CandaceWest.com

Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood is known for many things: multimillion-dollar condos, celebrities, Lamborghinis, and boob jobs. Though the neighborhood is replete with solid and beloved restaurants, it wasn't considered a hub of culinary innovation. That changed when Jeremy Ford — the Florida-born, smooth-scalped winner of the 13th season of Bravo's reality cooking show, Top Chef — set up shop. At Stubborn Seed, Ford is building on his widely publicized win and pumping out dishes the likes of which Miami has rarely seen. There is nai ragi on homemade buttermilk dressing. A puck of warm celery root ($17), braised with lemon juice and olive oil, is treated like meat and paired with slivers of maitake mushrooms — crisped in tempura batter and served with a frothy mustard sauce. Multiple carrot preparations, including foamed, puréed, powdered, pickled, or roasted, accompany a succulent hunk of umami short rib and show off the kitchen's deep skills and dedication. If he keeps this up, Ford is destined to become an icon like some of his long-standing neighbors.

Sage Bagel & Deli
Photo by Nicole Danna

Since opening in Hallandale Beach in 1973, Sage Bagel & Deli has expanded the menu to include dozens of items. But first, order a bagel. Any list of best bagels in South Florida includes Sage. Most meals come with them. Breakfast highlights include the $8.49 challah French toast and the $9.89 matzo brie (matzo fried with eggs). For lunch, sandwiches range in price from $6.49 for a grilled cheese to $16.50 for a massive Reuben. Though Sage is open only till 5 p.m., the generous portions will sate you until bedtime. Just be sure you have a sandwich on a bagel. It's guaranteed to make you a repeat customer.

Sara's Kosher Restaurant
Courtesy of Sara's Kosher Restaurant

Tired of boring takes on traditional Jewish food? Ditch those spots and try a place so amazing it would make your bubbe's head spin. Nestled in an anonymous strip mall, Sara's Kosher Restaurant adds a vegetarian twist to many of your favorite Jewish delicacies. The 17-page menu can be intimidating to newcomers. There are even vegetarian takes on Italian, Cuban, and Mexican food. One highlight is the $14.95 stuffed cabbage — a Hungarian dish of cabbage filled with rice and a vegan faux-beef simmered in a sweet-and-sour sauce — served with a freshly baked challah roll or pita bread for vegans. Also not to be missed is the $11.95 falafel platter served with Israeli salad and French fries, and two pitas.

Kuro
Courtesy of Kuro

Step inside Kuro, the crown jewel of Hard Rock's restaurants, and you'll think you've been transported to a swanky restaurant in L.A. It's tough to choose just one dish to highlight here. Main courses are broken up into land and sea. There are variations of both (sushi, nigiri), but the undeniable headliner of the show is the Wagyu beef ($24 per ounce), which diners can either cook themselves on a hot stone tableside or have charcoal-grilled in the kitchen. Kuro's rib-eye miso ($43) could also be considered a costar. The dish comes covered in succulent pine-nut miso and shiso dressing with a side of perfectly grilled asparagus. Kuro not only is the best restaurant in Hollywood but also offers the best experience. It's a show wrapped up in a meal that's inside the greatest casino this side of the Mississippi.

The Maghreb is the region of Northern Africa that includes Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania. Not going there soon? That's OK, because a new restaurant in Plantation serves authentic Moroccan fare. Dar Tajine boasts an in-house boutique that peddles everything from rugs to hookahs. The menu includes the region's best comfort foods, from tagine and kebabs to massive communal platters of steaming couscous ($9.99 to $18.99). Don't miss house specialities such as chicken bastilla — a savory pie with so many flavors and textures you could spend a lifetime identifying each one. In this fragrant dish, spices such as saffron, ginger, and cinnamon meld perfectly with an herb-laden omelet layered within crisp warqa pastry and topped with crunchy fried almonds sweetened with orange-flower water ($6.99). Moroccans heartily season ground beef and lamb with cumin and paprika, and that's how you'll find the meat in the kafta tagine ($11.99), baked in a clay pot with poached eggs. Plus, Dar Tajine is 100 percent halal.

Rosetta Bakery
Courtesy of Rosetta Bakery

About a block from Lincoln Road, an array of Italian breads, pastries, and picture-perfect desserts attracts a steady stream of customers. Inspired by Milan café culture, Rosetta Bakery makes small batches of baked goods ($2 to $10) numerous times throughout the day. Flaky croissants, berry tarts, Nutella-filled bombolones, and large panettones are prepared by Italian chefs who have been specifically recruited to work at Rosetta. The bakery recently opened three other locations, two in Miami Beach and one in Aventura. Outposts in North Beach and Brickell are expected to open within the next year.

MadLab Creamery
Photo by Laine Doss

Soraya Kilgore's palace of sweets adds a sparkle to the Design District. Surrounded by tony shops such as Louis Vuitton and Dior, the former Alter and Brava pastry chef's MadLab Creamery entices young and old via edible glitter, swirls of pink cotton candy, golden-sheet sprinkles, and unique flavors of ice cream and chocolate. Try a blend of green matcha and rich chocolate soft-serve topped with hand-spun cotton candy and a whiff of glitter ($6 and up). Or savor a 100-gram piece of dark chocolate and cereal bark ($7.50) along with a slice of fluffy Japanese cheesecake ($7.50). Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Bio Bio Gelato
Courtesy of Bio Bio

On the edge of Miami Beach's Sunset Harbour, Bio Bio serves made-from-scratch Italian gelato. Among two dozen unique flavors are the sweet and salty, the ricotta and figs, and the yogurt honey and walnut. Each blend is served in a cup or cone, and some can be made into frozen slushies ($5.50 and up). Flavors are 100 percent organic and use fresh and seasonal ingredients. Beyond the shop's creamy blends, find cases of frozen desserts, from chocolate-covered ice pops and gelato cakes to fruit sorbet pops and mini gelato cones. Products, including all gelato flavors, are made daily in the shop's kitchen. Bio Bio is deeply rooted in Europe. The first location was founded nearly 60 years ago by an Italian family-owned company called MO.CA in Northern Italy's Emilia-Romagna region. The Miami Beach shop is the first in the United States. Try it from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Aubi & Ramsa
Photo by Elena Vivas

Behind a wooden bar, a wall of bottles glows at Aubi + Ramsa. But this is no ordinary bar. Your choice of spirit will come in the form of an icy scoop, not a liquid pour. The space, for patrons aged 21 or older, offers frozen treats fused with various spirits, from tequila and rosé to vodka, gin, and red wine. Try Macallan 12-year single-malt Scotch blended with a creamy Belgian chocolate cream ($7 to $10), or a serving of Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut balanced with a light tangerine sorbet. Then there's the Kentucky Crème Brûlée, an organic vanilla-pudding ice cream made with Four Roses single-barrel bourbon and caramelized sugar sprinkles. A 3.7-ounce serving contains about 4.9 percent ABV and will set you back about $9. Consider it dessert and a significantly cheaper option than a cocktail at a nearby bar. Aubi + Ramsa is open from noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®