It happens every year. The minute your hangover subsides from New Year's Eve, it's already July. With half the year gone, we decided to look forward to some of the restaurants that are coming up -- mostly in the fall.
We're not listing restaurants that don't have a 2014 opening date, which is why notables such as Michael Schwartz's restaurant and beach club at Paraiso Bay and SLS Brickell's host of offerings -- like the Bazaar by José Andrés, Katsuya, and Michael Schwartz's restaurant -- didn't make the list.
Here are the restaurants we're most looking forward to in 2014. Start making reservations now.
How does Cindy Hutson celebrate the 15th anniversary of her Coral Gables' Ortanique on the Mile? By announcing the opening of Zest and Zest Mrkt, located at the Southeast Financial Center. The 3,500-square-foot Zest will feature the chef's take on Asian, South American, and Caribbean cuisines. Hutson is known for her "cuisine of the sun," which showcases Florida and Caribbean flavors. Zest Mrkt will feature grab-and-go breakfast and lunch items sure to please Miami's professional set. Zest and Zest Mrkt are scheduled to open in late fall or early winter.
Shuckers, the waterfront bar and grill on the 79th Street Causeway, was an institution for many who wanted to cool off with a water view and a beer. When the restaurant's party deck collapsed last year, at least two dozen people were injured and the restaurant was forced to close. Now it's poised to reopen with a larger and more structurally sound deck. The restaurant went on a massive hiring spree last week, and it looks like it's on track to open at the end of July. We can't wait to hoist a frosty mug with a view.
Every city has a handful of good pizza places. But how many times have you had a truly great pizza? It could be because most pizza joints aren't run by skilled chefs making soulful creations. Some exceptions, of course, are Michael Schwartz, John Besh, Mario Batali, and Klime Kovaceski. Kovaceski and his wife, Anita, are opening Crust, an upscale pizza establishment on the Middle River. Crust will feature chef-driven, thin-crust pizzas with out-of-the-ordinary toppings like fig and blue cheese. In addition to the pies, the chef is breaking out some of his best recipes from his 20-year career. Crust is slated to open in September.
8. Nobu at the Nobu Hotel at the Eden Roc Miami Beach
That name is a bigger bite than the famed chef's sushi, so let's break it down. This past January, Nobu Hospitality LLC announced plans to open the Nobu Hotel within the Eden Roc Miami Beach. The group successfully played this scenario with the Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. The hotel, which will uphold the gorgeous MiMo aesthetics of the Morris Lapidus-designed gem, will be designed by David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group and will, naturally, feature first-rate food and beverage options. The Nobu restaurant at the Eden Roc has already been announced, with other in-house eateries being planned. Expect an opening around late winter.
Piyarat Arreeratn is torturing us via Twitter. Chef Bee, as he's called, is posting daily pictures of his culinary adventures throughout Thailand and Israel in anticipation of his opening of NaiYaRa in South Beach. The restaurant, scheduled to open in foodie mecca Sunset Harbour in the fall, will feature Bee's homage to Thai street food during dinner before turning into a club of sorts during the late-night hours (complete with a DJ and Asian-inspired small plates). Chef Bee's mom will hold the fort in the kitchen, with Bee flitting between NaiYaRa and Oishi Thai in North Miami.
When Danny Serfer opened Blue Collar, it was an immediate hit. After all, who doesn't love comfort food lovingly made by a kick-ass chef? Now he's taking another deceptively simple idea -- the classic oyster bar -- to another level. Serfer, along with partner Ryan Roman (of MiamiRankings.com), is opening Mignonette in Edgewater. The restaurant, described by Serfer as "old Florida meets New Orleans," will offer oysters, chowders, lobster rolls, crabs, clams, and a champagne and caviar happy hour because, as Serfer puts it, "everyone should be able to try some really good caviar." Agreed to the tenth power!
Call Michy's a true Miami gal. The restaurant, at a sprightly 8 years old, is having some work done over the summer. Celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein made the announcement in May, and Michy's closed for the summer on schedule. According to Bernstein, "It's time for us to change the look and feel of the restaurant and provide our guests with a fresh, new concept. We embrace new projects and feel the Michy's space and our restaurant team deserve something new and exciting." We look forward to what the restaurant's Facebook page is calling "#newmichys." After all, every Miami lady deserves a little freshening up before the season starts.
4. White Lotus
The raw food movement is alive and well in most parts of the country, but Miami has yet to embrace the cuisine, which features the use of whole, organic, unprocessed, plant-based foods that are either raw or cooked at extremely low temperatures. Chef Matthew Kenney, a leader in the raw food movement, is taking his cuisine to Wynwood. White Lotus, set to open this winter at the Sacred Space, will serve raw food, detox beverages, cocktails, and sake. Kenney will also teach classes at a state-of-the-art culinary academy next door.
3. Siena Tavern
There are three reasons to anticipate the arrival of Siena Tavern, opening in the late fall, and not all of them involve a fantasy of chef/partner Fabio Viviani hand-feeding us gnocchi. First of all, we're damn curious about a restaurant that features a meatball with its own Twitter account (@Sienameatball). More important, Siena Tavern's original location in Chicago is no flash-in-the-pan. The restaurant has received some rave reviews, including from Chicago Magazine, which calls it "a splashy permapacked Italian joint -- with undeniably delicious food." And, of course, there is Viviani, the charming heartthrob straight from Florence via your TV set. Though Viviani reminds whomever will listen that he lost Bravo's Top Chef competition not once but twice, he usually does it while preparing pasta from scratch.
2. Morimoto South Beach
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, the imposing television celebrity, is taking his flair to the newly renovated Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach. The restaurant, designed by Glamorous of Tokyo, sets the scene for the chef's creations. Morimoto himself will also oversee all of the property's food and beverage operations, including room service, in case you want to have an über-intimate culinary experience. Morimoto South Beach is scheduled to open in August.
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Don't make judgments about Tom Colicchio's abilities based on his Top Chef-fueled celebrity status. Instead, think of him in other superstar terms, namely that Colicchio is a highly regarded chef who has won multiple James Beard Awards, including Best Chef-New York (2000), Best New Restaurant (2002, for Craft), and Outstanding Chef (2010). His book Think Like a Chef won the James Beard KitchenAid Cookbook Award in May 2001. He is also a food activist, fighting against childhood hunger and food insecurity and for companies to label their foods containing GMOs. Colicchio will not only bring beautiful food to Miami Beach; he'll bring it with integrity.