As days in the Magic City grow longer and warmer, our tastes tend toward lighter, fresher dishes that bring a bright bouquet of flavors and textures.
There's no shortage of spring bounty in South Florida, and local chefs have designed menus that incorporate fresh ingredients in every course, from intriguing entrées to decadent desserts.
Here are the seasonal menus that should be at the top of your list.
Bird & Bone
4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
At this eatery inside the Confidante Hotel, chef Richard Hales has added items to his soulful, Southern-inspired menu that incorporate the best of spring's ingredients and flavors. Begin with grilled Atlantic oysters with lemon and scallion ($21) or chilled lobster salad with watercress, fennel, and tarragon ($22). For a main course, opt for the honey-baked salmon with spring pea pilau, seasonal mushrooms, and glazed heirloom carrots ($36); grilled prawns and local purple rice grits with marinated artichoke, blue crab, and miso butter ($34); or whole Maine lobster and dumplings with truffled leeks and potato dumplings ($55). For dessert, order the indulgent s
1664 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach
This spring, Chotto Matte takes guests on a culinary journey to Japan to celebrate sakura season, when the country's iconic pink cherry blossoms are in bloom. Nikkei is still the focus at this South Beach spot, and you can enjoy elaborate Japanese-Peruvian dinner items that are as colorful as the restaurant's graffitied walls, such as the blossom hamachi sashimi with yellowtail, peach, and salsa ($15), and
4525 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
A combination of healthful fare and picture-perfect ocean views makes Malibu Farm an ideal destination this spring. At her California-cool restaurant in the Eden Roc Hotel, Helene Henderson offers new dishes such as the bu-
2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has added a selection of vibrant offerings to the brunch, lunch and dinner menus at his Matador Room in the Edition Hotel. The changes include a revamp of the restaurant’s spring pea guacamole, now made with toasted sunflower seeds ($14), along with veggie-forward dishes such as sucrine and arugula salad with crispy potatoes and yuzu ranch dressing ($12), and a beet and strawberry salad with pistachio, red chili, and shallot dressing ($15). Other notables items are the peekytoe crab and corn fritter with chipotle aioli and cilantro ($15); tuna tartare served on bibb lettuce with avocado, capers, and potato flakes ($20); and new small plates such as crispy asparagus with sesame seeds and citrus dip ($9). For dessert, there's a violet pavlova, a meringue cake with rhubarb and lychee, and a Meyer lemon tart with mint meringue ($11 each).
No Name Chinese
7400 SW 57th Ct., South Miami
For spring, chef Pablo Zitzman's No Name Chinese offers a new roster of specials, such as shrimp toast with house-made shao bing bread, sesame seeds, shrimp, trout roe, horseradish, and sorrel ($8), and a crab
7100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
On the restaurant's spring menu, find seasonal staples in dishes such as baby bok choy with ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, herbage, and crispy garlic ($12); bodega-style cold sesame noodles with peanut-sesame dressing, shaved vegetables, herbage, and crispies ($14); and a soft-shell crab bao bun with salt and pepper, pickles, jalapeño, and sriracha rémoulade ($12). Large plates include a pho-spiced smoked short rib with spiced seasonal fruit salad and fish sauce caramel ($38), and osso buco with veal shank, brisket, sliced flap, meatballs, herbage, noodles, bean sprouts, and
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Red the Steakhouse
119 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
This season, the upscale steakhouse in Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood is serving a bevy of tantalizing dishes, including an indulgent three-tiered hot seafood tower piled with whole Maine lobster, king crab, white gulf shrimp sautéed in lemon garlic butter, mussels diavolo, oysters Rockefeller, and stuffed clams ($199). Continue your meal with wild mushroom pasta, packed with royal trumpet, white and brown beech, and maitake mushrooms in a mushroom cream sauce with Pecorino-Romano cheese ($41); zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and king crab served over sweet corn and roasted chile risotto ($24); a 40-day aged Porterhouse ($199); and an ultimate meat board ($299). Dessert highlights are the red velvet cake ($19) and a creme brûlée duo ($15 each or $24 for both). Red the Steakhouse also hosts Wine
788 Brickell Plaza, Miami
This charming Brickell spot on the 40th floor of the East hotel offers an Asian menu, a cocktail lounge, and floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of the Miami skyline and Biscayne Bay. Wednesday through Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m., the Tea Room hosts the Asian Night Brunch, where guests select from the eatery's $88, five-course tasting