Miami might not seem like it has four seasons, but the calendar still says it's spring. That means eating lighter items made with seasonal produce. The results are plates that are colorful and inviting.
The Magic City's best chefs are welcoming spring with fresh dishes, so head to these restaurants to try what’s new.
1. Stiltsville Fish Bar. Springtime addition the hammock salad ($15) sounds like a beach-day bite just by its name. The ingredients — grapefruit, local hearts of palm, avocado, local tomatoes, and butter crunch lettuce — are fresh and bright. For a spicier dive, the Cajun oysters ($15), also new for spring, are served with a grilled spicy andouille sausage, rémoulade, and creole squash slaw. 787 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; 786-353-0477; stiltsvillefishbar.com.
2. Boulud Sud. The shakshouka ($16), a dish commonly made for breakfast in Morocco, is a fresh lunch item made with goat cheese, kale, and a soft-poached egg over a chunky tomato sauce. 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; 305-421-8800; bouludsud.com/miami.
3. El Cielo. Chef Juan Manuel Barrientos' El Cielo offers incredible tasting experiences. The restaurant's new tasting menu, "The Visit" ($65), includes a dish that plays with the bright flavors of spring, with salmon tartare, apple fettuccine, and pomegranate seeds. 31 SE Fifth St., Miami; 305-755-8840; elcielorestaurant.com/us.
4. Duffy’s Sports Grill. The beloved sports bar and grill has introduced fresh, healthy items to lighten up its menu of sports-bar favorites. The orange ginger mahi ($16) starts with mahi-mahi brushed with an orange ginger glaze; served over stir-fried soba noodles with broccoli, red bell peppers, and onion; and finished with pineapple salsa. The ahi tuna stack ($10) is flavored with Duffy’s own poke sauce, stacked with pineapple salsa and mashed avocados, dusted with nori and sesame seeds, and finished off with a sriracha smear. 3969 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach; 305-760-2124; duffysmvp.com.
5. Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen. Doc B’s recently opened an outpost of its health-driven concept March 14 in Coral Gables. The new location recently debuted dishes such as roasted heirloom cauliflower ($14). Tricolor cauliflower is served on a bed of kale pesto with golden raisins and Marcona almonds. 301 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 786-864-1220; docbsfreshkitchen.com.
6. Edge Steak & Bar. For spring, grab a few small or medium plates such as endive salad with lavender and honey vinaigrette ($11); a calamari and tomato empanada with squid ink ($5); warm stone crabs steamed in sea urchin butter ($25); and a spring nettle and potato ravioli with artichoke cream and smoked trout caviar ($14). 1435 Brickell Ave., Miami; 305-381-3190; edgerestaurantmiami.com.
7. Planta. David Grutman’s new plant-based restaurant opened just in time for spring with a menu of locally sourced and 100 percent plant-based dishes. The carrot tartare ($16.95) is a colorful plate of mixed carrots, quinoa, avocado, sprouts, pine nuts, capers, and habanero stacked and served with pickled mushrooms and taro chips. 850 Commerce St., Miami Beach; 647-348-7000; plantarestaurants.com.
8. Glass & Vine. Giorgio Rapicavoli's relaxed park-side restaurant, Glass & Vine, is welcoming spring with a Peruvian-style local fish tiradito ($15). It's served with fresh rocoto, Peruvian-style stuffed peppers, leche de tigre, sweet potato, and cilantro. 2820 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove; 305-200-5268; glassandvine.com.
9. The Strand Bar & Grill. When you think of corn soup, you probably think of the variety that's piping hot and thick with cream. But the Strand offers chilled corn soup ($16), made with corn, pickled eggplant, and cherry tomatoes. The soup is spiced with tarragon and served with a crab croquette. 6801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-514-7474; thestrandmiami.com.
10. Habitat by Jose Mendin. New to the spring menu, Habitat's Japanese amberjack ($19) mixes the sweet flavor of the sashimi with warm lemongrass romesco, crisp bell pepper, and seasonal hazelnuts. 2395 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-604-6700; 1hotels.com/south-beach/taste.
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