It's difficult to look into a crystal ball and come up with what restaurants will connect with the hearts and palates of Miamians. It takes more than a famous chef or a good burger to make it. Nevertheless, there are several eateries set to open this year backed by solid chefs and good concepts. With that in mind, here are the top ten restaurants to look forward to in 2016.
10. Trust & Co.
Batch Gastropub co-creator Jerry Flynn is opening Trust & Co., a chef-driven restaurant in Coral Gables that will offer craft cocktails. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant, located in the former Azucar Cuban Cuisine space (2 Aragon Ave.), will feature a menu of local produce, seafood, and proteins in an industrial-chic setting. Flynn describes it as "steampunk meets a bank," with a modern feel and steel accents. The cuisine is described as "diverse American" with Latin, French, and Italian influences. Trust & Co. is expected to open shortly.
9. Sullivan St. Bakery
James Beard Award nominee Jim Lahey is planning a commercial and retail bakery at 5550-5570 NE Fourth Ave. in Little Haiti. The 4,000-square-foot location will first house a wholesale business and eventually expand to retail. Lahey's New York City operation supplies bread to about 250 restaurants. The baking chef has had his sights set on Miami for more than two decades, and now that he's found a space, he's not in any rush. “It’ll take us about six months to get into the groove with people. It’s a different labor market in terms of where people come from.” Don't expect to enjoy Lahey's famed bread in Miami in the immediate future. Pressed for a completion date of his new bakery, Lahey simply said, "It's still TBD."
8. Quinto La Huella
Uruguay's Parador La Huella is the most lauded restaurant in that country. Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants calls it a "breezy seaside grill, whose high-end beach shack appearance speaks of lazy lounging and barefoot walks along the sand." Now the owners — Gustavo Barbero, Martin Pittaluga, and Guzman Artagaveytia — are bringing their high-end beach shack to the East Miami Hotel at Brickell City Centre. The restaurant, along with a rooftop bar, Sugar, was originally scheduled for a winter 2015 opening, but the hotel's website takes reservations beginning May 1. Until then, you can always take a flight to Uruguay's Brava Beach, a small town about 100 miles from Montevideo, for a taste of the restaurant's signature beef.
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6. Paulie Gee's
First there was Lucali; now comes Paulie Gee's, the second Brooklyn pizza sensation to open in Miami. That's a good