Food Industry

Miami's Ten Most Anticipated Restaurants of 2016

Miami's restaurant scene is a hotbed. Each month, despite prophecies of doom, our city's openings far outweigh any closures. With celebrity chefs, small indie restaurateurs, and foreign investors all wanting to feed us a piece of the proverbial pie, there's a lot of speculation to be had.

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. 

7. Ariete
Coconut Grove is reclaiming itself as a true destination with an influx of some great dining establishments. Now Ariete joins the mix. The restaurant will open mid-January at 3540 Main Hwy. in the former La Bottega Enoteca space, tucked alongside Calamari restaurant. What makes this one special is the chef behind it. Michael Beltran, the former sous-chef at the Cypress Room, has worked alongside Miami's culinary elite of Michael Schwartz and Hedy Goldsmith. The chef will serve family-oriented food, mostly prepared in the restaurant's wood grill. If the restaurant's New Year's Eve preview dinner is an indication of the final menu, expect oxtail, bone-in rib eye, bone marrow, and other meaty endeavors.

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 thing, because anyone can tell you there's no such thing as too much New York pizza. The restaurant, owned by Jason Weisberg, is taking the former China Palace space on Biscayne Boulevard at NE 80th Street — complete with the now-requisite wall of graffiti. The colorful graphics will surely play second fiddle to the planned pizza oven, where Weisberg wants the act of pizza-making in full view. With 12 beers on tap and a full wine list, Paulie Gee's will be a welcome addition to the ever-growing Biscayne corridor.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss