Miami Art Week is one of the city's most vibrant times of the year. Tens of thousands of artists, gallerists, and A-listers converge upon the area to observe, party,
and be seen.
The only bad part is trying to get a reservation — or even a seat at the bar — at the newest and coolest restaurants and watering holes.
Now that the hoopla has subsided, it's time for the locals to take back Miami — at least until the tourists come to spend the holidays getting a tan. Here are the six hottest bars and restaurants to experience right now.
Floridian fugu at Kaido.
Photo by Juan Fernando Ayora / Courtesy of Kaido
Though open only about a week, Kaido is one hot ticket. The 2,200-square-foot lounge, fashioned after a Tokyo drinking den, is a partnership of some of the brightest stars in the food-and-beverage world: Brad Kilgore, of Wynwood's Alter, and Nico de Soto, who owns Mace in New York City's East Village as well as two Paris bars — Danico and Zebra. Together, they've created a space where food and drinks are equally important and innovative: Kilgore's Floridian fugu — lionfish sashimi with yuzu kosho
, caviar, basil seeds, crispy tapioca, and ponzu — is a play on the exotic and infamous Japanese fugu. Wash it down with a jasmine gimlet, made with sencha-infused shochu and jasmine cordial, and a Sakura Negroni, made with gin, Italian bitters, sweet vermouth, and sakura
. 151 NE 41st St., #217, Miami; 786-409-5591; kaidomiami.com. Sunday through Thursday 4 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. The secret bar Ama is open Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. to midnight by reservation only.
2. Swan and Bar Bevy.
Swan's rose-colored interior.
Photo by Morelli Brothers
This collaboration between nightlife pro David
Grutman and musician Pharrell Williams has two distinct vibes. Swan calls to mind a chic Parisian bistro filled with pink hues and a continental menu by Europe's Top Chef
Season 3 winner Jean Imbert. Find whimsical yet well-executed dishes such as caesar salad shaped like a tower ($16) and a trio of corn aptly named Corn, Corn, Corn ($15). Before or after dinner, have a cocktail at Bar Bevy, a lounge with a Casablanca-meets-Andy Warhol vibe. 90 NE 39th St., Miami; 305-704-0994; swanbevy.com.
3. Miracle in Miami.
Start the holidays off right at Miracle Bar.
Photo by Melissa Hom
If you're obsessed with Christmas, get on your sleigh and fly to the Miracle in Miami pop-up at Gramps. Drink Miami and Wynwood's favorite bar have collaborated to bring the beloved Miracle pop-up series to the 305 for the first time. Special cocktails ($14 each) include the Gingerbread Flip, with bourbon, gingerbread syrup, elemakule
tiki bitters, whole egg, and gingersnap cookie crumbs; the Christmas Carol Barrel, with rum, aquavit, amaro
, pumpkin pie, lemon, orange, and bitters; and the Jingle Balls Nog, with brown butterfat-washed cognac, sherry, almond milk, cream, sugar, egg, and nutmeg. Many of the drinks are served in holiday-themed glasses available for purchase. Not into frozen eggnog, you Grinch? Try the special J. Wakefield beer, brewed for Miracle in Miami. Wicked Winter Brew is a 12 percent ABV gingerbread-inspired imperial stout that's both sweet and spicy. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday; 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Open November 23 to December 23 at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; miraclepopup.com. Admission is free.