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,
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.
1. 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
2. Swan and Bar Bevy. This collaboration between nightlife
3. Miracle in Miami. 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,
4. Barter. This cool Wynwood bar pairs South American street food with classic cocktails in a retro setting filled with vintage objects and repurposed furniture from the 1940s to today. David Gomez, the executive sous-chef at Amara, created the food menu of modern Latin dishes to go with well-made drinks by Richard Barrenechea. Now is a good time to rummage through your attic, because if you have some obscure and cool items, the bar will actually barter you for it. Your Star Wars figurine collection or your dad's old tiki bar could be traded for a bar tab! Barter is serving a limited menu during its soft-opening phase, and plans are to open the weekend of December 21. 255 NW 27th Ter., Miami, 305-310-9720; barterwynwood.com. Wednesday to Thursday and
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5. Vagabond Village. Restaurateur Amir Ben-Zion has placed his restaurateur hat firmly back on with the opening of Vagabond Village at the Vagabond Hotel in the MiMo District. You can spend the entire evening at the village's various spots. Start with a cocktail at the newly refurbished pool bar before heading to Vagabond Sushi for dinner. The izakaya-style offerings are the star attractions, including succulent korin short ribs. A half-dozen pieces of tender beef are topped with thinly sliced peppers and sesame seeds ($15). Afterward, head to Brigitte, an intimate bar and billiard lounge with a menu of cocktail and spirits. 7301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-332-4991; thevagabondhotelmiami.com.
6. Bakan. This new Wynwood restaurant serves authentic cuisine from the various regions of Mexico, along with a list of about 500 tequilas and mezcals. The restaurant is a partnership between Jaguar Hospitality Group (Peacock Garden Cafe, Jaguar, and Talavera) and Oscar Gavino, who owns restaurants in Mexico and Spain. The focal point is a sprawling indoor/outdoor bar surrounded by a desert landscape of tall cacti and succulents. 2801 NW Second Ave., Miami; 786-542-9139; bakanwynwood.com. Noon to midnight Sunday through Thursday, noon to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.