On January 25, say farewell to the pig and welcome the Year of the Rat during the Chinese New Year, also referred to as the Lunar New Year.
Despite the rodent's pesky reputation, the Chinese symbol commemorates a year of fresh beginnings, vitality, and fertility. In addition to including ancestor worship, Chinese New Year brims with ebullient festivities coupled with fireworks, parades, and over-the-top indulgences, much like its American counterpart.
Miami loves a party, and Chinese New Year is no exception. From traditional red-envelope ceremonies to mouth-watering dim sum buffets, ring in a second round of new year's celebrations at one of Miami's top Chinese New Year's events.
Hutong600 Brickell Ave., Miami
Usher in the Year of the Rat at Hutong, Brickell's latest culinary outpost for Northern Chinese cuisine. This Saturday, January 25, the restaurant will offer an authentic Chinese New Year celebration, complete with Chinese toy drums and lucky red envelopes filled with restaurant giveaways such as complimentary dessert and dinner for two. The highlight of evening will be the traditional lion dance, beginning at 9:15. The menu will be à la carte, and reservations are encouraged.
MO Bar + Lounge500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami
You're bound to get lucky at the Mandarin Oriental, adorned with more than 100 red lanterns and a giant kumquat tree. Guests can participate in the Chinese tradition of hanging red envelopes, symbolizing prosperity for the year ahead. The weeklong festivities run Saturday, January 25, through Sunday, February 2, and include a dim sum buffet ($25 per person) at the hotel's MO Bar + Lounge and a specialty cocktail — the Good Fortune — made with mandarin orange vodka ($14).
Phuc Yea7100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
The Viet-Cajun hot spot will welcome the Chinese New Year with a pig roast this Saturday, January 25, at 7:30 p.m. In addition to cooking the whole hog, the eatery will offer food stations serving Cajun fried rice, vegetable curry, and spring rolls. Tickets, which cost $39 per person via phucyea.com, include access to fortunetellers, a lion dance show, a complimentary cocktail, and the food stations.
Saam at SLS Brickell1300 S. Miami Ave., Miami
If you're looking for liquid fortune, stop by Saam at the SLS in Brickell for its cocktail Green Prosperity ($16), dry gin married with St-Germain, prosecco, Midori melon, lychee, lemon, and a jasmine flower infusion. "The two colors representing Lunar New Year are red and green," general manager Adrian Artidiello says. "Green symbolizes prosperity in the coming year, so Saam created a recipe that offers our guests a delicious drink and maybe a little luck.” The limited-edition libation will be available only Saturday, January 25.
Sugar at East Miami788 Brickell Plaza, Miami
At Sugar, take in the stunning Miami skyline while sipping a Lucky Rat-tini ($15). The evening's signature martini is a fortuitous concoction of Ketel One vodka, yuzu juice, and simple syrup that's garnished with a seaweed-wrapped lychee. The Asian-inspired bar will also debut new menu items, such as truffled pistachio seared tuna with truffle oil and crispy vermicelli; and shrimp and crab croquettes stuffed with lemongrass and mango-pineapple chutney.
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Tanuki1080 Alton Rd., Miami Beach
This Thursday, January 23, through Saturday, January 25, Tanuki will offer two Chinese New Year-inspired feasts. Diners can choose a dim sum menu ($45 per person) including 12 pieces of dim sum and gyoza plus dessert, or the Chinese New Year feast ($55 per person), with a choice of appetizer, entrée, and a festive mango-chia cream puff for dessert. Both prix fixes include a welcome drink and unlimited sake for up to two hours.
Tropical Chinese7991 Bird Rd., Miami
West Miami-Dade's landmark for dim sum and Hong Kong-style cuisine is an obvious choice for this year's festivities. Indulge in a sumptuous plate of Peking duck that's carved and wrapped tableside ($75) or a selection of shumai and leek dumplings ($5.29), paired with nightly lion dances Friday, January 24, and Saturday, January 25.