Whether you live in Miami or are coming in from out of town, there’s no shortage of fantastic restaurants to visit and you can tailor your dining to your mood. Feeling festive? Head to a restaurant with a clubby vibe and a fire show. Looking for a more intimate boîte with excellent cocktails? There’s a new bar calling your name. Here are four hospitality venues to try out now.
1. Sexyfish (pictured above)
If you like a grandiose dining experience, it’s hard to beat newly opened Sexyfish Miami. This Brickell restaurant is an extravagantly designed ode to the ocean with surrealist aquatic décor and giant art works by artist Damien Hirst. Once you’ve feasted your eyes the IMAX-esque visuals of Sexyfish, it’s time to enjoy delicious Asian bites. Standouts on the menu include burrata kimchi with prawn crackers for an umami crispy bite, the scallop, foie gras roll and king crab sushi roll, bone marrow toast and truffle toast. Sexyfish is especially good for groups as it’s spacious and buzzy perfect for a birthday or bachelorette. And don’t forget to take pictures in the bathroom — rumor has it cost an absolute fortune to build and the design will dazzle you.
Colombian restaurant Elcielo isn’t new, it opened in 2015 in Miami. However, even if you’ve been before there’s an exciting new development on the menu that will have you interested in going a back — a 21-course tasting menu celebrating the rich flavors of Colombia. For $197, The Journey will take you through a sensory experience in which you’ll try chef Juan Manuel Barrientos modern interpretation of Colombian dishes such as mistela (an alcoholic drink), canelazo (a hot alcoholic drink), aborrajados (plantain fritters) and empanadas (pastries). He also rethinks dishes from other cuisines riffing on them with Colombian ingredients, like with his yuca gnocchi which he drizzles with truffle oil and pecorino cheese foam. An absolute standout is the chocotherapy course during which liquid chocolate is poured directly onto guests’ hands and they’re encouraged to smell, touch and taste the richness of Colombian chocolate. While 21 courses seems like a lot, the portion sizes and presentation make this meal indulgent without feeling stuffed, and the great service and stories about why each dish was created will keep you entertained during the approximately three-hour meal.
MILA is an indoor/outdoor restaurant concept with a Mediter-Asian menu where you may just turn around and catch a fire show during your meal. You might have visited MILA before but the restaurant now has a new chef and new menu items you will want to try. Chef Chef Michael Michaelidis spent 12 years under the mentorship of Joël Robuchon and is new bringing an array of new flavors and ingredients to the menu. The truffle Maine Lobster served with ponzu wild mushroom fricassee and rosemary is a really flavorful riff on the beloved crustacean and the sushi/sashimi platter is a showstopper. The restaurant has a lively energy making it a great first stop of your evening.
4. Pretty Swell
Pretty Swell is the new restaurant and bar at Life House, South of Fifth which is a laidback café during the day and fun cocktail bar at night. Named after the adjacent South Beach Surfing Swell, the cocktails at Pretty Swell focus on tropical flavors like watermelon and coconut. Sustainability is extremely important to the property and the bar uses upcycled beer cans as cups, as well as a non-perishable citrus juice referred to as super juice which helps prevent citrus waste, one of the biggest sources of waste in the cocktail industry. Settle up to the bar and order their Fashionably Cocktail which features rum, Cafecito, and chocolate bitters wake you up. Or get refreshed by their SoFi Spritz which includes blood orange and sparkling Pet Nat. This fun yet laidback bar is a favorite among both locals and visitors alike.