Lee Brian Schrager, founder and director of the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival, dishes on the best new spots to dine during Art Basel
This Miami Beach newcomer is a not-to-be-missed spot for Basel attendees, with its Japanese-Peruvian cuisine served up just steps from Lincoln Road, in a space easily mistaken for an art gallery. Aptly named, Chotto Matte (which translates from Japanese to “wait a minute”) invites the arteratti to revive and imbibe. Hot and cold appetizers offer refreshing comfort, while dishes like crispy duck with honey orange ponzu and beef short rib with white asparagus and teriyaki sauce are perfectly accompanied by yuca frita or arroz chifa. A vast robata grill menu, sushi rolls and sashimi round out the robust choices, capped off by plenty of creative libations for sipping.
Swan 90 NE 39th St.
Diners, imbibers and A-listers are all getting happy at this brand-new, pretty-in-pink resto and cocktail lounge created by Grammy-winner Pharrell Williams and Miami hospitality visionary David Grutman. Helming one of the most gorgeous new spaces in the Design District, “Top Chef Europe” champion Jean Imbert dishes up a fresh mix of signature menu items to match the atmosphere: creamy polenta with popcorn and brown butter, smoked beet carpacio and roasted chicken with curry-carrot puree. Upstairs at the connected Bar Bevy, the lounge offers up its own set of eclectic cocktails to go with the alluring hot-spot atmosphere.
Kaido 151 NE 41st St.
Tucked in the heart of the Design District’s sprawling, open-air Paradise Plaza, James Beard Best Chef nominee Brad Kilgore brings his longanticipated Asian-inspired concept to life just in time for Basel. But don’t expect the same dining routine as Kilgore’s other two acclaimed Miami concepts (Alter and Brava) — this one offers a more bespoke experience. Kilgore deploys his exceptional technique to create elevated Japanese fare, including highlights like lionfish sashimi and green papaya with Thai vinaigrette. Parisian bartender Nico de Soto has created distinct menus of Asian-focused classic cocktails, like the jasmine gimlet, plus a larger luxury set of concoctions meant to be shared with tablemates.
Boulud Sud 255 Biscayne Blvd. Way
Iconic chef Daniel Boulud’s second iteration of his Mediterranean concept is tucked in downtown Miami, inside the JW Marriott Marquis. Boulud’s elevated coastal cuisine is exceptionally spiced — throughout a menu of small, medium and large plates, as well as simply grilled options — designed to please any group of diners. Standouts to snack on include the lamb flatbread, tunisian beef tartare and crispy artichokes, followed by the Italian chicory salad or roasted mushroom with tomato confit and farm egg. For heartier plates, one can’t go wrong with the slow-baked salmon or chicken tagine — not to be outdone by Sud’s versatile wine list and seasonal craft cocktail program.
Fiola 1500 San Ignacio Ave.
Stunningly nestled in the landmark Sunset building in Coral Gables, celebrated chef Fabio Trabocchi’s latest endeavor brings his flagship Michelin-starred concept from DC to the burgeoning dining oasis of this historic Miami neighborhood. While the crudo and raw bar are alone enough to satiate the most sophisticated of palates, the pastas are the star of the show at what might be Miami’s best new restaurant. It’s difficult to go wrong, but the Roman shell cacio e pepe, lobster ravioli and beef short rib agnolotti shine. And groups can indulge in any number of larger familystyle offerings, like whole salt-crusted branzino or the Angus prime porterhouse.
The Surf Club Restaurant by Chef Thomas Keller 9011 Collins Ave.
Designed to pay homage to the Surf Club’s original 1930s Old Hollywood lifestyle, revered chef Thomas Keller’s first Florida restaurant shines in the Surfside neighborhood. Classic continental cuisine gets a refined touch, evidenced in dishes like avocado and garden vegetable louie, soft-boiled egg with caviar, dover sole meunière and beef short rib Wellington. The vintage glamour also caters to Miami’s contemporary diner, with special attention paid to the Champagnes, white burgundys and rosés offered to pair with the elegant cuisine.
BALEENkitchen 17315 Collins Ave.
A generous helping of surf and plenty of turf is offered at this reimagined Miami classic — a former Coconut Grove mainstay, now re-emerging nearly a decade later at Solé on the Ocean hotel in Sunny Isles. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of the beaches, while diners tuck into aptly prepared favorites like the wedge BLT, cioppino, pan-roasted grouper, linguini bolognese and skirt steak frites. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the indoor and outdoor dining areas also offer an extensive cocktail list — complete with global reinterpretations of the classic Moscow mule.