New Kids on the Block in South Florida
As days in the Magic City grow longer and warmer, our tastes tend toward lighter, fresher dishes that bring a bright bouquet of flavors and textures.
Just like the blossoming flowers, there are a bevy of restaurants set to bloom this season. Thankfully, there's no shortage of spring bounty in South Florida, and local chefs have designed their new menus to incorporate those fresh ingredients in every course, from intriguing entrées to decadent desserts.
Here are the seasonal debuts that should be at the top of your list.
Abba Telavivian Kitchen
Abba Telavivian Kitchen, Miami Beach
Abba Telavivian Kitchen, a chic Israeli-inspired restaurant from hospitality entrepreneurs Omer Horev and Sam Gorenstein, opened March 2021 in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood. Abba brings the flavors of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine to Miami – Gorenstein’s imprint can be found in many of the Syrian and Latin flavors on the menu, while Horev’s Moroccan roots are the inspiration for several dishes as well. Plates go beyond typical American expectations of Middle Eastern menus and feature dishes one would find in a café in Tel Aviv – fresh food that showcases the melting pot of flavors from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, with dinner planned for the future, as well as a sunset menu featuring nisnushim (snacks), coffee and tea, craft beers and wines from regional, boutique producers with a focus on Israeli selections. Offering a bevvy dishes perfect for sharing, diners can make a meal of a number of salatim, salads, pastries and burekas as well as entrée sized plates, pitas and Jerusalem bagels. Abba Televivian Kitchen is located at 864 Commerce Street on Miami Beach. The restaurant is closed on Mondays. For more information, www.abbatlv.com. Walk-ins only; metered street and valet parking available..
Hours: Open Tuesday - Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Where: 864 Commerce Street on Miami Beach, FL 33139
Website: Abba Telavivian Kitchen
Botánico Gin & Cookhouse
Botánico Gin & Cookhouse, Coconut Grove
Opening Spring 2021, Botánico Gin & Cookhouse (Botánico) will be Miami’s first gin-centric eatery — a convivial gathering place where contemporary cuisine and neighborhood gin bar converge. Conceptualized by Partners/Co-Owners Ricardo Ordoñez and Chef Gerardo B. De Negri, the restaurant is located in the recently redesigned and relaunched CocoWalk complex in the heart of Coconut Grove. For the food at Botánico, Chef Gerry is employing his classic French training with inspirations from his culinary sojourns abroad to create an upscale yet approachable dining experience. Among the standouts on the opening menu are goat cheese dip; octopus carpaccio; arepas topped with duck confit, short rib, and pulled pork; grilled branzino with roasted vegetables; a French burger served on a croissant bun; and Ecuadorian ceviche – a family recipe passed down to Ricardo from his mom – made with fresh shrimp marinated in flavorful a tomato-lime base with onions and cilantro. As the name suggests, Botánico will offer an extensive gin-focused cocktail menu in addition to a well-stocked full bar menu. At Botánico, guests can choose from fifteen Gin & Tonic botanical variations including cucumber jelly & lime twist; green apple & thyme; grapes & crystalized ginger; and lavender & lemon twist. Botánico Gin & Cookhouse is located in CoCoWalk at 3015 Grand Avenue, Suite 123 in Coconut Grove. www.botanicomiami.com
Where: 3015 Grand Avenue, Suite 123 in Coconut Grove, FL 33133
KAORI - Inside SLS LUX Brickell, 871 South Miami Ave. South Miami, FL 33130
KAORI is Miami’s newest Mediterranean-Asian-inspired culinary concept, nestled in the very heart of downtown Brickell. Located at the ground level of SLS LUX Brickell, the all-expansive dining destination brings two levels of unparalleled indulgence and entertainment to the neighborhood. Helmed at the culinary hands of renowned Chef Fabrizio Garofolin, KAORI’s menu exudes an eclectic and sophisticated fusion of flavors that offers a beautiful balance between the two worlds of Mediterranean and Asian cuisine. From the delicately warm-toned interior, to the avant-garde food and beverage programming, to the synergetic entertainment component, every harmonic extension of KAORI naturally blends to create the signature ‘KAORI’ guest experience.
When: Opening May 2021
Where: 871 South Miami Ave. South Miami, FL 33130
Website: Kaori Miami
Opening its virtual doors Spring 2021, MUNCH is Miami’s new virtual food hall, signaling the epic collaboration of two widespread culinary trends – the modern food hall and ghost kitchens. Bringing together a plethora of Miami-based culinary concepts under one roof, MUNCH will allow customers the convenience to feed every craving, be it sinful or sublime, through one virtual access point and one point of sale. It is the brainchild of three experienced restaurant executives: Srinath Perera, a former Yum brands, Burger King and Reef Technologies executive; Chef Aaron Dreilinger of Florida Avenue Hospitality and former chef of Celebrity Cruise Lines; and Nedal Ahmad, Co-Founder and former CEO of PINCHO. To empower small businesses, many of which being women and minority-owned, the Coconut Grove based multi-concept eatery will launch with an eclectic mix of local concepts including 2 Korean Girls, Baba-G’s and Pin Up Taco, with additional vendors - including Sabowl, AMP Burger, Food Parm and Saucy Flamingo by Miami Brewing Co - launching soon thereafter. MUNCH concepts will be available for delivery on UberEats within a 5-mile radius from the kitchen (Pinecrest, Coral Gables and Brickell); or for pickup at the Coconut Grove kitchen. MUNCH is located at 2801 Florida Avenue in Coconut Grove.
Where: 2801 Florida Avenue in Coconut Grove, FL 33133
No Man’s Land
No Man’s Land, Fort Lauderdale
No Man’s Land – a refuge from the ordinary – will open late Spring 2021. Brainchild of hospitality powerhouse Memphis Garrett of Garrett Hospitality Group and star of CBS’s Big Brother All Stars, the elevated, but never pretentious, vibey cocktail parlor and lounge will feature classic and craft cocktails and an array of small plates. Guests can expect the same meticulous execution that Garrett Hospitality is known for, served up in a sultry space with jewel tones, plush seating, dark woods, and ambient lighting. Dishes will perfectly complement the boozy libations and will include items such as deviled eggs with caviar, beef carpaccio and an array of unique dips & spreads and creative crudos. Poke House, a mainstay in Fort Lauderdale since opening in 2016, will transform into a takeout and delivery concept out of a ghost kitchen, along with newly launched Blue Wave Sushi. No Man’s Land will be located at 666 Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. Follow on Instagram: @nomanslandftl
Where: 666 Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale FL 33304
Among some of the hippest new spots to take root in South Florida this Spring is Shelter, Brooklyn’s acclaimed wood-fired restaurant and bar, which opened there September 2013. Shelter Wynwood, which opened its doors in March 2021, features the woodsy, “hunting lodge chic” design and style that has made it such a Williamsburg staple and will certainly play well in Wynwood given its artistic, bohemian vibe. Overflowing with delicious, rustic fare, informed by its creators’ Italian and Argentine roots and fueled by a wood-burning oven, the menu promises variety, bold flavors and crave-able simplicity. Starters range from steamed mussels with crunchy fire-toasted bread; crispy artichokes with pecorino cheese dip, a meat & cheese board with all the fixings; truffled mac & cheese and fresh ceviche mixto. Pizzas, available gluten free if desired, are a fixture here. Main-plates range from a roasted half-chicken with mashed potatoes and a delicious burger to parillada for two – ribeye, chorizo, morcilla, skirt steak, chicken – served with roasted vegetables and fries and slow-braised double rubbed pork ribs. Shelter Wynwood also has a varied beer list emphasizing local and/or independent brewers, as well as a thoughtful wine and craft cocktail list. Shelter Wynwood is located at 10 NE 27th Street in Miami. Dinner served Monday – Sunday. Telephone: (305) 603-8970; www.shelterbrooklyn.com. Follow Shelter on Instagram @shelterbrooklyn
Hours: Dinner served Monday – Sunday
Contact: (305) 603-8970;
Where: 10 NE 27th Street in Miami, FL 33137
Website: Shelter Wynwood
Sushi by Bou Beach Club
Sushi by Bou Beach Club, Pompano Beach
In Spring 2021, the Sushi by Bou concept is expanding both literally and figuratively, with Sushi by Bou Beach Club at the Marriott Residence Inn Pompano Beach. Just steps from the ocean, it will offer the concept’s renowned omakase experience as well as an eclectic beach club menu perfect for a relaxed beachside experience. The brainchild of NYC-based hospitality group Simple Venue’s Michael Sinensky and Erika London in partnership with hoteliers Hank Freid and Brandon Freid of Impulsive Group, it will replicate the beloved omakase menu developed with Boca Raton native and sushi master David Bouhadana. Encompassing 2,500 square feet, the new restaurant will feature the brand’s signature intimate “chef’s choice” omakase bar as well as additional indoor and outdoor seating featuring a la carte izakaya, sushi and maki menus. Over the course of the allotted hour, guests will enjoy an array of nigiri sushi ranging from Bluefin tuna, marinated Ikura, Uni sea urchin and fatty tuna to Hokkaido scallop topped with charcoal salt. Sushi by Bou offers a selection of sleek, signature handmade cocktails, imported sakes and Japanese whiskies to accompany the feast as well as refreshing frozen cocktails and large format drink packages to enjoy by the waterfront. Omakase reservations, which open up a month in advance and tend to sell out quickly, will be limited to 10 seats per hour; with an additional 40 seats indoor and 40 seats outdoor available for izakaya dining. Sushi by Bou Beach Club will be located at 1350 Ocean Boulevard in Pompano Beach. Omakase seatings at the restaurant sushi bar will be priced at $50 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity). For more information, visit www.sushibybou.com/sushi-by-bou-pompano/.
Where: 1350 Ocean Boulevard in Pompano Beach, FL 33062
Website: Sushi by Bou Beach Club
Tobacco Road by Kush
Tobacco Road by Kush, Brickell
It was an inarguable loss for Miami when Tobacco Road – the Magic City’s oldest bar with a liquor license dating back to pre-Prohibition – closed its doors in the fall of 2014. In a city blessed with the power of reinvention and driven to deliver “the new,” the Road was a holdover from a bygone era of bootleggers and gangsters, barflies and brawlers. And though Tobacco Road’s glory days are gone, a new chapter is being written and, not surprising, its author is one of Miami’s foremost proctors of pop culture, Matt Kuscher of Kush Hospitality Group. Reopened in March 2021 in downtown Miami’s Brickell area, Kush’s tribute to Tobacco Road – 50% pop up, 50% homage and 100% dive bar chic. The slogan is simple, “This ain’t the real Tobacco Road.” The goal here was not to recreate the original Tobacco Road, surely you can’t replicate something with so much history. Though the spirit of the iconic watering hole is completely intact – a spot people can come to eat, drink, reminisce and indulge in a little nostalgia – and have some fun in the process. Available for lunch, dinner and delivery daily, the menu at Tobacco Road by Kush reads like a “greatest hits'' compilation of American bar food, with just the right amount of elevation. The menu is everything you’d want to eat at a great bar with the twists you’d expect from a Kush Hospitality. Tobacco Road by Kush is located at 650 South Miami Avenue in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood. The restaurant is open Sunday – Thursday 11:30AM to 11PM; Friday & Saturday 11:30AM to Midnight. Telephone: (786) 703-3120; https://kushhospitality.com/
Hours: Open Sunday – Thursday 11:30AM to 11PM; Friday & Saturday 11:30AM to Midnight.
Where: 650 South Miami Ave. Miami , FL 33130
Website: Tobacco Road