Florida is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Miamians aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food players to share their recommendations for a feature dubbed Dining Confidential. Know a chef who wants to share some top dining spots? The tipline is open.
Michael Pirolo, the chef at Macchialina Taverna Rustica and the now popped-down summer sandwich shop Pirolo's Panino, knows his way around the Miami restaurant scene, having opened Scarpetta in 2008 and Macchialina last summer. And like any Miami resident (transplant or not), he has lengthy list of under the radar favorites. His go-tos are ahead:
I love Casablanca Fish Market for fish. They always have great local catch, and the prices are insane (good insane). Plus, they have butchers on site who will clean, filet and scale whatever you have. Perhaps the best part about it is that the market is attached to a restaurant.
Mr. Pasta is a small, artisanal, fresh pasta shop, not too far from Westchester. All the pastas are made on premise and are exceptional. Try the gnocchi.
John's Tacos which is being run at night out of Josh's Deli. Small menu; super fresh. You sit at the counter and the guy who takes your order is the same one who cooks it. It's a very unique experience. Make sure to order the fried fish tacos.
Hy Vong is a little Vietnamese place on SW 8th street. There's a long wait for tables and they seem to close for vacation once a month, but when you do get a table, it is definitely worth all the hardships you went through to get it. You can't go wrong; everything is delicious.
Las Olas Café is a gem on South Beach. Croquettas, empanadas, media noches, café con leche, braised oxtail – all amazing. It's around the corner from my apartment, so it's perfect! My girlfriend and I walk the dogs over and you order at a takeout window from the street. To me, this is the best Cuban cafe on the beach. I've been going for years, empanadas from anywhere else are just not the same.
For drinking, Foxhole is a great SoBe dive bar. Granted the rest of the country wouldn't consider it a dive, but that's just how we roll.
I also love Broken Shaker—unique cocktails, great atmosphere, cool vibe and The Regent Cocktail Club —superb cocktails, and you feel like you've been transported to the 1920s.
· All Coverage of Macchialina Taverna Rustica [~EMIA~]