As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. We've already covered the 2014's restaurant standbys. Now it's time for best newcomers.
Q: What were your top restaurant newcomers of 2014?
Matt Meltzer, Miami Editor of Thrillist
La Mar for sure. Drunken Dragon, who managed to open up on a completely demolished street - with no parking - and still be packed every night. Siena Tavern. Uvaggio, the wine guy there is a genius. The new American Social in Brickell is great for just....well, it's a Florida State bar, you can probably figure that one out.
Carla Torres, Miami New Times
Mignonette, no questions asked. Danny and Ryan really knocked it out of the park. Their bromance totally translates to the food, especially the lobster roll. I also really love Twenty-Seven, which just recently opened so not sure if you can consider that 2014 or if it will roll over for next year, but my meal there was flawless from start to finish. I call best restaurant next year.
Gio Gutierrez, Executive Producer, Chat Chow TV
Picking one is way too hard. How about five instead? 27 Restaurant and Bar, Mignonette, NIU Kitchen, Rum Line, and Uvaggio.
Steven S. Editor-In-Chief of The Chowfather
Impressive list of newcomers this year. Oolite, Proof Pizza & Pasta, La Mar, Basil Park, Mignonette, NIU Kitchen, L'Echon, Shikany and Ironside Pizza.
Gabe Urrutia, Grey Goose Assistant Brand Manager
27 Restaurant is one of my favorites. As soon as you walk into this former home, you feel like family. Gabe Orta, Elad Zvi and Roy Alpert deliver on more than the food and cocktails. Chef James Seyba brings a menu that is the heart of Miami with inspirations brought on by Gabe, Elad and Roy. Eating through this menu is like sitting at home looking through a Polaroid album of your favorite memories. This is one of my favorites of the year. Another is Mignonette, brought to you by Blue Collar's Danny Serfer & Miami Rankings blogger Ryan Roman. Mignonette delivers on all levels. The seafood tower is fairly priced for a great portion of fresh seafood. The daily gumbo and chowder I had recently is some of the best I have ever had.
Olee Fowler, Eater Miami contributor
Miami really stepped up its dining game this year and we had a solid list of newcomers come onto the scene. Uvaggio is favorite of mine and has quickly become my neighborhood bar, NIU Kitchen serves up Spanish cuisine that is inventive and unique, Matador Room is wow-worthy and the Bar Lab guys created something really special with 27 Restaurant and Bar.
I thought I wasn't a fan of Italian cuisine, until I went to Riviera Foccacia in Midtown. It's the only restaurant in Miami, if not America, where you can find authentic Ligurian cuisine and wines from that region. They've imported an Italian guy just to make the bread. Doesn't get more authentic than that.
Carissa Chesanek, Local Editor at Zagat Miami
Lar Mar, Drunken Dragon, Mignonette, Touche Rooftop & Lounge, and Uvaggio Wine Bar
Kathy Buccio, Eater Miami contributor
I have to say 27 Restaurant. I love the ambience and the feel of eating in someone's living room. I was there twice in 3 days and loved everything I ordered. The meat was so juicy and flavorful. All their herbs and vegetables are grown on premise and you can taste just how fresh everything is. Plus you can't go wrong with the cocktails!
Mignonette was also at the top of my list. Champagne and oysters just walking distance from my apartment? Sign me up. And the boys behind Blue Collar seem to have a winning formula. The happy hour is also a win/win.