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Palace Bar Makes Its Triumphant Return to Ocean Drive

Tracking all the fresh dining options across South Florida

Photo Credit: Facebook/Palace Bar

Having a tough time keeping up with all the new dining options? Welcome to the Opening Report, a regularly updated round-up of restaurant openings big and small across the South Florida area.

December 18

SOUTH BEACH — Longstanding favorite Palace Bar has returned to Ocean Drive at a new and improved home at 1052 Ocean Drive, according to the Miami New Times. The bar and restaurant that was best known as a hub of the LGBT community, closed up shop at its original location at over the summer — but as the owner promised, its back and bigger than ever. The new space opened during White Party weekend featuring and indoor and outdoor space along with a front patio where the Palace girls can still preform.

November 22

COCONUT GROVE — Popular Belgian bakery-restaurant Le Pain Quotidien has officially set up its first South Florida outpost at 3425 Main Highway. The restaurant serves up breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner daily with items like breads, pastries, eggs, baked goods, yogurt, coffee and teas for the morning hours with more hearty dishes like tartines, soups, salads and quiches in the later hours.

WYNWOOD — More pizza has arrived in Wynwood, this time courtesy of Wynwood Oven (2085 NW 2nd Avenue, Suite 105). The restaurant, which is “inspired by the neighborhood Italian enoteca” serves an all-day menu with dishes like antipasti, wood-fired pizza, entrees and desserts. Conceived by Wine by the Bay owner and former gallerist Stefano Campanini, so naturally, it has an extensive wine by the glass menu and plans to feature wine tastings in the future.

SOUTH BEACH — The hard-to-miss building at 1826 Collins Avenue has a new restaurant residing in it: The Fish at 1826. Serving up (no shocker here) plenty of seafood-centric cuisine like scallop cauliflower sausage, seafood towers, herb crusted halibut, along with dishes more for the land loving folks like rack of lamb and beef filet and lots of pasta options.

November 15

SOUTH BEACH — The South of Fifth neighborhood now has the opportunity to dine on Nikkei cuisine thanks to Sakura 736 (736 1st Street). Taking over the spot that once held Red Ginger and Now & Zen, it offers up a menu filled with items like forbidden rice, ceviche, hotate, paiche, along with sushi and sashimi offerings.

KENDALL — Brazilian-based Italian fast casual concept Spoleto has arrived in Miami inside Dadeland Mall (7535 North Kendall Avenue). The assembly style set up offers guests the choice to pick their pasta, flatbread or salad of choice, then top is with items like sausage, marinara, burratta, and plenty of veggies.

November 1

HOMESTEAD — Arguably the best time of year has arrived: cinnamon roll season at Knaus Berry Farms. The beloved farm and strawberry stop down in Homestead has a cult-like following for its cinnamon rolls. They are now on sale daily through April, but beware, there will be a wait.

October 27

DESIGN DISTRICTBlue Bottle Coffee (3800 NE 1st Avenue) has officially debuted its first of two Miami locations in the Design District. One of the OG craft coffee retailers — which recently had a large investment by Nestle — Blue Bottle serves coffee, espresso, cold brew, and New Orleans–Style iced coffee plus a selection of pastries, including Liège waffles and toasts; and coffee gear. The cafe also plans to host coffee education classes taught by baristas.

LITTLE HAVANA — Calle Ocho certainly isn’t lacking in Cuban sandwiches, but that doesn’t stop newcomers from hitting the scene. Latest to arrive is Sanguich De Miami ( 1641 SW 8th Street), housed in a small walk-up shipping container. The restaurant boasts making everything in house for the sandwiches (aside from the bread) and in addition to the signature Cubano, it serves medianoches, pan con bistec and croqueta preparadas, plus a variety of rotating shakes.

SOUTH BEACH — For those looking to get an acai fix, South Beach newcomer Berri Bar (1630 Pennsylvania Avenue) is here to help. Expect items like acai bowls, juices, smoothies, and healthy on-the-go snacks all conveniently locacated on Lincoln Road.

October 24

WYNWOOD — Popular South Beach pizzeria Mister O1 (formerly known as Visa O1) has expanded its South Florida foot print with the opening of its third location in the outskirts of Wynwood at 2315 N. Miami Avenue. Expect the same menu that made the original spot so famous like the Star Luca pizza, antipasto, and its thin-crust pizzas.

DORALBurgerIM Miami (8229 W Flagler Street) officially opens the first of its anticipated 65 stores in South Florida today with an all day party with none other than Miami’s own DJ Irie. The Los Angeles import serves burgers “by the pack” (i.e. sliders) with a variety of buns, sauces, patty options which are encouraged to be mixed and matched. On the menu guests can also expect salads, sandwiches, wings and more.

BUENA VISTA — In a city that seems to not be able to get enough pizza, the latest addition is La Piazzetta (5143 NE 2nd Avenue). On the menu expect the usual subjects — wood-oven cooked pizzas, paninis, salads, antipasti and more, all promised to be made with an Italian touch.

October 18

DESIGN DISTRICT — Like most New Yorkers, popular Brooklyn pizza joint Roberta’s is heading to South Florida for the winter. The eatery has officially set up shop on its Miami Design District pop-up restaurant housed inside Jungle Plaza (3801 Northeast 1st Avenue). The outdoor space features a small, graffiti painted kiosk serving up a select few pies including the Margherita, Bee Sting, and the “Famous Original,” available in two sizes, along with soda, beer and other beverages. Orders are offered for both dine-in or take out, with delivery coming soon. The space plans to be open until April 2018 daily from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.

October 16

DESIGN DISTRICT — Kendall hit Ghee Indian Kitchen (3620 NE 2nd Avenue) has officially opened its second location, this time in the Miami Design District. Taking over the former Cypress Room space, the restaurant serves a similar menu to its south Dade counterpart featuring Indian dishes like curries, naans and plenty of vegetable dishes from the owner’s farm.

BRICKELLDIRT (900 South Miami Avenue, Suite #125) has opened up its third location of its restaurant, this time in Mary Brickell Village. DIRT fans can expect the same menu as its other locations along with a Brickell only speciality — frozen desserts like vegan coconut and cacao soft serve, vegan mylkshakes, cold brews, and more.

CORAL GABLES — Argentine sushi concept SushiClub (127 Miracle Mile) has debuted its first location in the US in Coral Gables. The menu features plenty of sushi, of course, along with dishes with a more Latin American spin like shrimp chafua, lump crab meat sorrentinos, and tiradito ceviche.

September 19

SOUTH BEACH — After closing in May 2016, BLT Steak is setting up shop in new home at the Iberostar Berkeley Hotel (formerly the Berkeley Shore) at 1610 Collins Avenue. The new space features seating for more than 150 indoors and out on the plus a new landscaped patio. In addition to its steakhouse menu made by chef Carlos Torres featuring dishes like steak tartare tacos and uni toast, the restaurant will also be offering prix fixe Miami Spice menus at lunch and dinner, now through October 31.

DOWNTOWN MIAMI — If walking around the Frost Science Museum works up an appetite, now there’s a solution: Doggystyle Miami Hot Dogs. The gourmet hot dog concept has set up shop in the museum like the Tijuana Dog topped with gucamole and salsa and the vegetarian friendly Carrot Dog made with carrots, black bean mango salsa, and pickled red cabbage.

WYNWOODAlter (223 NW 23rd Street) is switching things up on its menu in a major way — for roughly two weeks. Now through October 1 it will feature an Alter Brasserie menu with more casual dishes like fried chicken, bacon and ricotta tortellini, lamb shank and more. Check out the full menu this way.

September 1

WYNWOOD — Ice cream is always a good idea in Miami. The latest frozen newcomer to hit Miami Cielito Artisan Pops (2750 NW 3rd Avenue, Suite 20A), which creates a variety of Miami-specific paletas flavored with guava and cheese, passionfruit and brownie, hibiscus flower infused topped with rose petals and more. Guests can also opt to make their own paleta choosing to mix and match toppings like dark and white chocolate, cacao nibs, cake crumbs and more. It even offers cake pops made 100 percent of cake and sans ice cream.

CORAL GABLESBocas House (2 Aragon Avenue) the eatery best known for its over-the-top milkshakes, has expanded its South Florida footprint with a location in Coral Gables. The new location offers the same Latin-American inspired menu with ceviches, casuas, parilla, logo saltado, and more, plus there Instagram-worthy milkshakes that usually come topped with an entire slice of cake.

SOUTH MIAMI Spris Pizza (5748 Sunset Drive) has officially taken over the former Buns & Buns space in South Miami. This marks the fourth location for the local mini-chain who serves up a variety of Neapolitan style pizzas, salads, and Italian leaning appetizers. And to celebrate its latest opening, it is offering free pizzas on September 7 from 6 to 10 p.m.

PINECREST — Popular food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant Latin House has opened its latest restaurant, this time a fast-casual eatery called Madlove by Latin House (9471 S. Dixie Highway). On the menu are exactly the same dishes like made Latin House popular like its namesake Mad Love burger, choose-your-own topping nachos, quesadilla, and tacos, loaded fries and custards.

August 25

HOLLYWOOD — Newcomer Etaru (111 South Surf Road, Hollywood) is part Japanese robatayaki and part beach bar. During the day it serves oceanside breakfast and lunch options like eggs benedict Japanese-style with yuzu hollandaise and served on a shiso waffle, Japanese fried chicken, tuna and avocado poke, and salads. At night, the space turns into a robatayaki featuring a variety of charcoal grilled seafood like scallops and shrimp, meats like baby back ribs and lamb cutlets, plus a variety of sushi.

WYNWOOD — The Wynwood neighborhood is infiltrated with outdoor bars and eateries, but that isn't stopping new ones from popping up. Point in case: Garden Food & Bar (270 NW 23rd Street, Miami), the latest restaurant and watering hole in the artsy neighborhood. On the menu expect a variety of burgers, empanadas, tequenos, papilla and churrasco platters, along with fruit-filled cocktails.

CORAL WAY — Once a food truck, Brazilian Fire Grill (2750 SW 26th Ave, Miami) has officially gone brick-and-mortar. Offering a larger menu than its food truck counterpart, expect traditional Brazilian rodizio fare such as variety of grilled proteins, plus classic dishes like farofa, feijoada, pao de queijo, and more.

August 17

THE ROADS — Winos have a new bar to hit up thanks to newcomer, Wine Date. The restaurant and tasting room features more than 500 different bottles of wine on hand, retail area and restaurant. On the menu expect tapas style dishes like gorgonzola stuffed dates, steak tartare, flatbreads and make-your-own cheeseboards.

MIDTOWN — Phuket Thongsodchaveondee aka "Cake" of Cake Thai has opened up his latest concept Gaijin Izakaya by Cake (3500 N Miami Avenue) in Midtown in the former The Gang space. The menu is Japanese leaning with items like ramen, mapo tofu fries, tuna crispy rice, sweet corn robata and a variety of sushi.

WEST MIAMI — Mac and cheese with a side of board games is the idea behind newcomer Mac 'n Chess (12486 SW 8th Street). Guests get the option to create their own combo of macaroni and cheese or fries by picking their choice of cheese sauce and add in like sautéed mushrooms truffle oil or even a croqueta, and then can play dozens of board games at the restaurant ranging from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan and seemingly everything in between.

SOUTH BEACH — Popular shaved ice cream food truck Mr. Bing (927 Lincoln Road #112, South Beach) has set up permanent roots on South Beach. This is the second outpost for the Taiwanese ice cream concept, which encourages its guests to eat their ice cream with a fork instead of a spoon.

July 19

SOUTH BEACH — Amsterdam Falafel Shop (1522 Washington Avenue), a D.C.-based falafel and Dutch-style fries shop, just opened its first South Florida location on Miami Beach. On the menu are falafel pitas and bowls with more than two dozen topping options from the garnish bar accompanied by Dutch-style twice-fried fries in paper cones, with a variety of dipping sauces.

SOUTH BEACH — Vegetarian gastropub Soul Tavern (1801 West Avenue) is officially open for business after months of anxious waiting. Its menu features typical gastropub fare like pizzas, burgers, and fries, all just sans meat. Plus a variety of Chinese herbal elixirs and cold-pressed juices are also available, and just like any good pub, plenty of adult beverages are offered too.

KENDALL — A spinoff of a NYC Thai favorite, SriPraPhai, has come to Miami according to tipsters at Hoodline. Called Chana by SriPraPhai (8739 SW 136th Steet), it has a menu filled with traditional Thai cuisine like spring rolls, curries, green papaya salad, noodles, and even a large assortment of sushi and sashimi.

BRICKELL — From the team behind Barú and Tu Candela is newcomer CRATE Plant-based Kitchen, Bar and Lounge (100 SE 9th Street), dubbed as “Miami’s first vegetarian and vegan culinary and nightlife experience.” Part bar, part restaurant, it features a range of vegetarian-ized plates like burgers made with a brown rice and veggie based burger, tacos, burritos, smoked tofu steaks, spins on classic sandwiches like BLTs and Reubens and more. After hours, the space turns into a lounge with frozen cocktails and music.

July 6

CORAL GABLES — Sip on plenty of tequila while munching on tacos at the newly opened Plomo Tequila and Taco Bar (230 Miracle Mile). Situated right on Miracle Mile — and from the same guys behind Crema Gourmet Espresso Bar and Copper 29 — it features 11 taco options varying from chicken, steak, pork, seafood, vegetarian and egg, plus 65 different varieties of tequila served straight or mixed into a variety of cocktails.

SUNSET HARBOR — Healthy-conscious eatery DIRT has opened its second location in Sunset Harbour (1834 Bay Road), taking over the former Paradigm Kitchen space. This location is about twice the size of its original outpost in the South of Fifth neighborhood and features an expanded grab-and-go section and adult beverages.

CORAL GABLES — Doral newish-comer Ocio has expanded to Coral Gables, taking over the former Choices Cafe location (2626 Ponce de Leon Blvd). On its menu expect new dishes like areas, toston au gratin and fried whole snapper.

SWEETWATER — Situated right next to FIU’s campus is Tampa import, Taco Bus (1655 SW 107th Avenue). On the menu expect dishes like burritos, tostadas, torts and the vegan-friendly El Jefe burrito that weighs in at more than two pounds. Sadly, the actual bus didn’t make it down to the 305.

June 30

WYNWOOD — Get a cold brew fix at Wynwood’s latest coffee shop, Box Coffee (175 NW 27th Street). Housed in an outdoor shipping container, it serves up a variety of cold brew “mocktails” like a spin on a Moscow Mule made with ginger, muddled lime, coffee and rosemary, along with traditional coffee concoctions, iced teas and growlers.

SOUTH BEACH — The second outpost of Las Vegas import Mercato Della Pescheria (412 Española Way) has opened up on Española Way. The restaurant, which is broken into several different stations including a meat, fish, pasta and cheese station, focuses on traditional Italian cuisine.

MIAMI SHORES — Named after the second smallest island of the Aeolian chain of volcanic islands in Italy, Panarea (11052 Biscayne Blvd) is now serving up Mediterranean fare in North Miami. On the menu expect cuisine from Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Israel like fried artichokes with tzatziki sauce, crudo di branzino, and lamb stew.

NORTH MIAMI — The poke craze continues here in South Florida. The latest addition is Poke + Go (2451 NE 186th Street), which serves up customizable bowls and burritos that are made-to-order with a selection of proteins, rice and toppings.

June 7

WYNWOOD — Why it took Wynwood so long to get a proper gyro shop will be a mystery, but one has finally emerged. Called Wynwood 5th Gyros (2451 NW 5th Ave) it serves — no surprise here — gyros, in both lamb and chicken form, plus veggie burgers, fries and so forth. Plus, the grab-and-go spot is open until 5 a.m. every Thursday to Saturday.

KEY BISCAYNE — Longtime Coral Gables restaurant, Randazzo’s Italian Seafood & Classics Restaurant (328 Crandon Blvd, Suite 112), has found a new home in Key Biscayne. The new version serves the same Italian fare as its predecessor like meatballs, clams and linguine and eggplant parmesan.

UPPER EAST SIDE — Italian is on the menu at newly opened Terramia (4770 Biscayne Blvd). Think wood-fired pizzas — more than 24 varieties — plus classic Italian dishes like fettuccine alfredo, carbonara, and eggplant parmesan.

UPPER EAST SIDE S&S Diner (2699 Biscayne Blvd, Suite 1) has returned and just blocks away from its original location. As you might remember, the long-standing restaurant was forced to move due to landlord disputes. With the new location comes many of the original staff who worked at the restaurant, the same low-priced blue plate specials, kitschy decor — and even parking.

DORAL — South Beach breakfast, lunch and massive pie shop, Icebox Cafe (3450 NW 83rd Avenue, Suite 137), has officially opened its second outpost in Doral CityPlace. The new location offers up the same brunch, lunch and dinner menu as the original, plus a full bar.

MIDTOWN — Self-described as a “Floribbean” raw bar, Kraken Crudo (3525 NE 2nd Avenue) serves up a variety of sushi, tiraditos, ceviches, quinoa bowls and more in a small, brightly colored space complete with a massive mural of an octopus for good measure.