As we put a cap on 2018, Eater surveyed a group of friends, writers, and all around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them eight questions: from top standbys to top newcomers, from best meals to restaurants they’ve broken up with. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the 2018. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Responses do not necessarily reflect the views of Eater and Eater Miami.
Amber Love Bond (Eater Miami contributor): In the Grove, Ariete is always a winner -- especially with the Proof pop-up that I hope never leaves. Zuma and La Mar still reign as my favorite treat yourself spots. On the beach, Broken Shaker / 27 Restaurant is consistently solid every time.
Evan Benn (Indulge Miami): Itamae @ St. Roch Market, Plant Miami @ The Sacred Space, Stanzione 87 in Brickell
Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): Looking back at 2018, I spent a lot of my time eating banh cuon at Phuc Yea, fritas at Ariete, charcuterie at Edge, croquetas (and dishes w/ croquetas) at Finka, deep dish pies at Paulie Gee’s, balanced with lots of Dr. Smood, tons of escargot at La Petite Maison, a lot of quick lunches at Ono Poke, countless of soft eggs at Alter, Roel’s daily specials at Mandolin, and of course, the whole menu at Hillstone.
Becky Randel (PEOPLE Magazine, The Daily Meal, South Florida Luxury Guide): Byblos. Always such a wonderful meal - creative food that is never boring but also never fussy, the most beautiful space, and a nice crowd. George’s on 72nd street. Great service, the food is good, and they’ll basically make anything you want. It’s the kind of place parents love.
David Rosendorf (Food For Thought): Su Shin Izakaya (I’ve probably eaten here more often than any other restaurant, ever); Wabi Sabi (hopefully only on temporary hiatus); Cake Thai (OG on Biscayne Blvd.); Hiro’s Yakko-San (still the first place we go when the kids are in town); Taquiza (love having one closer to me in North Beach); Upland (this spot grows on me a little more each time I visit); 27 Restaurant (such a happy place); Mignonette (so reliable for fresh seafood and solid, steady execution); Ariete (my most recent meal there was the best yet, with great use of local, seasonal ingredients).
Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): The queen on maximum flavor still rules my taste buds. Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant has the best steak I’ve ever eaten and the sweet corn tamalito with grilled shrimp is out of this world. Chef Ray at Palmar was also on point this year showcasing many flavorful dishes, Itamae for sushi, and the cholo benedicto from Pisco y Nazca is extraordinary.
Virginia Gil (Time Out Miami): KYU, when I’m feeling fancy and/or crave a really outstanding cocktail with dinner; LoKal for a winning beer-and-burger combo (Juan’s Fidy-fidy and a Kaptain Kush all the way); and Ariete for Cuban food I can’t get at my parents’ house. (My mom can’t stop talking about chef Mike’s fritas.)
Alona Martinez (Eater Miami Contributor): Ghee, Three, LaMar, Palmar
Dara Lynn Smith (Eater Miami Contributor): Sushi Garage (always my favorite), Macaluso’s,Lokal, Madruga Bakery, Cibo, Sergio’s
Sara Liss (Miami.com): Planta because I’m married to a vegan and it’s so damn good for us omnivores too. Jaffa at St. Roch food hall for falafel and hummus platters that remind me of Tel Aviv. Makoto still dazzles and Byblos because I literally want to marry the menu and have little truffle pide babies with it.
Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): Itamae and Ono Poke are my go-to lunch options. Michael’s Genuine for happy hour and Ariete, Lucali, Alter, KYU, Macchialina, and Joe’s never disappoint.