As we put a cap on 2019, 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 2019. 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): That’s a tough one! But I finally made it to Silverlake Bistro in the last few months and I’m kicking myself for it taking me so long to get there. It’s so cute, cozy, and there’s plenty of great wine. The food was comforting and flavorful. The roasted chicken was easily one of the best I’ve ever had. I think when a restaurant can make a solid roasted chicken, then you know they know what’s up.
Jenny Starr Perez (Indulge Miami): 1. Miguel Massens’ Mojo Pork at Time Out Market Miami. I went back three times. 2. Parisienne gnocchi with truffle at L’Atelier. 3. The omakase at Hiden.
Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): This one is tough as we had some great meals this year. Diego Oka still shocks and surprises me every time I visit La Mar, had some incredible dishes at Obra with their current menu, the Den Miami (behind Azabu) for best Omatenashi, Michael Beltran impressed me a lot this year with one of my favorite dishes being his Monk Fish Encendido or when he did a vegetarian dinner with local farmers (I still remember the carrot terrine), and of course The Surf Club Restaurant by Thomas Keller where you leave feeling like a million dollars.
Curt “Big Daddy” Hollingsworth (Thrillist Miami): Tough call but I very much enjoyed Le Jardineir because it was the odd restaurant where the plating and the quality of food were both exquisite top to bottom.
Becky Randel (Freelance restaurant writer): Zahav pop-up at 1 Hotel South Beach. Please come back to Miami, Michael Solomonov!
David Rosendorf (Food For Thought): Anywhere? I LOVED Birdie G’s, the new spot in Santa Monica from Jeremy Fox. It’s this crazy combination of Jewish food (not Middle Eastern / Israeli; Jewish - we’re talking matzo brei, kasha, noodle kugel), California cuisine, and Midwestern supper club which somehow makes perfect sense.
Locally? A toss-up between two:
(1) our Cobaya dinner in August with Jose Ramirez-Ruiz, which coincided with Cobaya’s 10-year anniversary; with nothing other than a wood fired outdoor oven, Jose cooked a really beautiful dinner that looked at our local products in completely new ways; and
(2) the “Duck Press Experience” at Ariete, a three-course menu centered around an antique duck press that Mike Beltran uses to extract all the blood and marrow from the carcass of a duck that’s been brined, dry-aged, smoked and roasted, then served with a sauce enriched with the press drippings - along with a duck consomme with shaved truffles to start, a tamal with confited duck leg and foie gras, some creamed yucca, and a salad of local greens. Oh, and pain perdu with a duck fat caramel to finish. That right there is a meal.
Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): An unexpected pasta carbonara from mom and pop owned Osteria Vecchio Piemonte on Sunset and 107th Avenue.
Virginia Gil (Time Out Miami): Sushi by Bou’s omakase dinner inside the Versace mansion was pretty magical, but Upland might win overall for its roasted chicken alone. It managed to make something so basic one of the most memorable dishes, and therefore meals, I had all year.
Alona Martinez (Eater Miami Contributor): Red- seafood platter, steaks, pasta, great wine list. I always feel like a queen.
Sara Liss (Miami.com): Michael Solomonov’s Zahav pop-up a the 1 Hotel during Art Basel. 14 salads is how I want every meal in my life to start.
Jennifer Agress (Freelance restaurant writer): The cacio e pepe at Le Sirenuse at the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club is the stuff of foodie dreams. It’s better than some versions I ate in Rome!
Kelly Blanco (NBC 6): Ordered one of everything at Boia De and loved it all.
Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): This is always a tough one. Outside of Miami it was probably Maypop in New Orleans, in Miami it’s between my omakase dinner at Hiden or my meal at Boia De.