As we put a cap on 2022, Eater surveyed a group of friends, writers, and all-around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them six 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 2022. 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.
Gretchen Schmidt (Edible South Florida): Walrus Rodeo seems like fun – always interested to see what Boia De’s Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer are up to.
Amber Love Bond (Eater Miami contributor): I really love Klaw! I was worried it would be overhyped, but it’s a great addition to the area. It’s definitely a treat yourself vibe and you can’t afford to go all out there often, but I dream about those crab claws. I’m also a big fan of Dirty French. I love a steakhouse and Dirty French has such a cool, sexy vibe and the food is simple and delicious. On a not as fancy level, I found myself at Smorgasburg a lot this year and I think that’s a fun treat to have in Wynwood. It reminds me of the OG food truck days that I miss so much.
Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): Dirty French Steakhouse was everything I excepted and then some. Outstanding dishes were the mushroom millefeuille and chicken and crepes for two.
Alona Martinez (Eater Miami Contributor): Two come to mind: Lion & the Rambler (inventive, fun, and flavorful tapas-style modern American) and MaryGold’s - Chef Brad Kilgore’s self-described “Florida brasserie” (he had me at the layered brioche with sourdough butter and orange blossom honey).
David Rosendorf (Food For Thought):Can’t limit it to just one, because there’s a lot I’m excited for. Had a really promising first meal at Lion and the Rambler in the Gables, and another at the Tam Tam pop-up at Low Key in Little River, and a couple really good meals at Josh Elliott’s QP Tapas pop-up at MKT Kitchen. Walrus Rodeo from the Boia De folks is only a couple weeks old but we had some great things on our first visit and I’m really looking forward to seeing more. And I haven’t even gotten to Mike Beltran’s Laurel, Brad Kilgore’s MaryGold’s with the Bar Lab boys, and Joliet from the Lost Boy folks, all of which look awesome.
Lyssa Goldberg (Freelance food writer): I’m excited about two restaurants bringing cuisine you couldn’t already find in Miami – both coincidentally from Lost Boy & Co. NOLA is one of my favorite food cities and I’ve always wondered why we don’t have great Cajun food here, but now Joliet just opened in Sunset Harbour and they’ve got everything I crave – broiled oysters, BBQ shrimp, gumbo, and po’boys. The new Mayfair Grill also opened this year as a wood-fired concept inspired by the flavors of the Sonoran desert, which is pretty uncommon for Miami and also happens to be one of my favorite places I’ve ever traveled.
Belkys Nerey (WSVN 7): Aba Bal Harbour. I’ve been to Aba in Chicago many times and it’s great.
Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): The top three that delivered a lasting impression: MayGold’s, Brasserie Laurel, & newly re-opened Eating House
Juliana Accioly (Eater Miami contributor): The new Sushi by Bou in Brickell, Neya in Surfside for Modern Israeli food, The Tambourine Room.
Sara Liss (Author of Miami Cooks): I thought Dirty French was a nice change on the Brickell steakhouse front - it’s sexy and cheeky and the food is surprisingly varied and doesn’t hew to the typical meat-and-heavy-sides formula of steakhouses. The best dish I had there was a Mushroom Millefeuille with green curry that I still think about. It was also great to see Espanola Way come back as a destination for great restaurants thanks to the Esme Hotel and newcomers like Paperfish Sushi. I’d forgotten how magical that street is at night when all the cafes are packed - it’s thriving.
Kelly Blanco (NBC 6): I was excited for Sushi Bar at ESME and Dirty French and they did not disappoint.
George Arango (@Mr.Eats305): Miami had a great number of spots open this year. Miami Slice, Off Site, Krüs Kitchen, and Ormos excited me the most.
Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): Klaw lived up to all the hype (and the high price tag!), I must say I dream about that crab, and that view! Wow. I just stopped by Brad Kilgore’s MaryGold and it was wonderful — don’t miss the caviar service — and I’m so happy to see him return to his Wynwood roots. I low-key love that Fox’s Lounge is back in my life, and Sadelle’s quickly became a brunch favorite since its debut last winter.