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): ower Hour (weekdays 5:30-6:30pm) at Orno Miami, starting with a $10 pizza sopressata at the Power Hour and Malpeque oysters for $1 each. Roasted carrots from chef Niven Patel’s farm. Vidalia onion gratin topped with cave-aged Gruyere and chives, piping hot out of the pizza oven. Rigatoni arrabbiata with harissa and Parmesan cheese. Fresh eggplant with tomatoes, garlic, Marcona almonds. Housemade fennel sausage, with peperonata and whipped ricotta and basil.
Amber Love Bond (Eater Miami contributor): This year’s best meal wasn’t in Miami, but it’s one I’ll absolutely never forget. Early on in the year I was in Tuscany and got the chance to eat at Antica Macelleria Cecchini. It’s Dario Cecchini’s restaurant above his butcher shop (he’s known as the world’s best butcher) and he happened to be there that night doing the cooking. This spot is basically a beef omakase situation, where you never see a menu and course after course of fancy steak is made in front of you and piled on your plate. It was insane and amazing and I can’t wait to find my way back.
Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): After two years of barely going out, I really splurged this year and had some phenomenal meals so I can’t name just one. The sushi at Hiyakawa, oysters, ceviche, wagyu pichanha saltado tostones at Platea (PSA: Tomahawk Tuesdays, trust me), mushroom millefeuille and chicken and crepes at Dirty French Steakhouse, fire and ice snack and fettuccini Alfredo at The Surf Club, crab legs at Klaw, grilled greens and fried chicken at Pao by Paul Qui, all of the sandwiches at Jholano’s Deli, and porterhouse and potatoes Louie at Carbone.
Alona Martinez (Eater Miami Contributor): Are you really going to make me choose? I’m a sucker for sushi and really dug my omakase experience at Sushi | Bar.
David Rosendorf (Food For Thought): Anywhere? Harbor House in Elk, California along the Mendocino coast. Breathtakingly beautiful location, fantastic ingredients, really thoughtful cooking, just perfect in every way. Locally? A “Sunday at the Rancho” with Niven Patel at his home / farm in Homestead, which is a wonderful “only in Miami” kind of experience.
Lyssa Goldberg (Freelance food writer): My favorite meals of the year were both at chef’s counters! I love interacting with the chefs in the kitchen, seeing the ingredients that go into the meal, and watching their technique. From the ceviche and tiraditos to each bite of nigiri, Itamae brings out the most incredible Nikkei flavors in their fish. And the service was so attentive without being intrusive. I also loved my experience at Orno – what Chef Niven Patel does with vegetables is magic. But that off-menu Orno Burger (wagyu beef patties, aged cheddar, farm grilled pickles and Dijonnaise on a housemade milk bun) was a sumptuous surprise.
Belkys Nerey (WSVN 7): Dirty French Steakhouse. The food, the decor, the vibe, everything was on point. And we wrapped the night up with an after dinner drink (or several LOL) at their bar/lounge with great people watching and just the right music to keep the party going.
Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): TOO MUCH PRESSURES! How about a best restaurant day starting with Brunch at Orno where the Pastrami Latke was , fly to Eleven Madison Park in NY for their vegan tasting menu for lunch for the best plant-based food ever, then teleport me to NOLA for a quick snack at Alon Shaya’s Miss River for their Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Imperial Golden Osetra Caviar, 5pm happy hour at Uchi and some bites including that hand held salad, walk over to Itamae and score seats at the counter in front of Nando Chang with whatever he wants to put on my plate before stopping over at Cote just to hang at the bar to quickly devour Korean Bacon and a martini, then time travel to The Gibson Room for this late night collab dinner that happened with Mike Beltran and Edge’s Aaron Brooks where he served Sea Bass Wellington.
Juliana Accioly (Eater Miami contributor): An omakase platter at Sushi Yasu Tanaka in the Design District - fresh, well-priced and utterly delicious.
Sara Liss (Author of Miami Cooks): I recently checked out Bagatelle in South Beach, and while I walked in a little wary of its “clubstaurant” reputation, I was blown away by the food. Yes, it does get loud and clubby around 10pm, but if you go early enough you can enjoy some of the most spectacular French and Mediterranean food in a beautiful dining room that feels like a luxurious supper club.
Kelly Blanco (NBC 6): Klaw! Great food, historic venue and exceptional service. Zits Sum was a close second.
George Arango (@Mr.Eats305): I had a ton of great meals this year but the ones that stood out amongst the rest were Osaka Nikkei and Miami Slice.
Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): We went to Stubborn Seed for my partner’s birthday, and it had been the first time I had been in a post-COVID dining world, and hot damn, was I blown away! I feel like the restaurant managed to step up its game even more, which I just didn’t even think was possible. Everything from the clever tasting menu to the service was on. point. If you haven’t been in a while, I certainly recommend a return visit in 2023.