As we put a cap on 2023, 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 2023. 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): I was really excited when Rao’s made its debut (pasta and martinis, there’s a theme with me) and I wasn’t sure I’d fall for Pastis, but I definitely get the hype and think it’s a great fit for Wynwood. I haven’t made it to The New Schnitzel House, but it’s super high on my list and I did Tâm Tâm when it was just a pop-up and I’m looking forward to making my way back there soon, because it was really delicious and fun.
Alona Martinez (Eater Miami Contributor): Because it’s hard to carve out the time—or budget—for a trip to Paris, I was happy when the charming French bistro, Pastis Miami, opened its doors. While the original Pastis is in New York City, there’s something about enjoying French onion soup and steak frites in a lush, breezy, beautiful outdoor garden and courtyard that feel tres Miami.
David Rosendorf (Food For Thought): EntreNos, the pop-up by Evan Burgess and Osmel Gonzalez currently at Tinta y Cafe in Miami Shores. I made my first visit last month and went right back the following week, even though there’s maybe nine things on the whole menu including desserts. A genuine focus on local ingredients, some really inspired uses of them, and some real finesse in the cooking. I’ve lived in South Florida all my life and I’ve never seen anyone serving blue runner as a crudo, or turning unripe mangoes into olives, or making sea grape sorbet.
Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): Easy answer: Erba, Bouchon, Amelia’s 1931, Shinji, Pastis, & Tam Tam checked all the boxes.
Laine Doss (Eater Miami contributor): It’s no secret that when Stephen Starr and Keith McNally brought Pastis to Wynwood I teared up at the news. Pastis was my hands-down favorite restaurant when I was in New York City. It was a place that held the promise of a fantastic evening every time you walked through the doors. Well, The restaurateurs managed to can that magic and send it over to Miami – which is not an easy feat. Pastis Miami holds the same charm and the same spirit for me. I feel warmly welcomed each time I go. Sitting at the bar with a tiny martini and a crock of French onion soup is one of the great pleasures in my life.
Falyn Freyman Wood (Time Out Miami editor): Tam Tam, The New Schnitzel House
Jesse Scott (Eater Miami contributor): Casadonna is stunning and lives up to the hype. I lived in Vegas for five years, so to see the hospitality kingpin of my former home - TAO Group - and Miami heavy-hitter Groot Hospitality join forces was pretty wild. The setting is otherworldly, the vistas are serene and the menu matches the buzzy ambiance. The tuna tartare with a dollop of caviar - delicious. I’m genuinely excited to see what this collaboration may lead to next for Miami and beyond.
Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): Why did the chicken cross the road? Because you didn’t #%!?ing cook it! As a Gordon Ramsay fan, I was very happy to see Hell’s Kitchen open in Miami. I was also very excited about Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro, and Shingo Akikuni’s namesake omakase powerhouse. However, for me, the best newcomer on the scene this year was, hands down, Jeffrey Budnechky’s Apocalypse BBQ in Kendall.
Lyssa Goldberg (Freelance food writer): I know I’m going to be echoing everyone else with this one, but Maty’s lived up to the hype, from the flavors of their Peruvian plates to the friendly service, and I’m still thinking about that smoky huancaina choclo. Some other newcomers I’m excited to check out soon are Edan Bistro since I was such a fan of Chef Aitor’s prior food hall stand LUR and Zaytinya because I love José Andrés restaurants and Mediterranean food so it sounds like my ideal combination.
Sara Liss (Author of Miami Cooks): There was a lot of excitement over Pastis when they opened and they lived up to the hype bringing the iconic New York brasserie experience to Wynwood. And I think we were all surprised at how gorgeous Casadonna turned out - the outdoor seating is magical. Olivia Ostrow being the first female chef to open a kosher brasserie on the outskirts of the Design District is pretty gutsy and I’m interested in seeing how she continues to connect with her dining audience.
Matt Meltzer (Thrillist Miami): I get about as excited for celebrity-driven scene-staurants as I do for tax returns, but I am stoked for Delilah. Not so much because of the food but because that space in my lobby has been empty since Porcao closed during the Clinton Administration so I’m glad to see something filling it up.
Rishtedar was also fantastic, and Mirabella might have been my biggest surprise of the year. Somehow Scarpetta closed and the Fontainebleau replaced it with something better and more approachable.
Ashley Brozic (Freelance food writer): The New Schnitzel House... where the old Schnitzel House used to be! I love a good reprisal, so seeing places like this or Fox’s Lounge hold down parts of our history with their own modern spin makes me really happy.
Gretchen Schmidt (Edible South Florida): EntreNos, The New Schnitzel House, Erba, Tam Tam, El Bagel in the Grove (and Las Vegas if we get out there!), Maty’s.
Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): I loved the French Renaissance Miami has been having with the arrivals of Bouchon and Pastis to Miami. Tam Tam was also a great new addition, with a really fun atmosphere and a creative embrace of veggies on the menu in a way you don’t see much in Miami.