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 can’t freaking wait for Vice Versa! An aperitivo bar by the guys behind Jaguar Sun (my favorite!!!) and Valentino Longo, who is hands down one of the best bartenders in town and another absolute favorite of mine opening up right around the corner from OG Jaguar Sun! I’m also really excited for Sra. Martinez to make its return! I’m looking forward to seeing what the next version of Itamae will look like once they transition to their new spot in Midtown (even though I know I said there were too many omakase spots — they are grandfathered in!!!) Oh, and I’m really looking forward to Shiso! It’s by some of the team that opened KYU and I think it’s going to be a cool concept!
Alona Martinez (Eater Miami Contributor): I’m keeping an eye on Ariete Hospitality - Chef Michael Beltran is a local chef full of talent and it’s a pleasure to see him add new hits to the South Florida community. Also, Thomas Keller is opening a new spot in Palm Beach? Time for a road trip!
David Rosendorf (Food For Thought): I am still waiting, eagerly and somewhat impatiently, for Michelle Bernstein to reopen Sra. Martinez in the Gables. ¡Dale!
Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): The re-opening of Mai-Kai as well as Sra. Martinez, looking forward to having Danny Grant back in the 305 with Maple & Ash; Taco Stand in my neighborhood of Little Havana, and whatever Thomas Keller is opening up in Palm Beach. LFG 2024!!!
Laine Doss (Eater Miami contributor): I just was on a call with Massimo Bottura and when he described his love for local Florida produce, I got excited about his restaurant opening in Downtown Miami. What a boon for our city to have yet another great chef choose us to put down roots.
Falyn Freyman Wood (Time Out Miami editor): The reopening of Fort Lauderdale’s iconic, mid-century-era Polynesian restaurant, Mai-Kai. Here’s hoping the $8M renovation won’t ditch all the kitsch.
Jesse Scott (Eater Miami contributor): Mai-Kai - in Fort Lauderdale - is a long-time, global institution in the tiki space. It’s been closed since 2020 due to catastrophic water damage and will be reopened in 2024 following millions upon millions in renovations. Its future was super-uncertain at one point and to see it actually being revived feels like a miracle. Whatever wicked rum drinks and new-meets-homage-to-the-past vibe awaits, I’m ready.
Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): I am thrilled about the opening of Baked by Chef Adrianne slatted for Spring. A shop dedicated to maximum flavor style baked goods including pastries, cinnamon rolls, and desserts. My girl has the Midas touch and this will be golden! I am also excited about the early 2024 opening of La Màrtola, which will curate dishes with inspiration drawn from the Riviera of Italy, France, and Spain—one to definitely keep your eye and palate focused on.
Lyssa Goldberg (Freelance food writer): I’m still eagerly awaiting the evolution of one of Miami’s best restaurants with the upcoming opening of Itamae Ao. Expectations are high for their Nikkei-style omakase counter. I’m also looking forward to Massimo Bottura’s Torno Subito and experiencing what it’s like to dine at a restaurant from one of the world’s best chefs.
Sara Liss (Author of Miami Cooks): French pastry chef Yann Couvreur is opening a bistro and patisserie in Wynwood and I’m living for it - his pastries and desserts are phenomenal so this should be good.
Matt Meltzer (Thrillist Miami): As a proud Sacramento transplant I can’t begin to tell you all what a treat you’re in for when Carl’s Jr finally lands in Doral. You might see the smiling star logo and think, “Wait, isn’t that just Hardee’s with a different name?” This would be like saying “Isn’t a Cuban sandwich just a ham and cheese with more pork?” No, friends, it is not, and if Miami’s taste isn’t nuanced enough to know the difference, perhaps the city just isn’t ready for this level of culinary advancement.
Ashley Brozic (Freelance food writer): I’m really excited about ViceVersa. Valentino Longo’s cocktails are otherworldly and it’s high time we had a proper aperitivo bar in Miami.
Gretchen Schmidt (Edible South Florida): Sra. Martinez in Coral Gables (that was our pick last year, too – but looks like things are moving.) And we’re emozionati about Torno Súbito, Massimo Bottura’s restaurant at Julia and Henry’s rooftop.
Olee Fowler (Eater Miami): My answer is the same as last year — Sra Martinez. Also, obviously can’t wait for Massimo Bottura’s Torno Subito, which will be huge for Miami.