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The Hottest New Restaurants in Miami, December 2022

Which restaurants to check out this month.

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More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends, and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? And while the restaurant industry certainly looks different now, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, many new restaurants have persevered and have managed to open their doors over the past few months to new customers. Here are 15 of the best this month.

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Avra Estiatorio

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Arguably one of New York’s most successful restaurants has unveiled its first Florida location.  Avra Estiatorio, which originally debuted in New York City nearly 22 years ago, has debuted its chic Greek dining room — complete with ocean views — inside the Estates at Acqualina. On the menu are many popular items like the Greek salad, classics like octopus and saganaki, an extensive raw bar, local grilled fish like red snapper, and Wagyu ribeye and grilled lamb chops are on the menu for those who prefer meat.

Aba Miami

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Created by Top Chef alum and chef-partner CJ Jacobson and executive partner Marc Jacobs, Chicago-import Aba’s menu showcases flavors from across the Mediterranean with dishes like carrot and sunflower dip, the everything Jerusalem bagel served with smoked salmon spread, hamachi, and  shawarma spiced skirt steak. Located inside the chic Bal Harbour shops, in the former Makoto space, the airy 250-seat restaurant keeps with the Mediterranean theme with olive trees, climbing ivy, and vintage lighting, including original Parisian street lamps and gold Moroccan fixtures. 

Rosie’s: The Backyard

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Now open with an all-day brunch menu, Rosie’s: The Backyard is the permanent extension of the popular pop-up that started in 2020. Helmed by chef Akino West, who owns and operates the space with his wife Jamila, the menu offers dishes like smoked salmon Benedict, wild mushroom polenta, pastrami hash, cacio e pepe omelet served on a patio in a historic house in Little River that they will eventually operate.

Patio Isola

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Chef Jose Mendin closed his frequently embattled Puerto Rican restaurant La Placita earlier this year, and in its place, he has debuted Patio Isola, an alfresco sister restaurant to Mendin and Santo Agnello’s popular Italian spot Casa Isola on Miami Beach. The space got a facelift and now features a rustic Mediterranean feel and cobalt and white color palette. And while fans of Casa Isola will recognize several dishes on the menu, including the arancini and branzino, the patio menu also features new additions like pizzas, calzones, chopped salad, and more. The drink program is also heavily influenced by Italian flavors so expect plenty of aperitifs, spritzes, Negronis, and Bellinis on the menu, alongside a full bar.

Contessa Miami

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The latest creation from the Major Food Group team (Carbone, Sadelle’s, and Dirty French) is a swanky, two-story restaurant in the Miami Design District focused on Northern Italian cuisine. Dine on decadent portions of pasta, hearty Italian entrees like grilled branzino and veal Milanese, and take in the “Lake Como circa 1960” vibes complete with jewel-toned Art Deco marble floor, Italian Murano light fixtures, and plenty of people watching. 

Italica

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From the team behind Negroni Bistro & Sushi Bar comes their latest restaurant creation: Italica Midtown, an expansive 3,500-square-foot restaurant with Argentine roots, offering a colorful twist to traditional Italian cuisine. The all-day space boasts an Aperol Spritz bar, a robust pizza selection, and plenty of Mediterranean-inspired eats.

MaryGold's Florida Brasserie

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Marygold’s Brasserie, the much-anticipated new restaurant collaboration from chef Brad Kilgore and the Bar Lab team, has debuted inside the Arlo Wynwood hotel. The menu focuses on Florida-inspired cuisine with items like beignets with jerk oxtail, baked oysters with ’nduja and rye crumbs, grouper al pastor, and Baked Florida, a twist on the classic featuring tropical fruit semifreddo. Drinks are equally as creative with options like the Caper Berry, Marygold’s twist on martini service featuring a choice of Grey Goose or Beefeater, Martini Ambrato, umami brine, and an assortment of accouterments.

Sushi Bar Miami Beach

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Tucked away inside the Esme Hotel is one Miami’s most unique omakase experiences. Led by one of the country’s only female omakase chefs, Ambrely Ouimette, diners feast on a 17-course meal that let’s the “chef decide.” Expect contemporary nigiri enhanced with ferments, salts, koshos, and unique condiments. While the menu will shift almost daily expect unique items like aged bluefin akami with dehydrated red miso and everything bagel spice and the hokkaido scallop with white truffle salt, shaved black truffle, and spherified truffle caviar.

The latest very buzzy restaurant from David Grutman and superstar Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny combines Japanese dishes with steakhouse fare in the heart of Brickell. The sleek vibe-y jewel-toned space serves up decadent dishes like “Lava and Ice” Kumamoto oysters, lobster dumplings, and olive-fed filet mignon from Japan, alongside over-the-top cocktails. Dress to impress — and expect plenty of celeb spotting while doing so.

The Gibson Room

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The team behind Coconut Grove staple Ariete has taken over the former the Mighty location to transform it into a new spot serving up American-tavern-style fare in a nostalgic setting complete with a grand piano, taxidermy on the wall, and nods to its neighborhood found throughout. The decadent double smashburger and grilled oysters topped with plenty of garlic butter pair perfectly with the well-crafted cocktails found on the menu.

Bayshore Club

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Coconut Grove’s newest restaurant, Bayshore Club, has finally debuted in the coveted waterfront space that was the former longtime home of Scotty’s Landing. The massive indoor and outdoor space is a nostalgic nod to midcentury travel and the area’s Pan Am roots. Guests can dine on a range of seafood-leaning dishes like crab causa, grilled fish tacos, blackened Mahi, and a large assortment of raw bar options by chef Jeff McInnis. Just north of the restaurant, Bayshore Club features an area called “the lawn,” with private cabanas, lounge seating, games like ping pong and corn hole, and even fire pits. And yes, in true Miami fashion, you can even arrive for your meal via boat.

Mayfair Grill

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Following the major revamp of the longstanding Mayfair House Hotel & Garden (formerly the Mayfair Hotel & Spa), the team behind Lost Boy Co.Tropezon, and Fox’s Lounge have opened up the hotel’s namesake Mayfair Grill restaurant serving up wood-fired cuisine with flavors inspired by the American Southwest by chef Sean Bernal. The menu is expansive with dishes like fire-roasted squash, aguachile, wood-oven cheese, braised lamb Shank, and Navajo breads. Upstairs the rooftop is now home to Sipsip, a pool rum bar that pays homage to the Caribbean, serving items such as conch ceviche, fried oyster sliders, smoked fish dip, and lobster rolls. 

The team behind popular Miami Beach restaurants Byblos and Meet Dalia have taken their talents to Coconut Grove for their latest venture offering shareable Lebanese cuisine in a bright and airy atmosphere. Diners can expect dishes like dips, salads, hot meze, skewers, and new takes on traditional entrees such as monk salad, truffle rakakat, pistachio kebab, and black cod harra, while dining in a serene space filled with a palette of pinks, terracotta, and pastel blue against white plaster and oak furnishings. 

Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Miami

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High-end omakase is having a moment here in Miami, and the latest newcomer on the scene is Michelin-starred Austin import Sushi by Scratch Restaurants. Housed inside a historic house in Coconut Grove, guests dine at a 10-seat counter-only space manned by a team of three chefs and one bartender. With three seatings nightly (5 p.m., 7:15 p.m., and 9:30 p.m.), the 17-course meal consists strictly of nigiri with each item served as is — meaning no extras like soy sauce or wasabi. The menu changes regularly, but certain favorites have made their way to Miami, like the hamachi painted with a sweet corn pudding and topped with bread crumbs and the 1-2 Punch offering different presentations of bone marrow over two courses. 

Fox's Sherron Inn

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Almost seven years after legendary South Miami bar Fox’s Sherron Inn closed its doors, the beloved dive bar and restaurant has returned to the Magic City, complete with new owners but the same look and feel as the original. The menu remains mainly untouched with the return of favorites like Tuesday and Thursday Prime Rib nights, thumb bits (tenderloin medallions served on toasted French baguette rounds with Fox’s special sauce), and the beloved French onion soup. And the cocktails are simple, strong, and served col — just how any true Fox’s fan would remember.

Avra Estiatorio

Arguably one of New York’s most successful restaurants has unveiled its first Florida location.  Avra Estiatorio, which originally debuted in New York City nearly 22 years ago, has debuted its chic Greek dining room — complete with ocean views — inside the Estates at Acqualina. On the menu are many popular items like the Greek salad, classics like octopus and saganaki, an extensive raw bar, local grilled fish like red snapper, and Wagyu ribeye and grilled lamb chops are on the menu for those who prefer meat.

Aba Miami

Created by Top Chef alum and chef-partner CJ Jacobson and executive partner Marc Jacobs, Chicago-import Aba’s menu showcases flavors from across the Mediterranean with dishes like carrot and sunflower dip, the everything Jerusalem bagel served with smoked salmon spread, hamachi, and  shawarma spiced skirt steak. Located inside the chic Bal Harbour shops, in the former Makoto space, the airy 250-seat restaurant keeps with the Mediterranean theme with olive trees, climbing ivy, and vintage lighting, including original Parisian street lamps and gold Moroccan fixtures. 

Rosie’s: The Backyard

Now open with an all-day brunch menu, Rosie’s: The Backyard is the permanent extension of the popular pop-up that started in 2020. Helmed by chef Akino West, who owns and operates the space with his wife Jamila, the menu offers dishes like smoked salmon Benedict, wild mushroom polenta, pastrami hash, cacio e pepe omelet served on a patio in a historic house in Little River that they will eventually operate.

Patio Isola

Chef Jose Mendin closed his frequently embattled Puerto Rican restaurant La Placita earlier this year, and in its place, he has debuted Patio Isola, an alfresco sister restaurant to Mendin and Santo Agnello’s popular Italian spot Casa Isola on Miami Beach. The space got a facelift and now features a rustic Mediterranean feel and cobalt and white color palette. And while fans of Casa Isola will recognize several dishes on the menu, including the arancini and branzino, the patio menu also features new additions like pizzas, calzones, chopped salad, and more. The drink program is also heavily influenced by Italian flavors so expect plenty of aperitifs, spritzes, Negronis, and Bellinis on the menu, alongside a full bar.

Contessa Miami

The latest creation from the Major Food Group team (Carbone, Sadelle’s, and Dirty French) is a swanky, two-story restaurant in the Miami Design District focused on Northern Italian cuisine. Dine on decadent portions of pasta, hearty Italian entrees like grilled branzino and veal Milanese, and take in the “Lake Como circa 1960” vibes complete with jewel-toned Art Deco marble floor, Italian Murano light fixtures, and plenty of people watching. 

Italica

From the team behind Negroni Bistro & Sushi Bar comes their latest restaurant creation: Italica Midtown, an expansive 3,500-square-foot restaurant with Argentine roots, offering a colorful twist to traditional Italian cuisine. The all-day space boasts an Aperol Spritz bar, a robust pizza selection, and plenty of Mediterranean-inspired eats.

MaryGold's Florida Brasserie

Marygold’s Brasserie, the much-anticipated new restaurant collaboration from chef Brad Kilgore and the Bar Lab team, has debuted inside the Arlo Wynwood hotel. The menu focuses on Florida-inspired cuisine with items like beignets with jerk oxtail, baked oysters with ’nduja and rye crumbs, grouper al pastor, and Baked Florida, a twist on the classic featuring tropical fruit semifreddo. Drinks are equally as creative with options like the Caper Berry, Marygold’s twist on martini service featuring a choice of Grey Goose or Beefeater, Martini Ambrato, umami brine, and an assortment of accouterments.

Sushi Bar Miami Beach

Tucked away inside the Esme Hotel is one Miami’s most unique omakase experiences. Led by one of the country’s only female omakase chefs, Ambrely Ouimette, diners feast on a 17-course meal that let’s the “chef decide.” Expect contemporary nigiri enhanced with ferments, salts, koshos, and unique condiments. While the menu will shift almost daily expect unique items like aged bluefin akami with dehydrated red miso and everything bagel spice and the hokkaido scallop with white truffle salt, shaved black truffle, and spherified truffle caviar.

Gekko

The latest very buzzy restaurant from David Grutman and superstar Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny combines Japanese dishes with steakhouse fare in the heart of Brickell. The sleek vibe-y jewel-toned space serves up decadent dishes like “Lava and Ice” Kumamoto oysters, lobster dumplings, and olive-fed filet mignon from Japan, alongside over-the-top cocktails. Dress to impress — and expect plenty of celeb spotting while doing so.

The Gibson Room

The team behind Coconut Grove staple Ariete has taken over the former the Mighty location to transform it into a new spot serving up American-tavern-style fare in a nostalgic setting complete with a grand piano, taxidermy on the wall, and nods to its neighborhood found throughout. The decadent double smashburger and grilled oysters topped with plenty of garlic butter pair perfectly with the well-crafted cocktails found on the menu.

Bayshore Club

Coconut Grove’s newest restaurant, Bayshore Club, has finally debuted in the coveted waterfront space that was the former longtime home of Scotty’s Landing. The massive indoor and outdoor space is a nostalgic nod to midcentury travel and the area’s Pan Am roots. Guests can dine on a range of seafood-leaning dishes like crab causa, grilled fish tacos, blackened Mahi, and a large assortment of raw bar options by chef Jeff McInnis. Just north of the restaurant, Bayshore Club features an area called “the lawn,” with private cabanas, lounge seating, games like ping pong and corn hole, and even fire pits. And yes, in true Miami fashion, you can even arrive for your meal via boat.

Mayfair Grill

Following the major revamp of the longstanding Mayfair House Hotel & Garden (formerly the Mayfair Hotel & Spa), the team behind Lost Boy Co.Tropezon, and Fox’s Lounge have opened up the hotel’s namesake Mayfair Grill restaurant serving up wood-fired cuisine with flavors inspired by the American Southwest by chef Sean Bernal. The menu is expansive with dishes like fire-roasted squash, aguachile, wood-oven cheese, braised lamb Shank, and Navajo breads. Upstairs the rooftop is now home to Sipsip, a pool rum bar that pays homage to the Caribbean, serving items such as conch ceviche, fried oyster sliders, smoked fish dip, and lobster rolls. 

Amal

The team behind popular Miami Beach restaurants Byblos and Meet Dalia have taken their talents to Coconut Grove for their latest venture offering shareable Lebanese cuisine in a bright and airy atmosphere. Diners can expect dishes like dips, salads, hot meze, skewers, and new takes on traditional entrees such as monk salad, truffle rakakat, pistachio kebab, and black cod harra, while dining in a serene space filled with a palette of pinks, terracotta, and pastel blue against white plaster and oak furnishings. 

Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Miami

High-end omakase is having a moment here in Miami, and the latest newcomer on the scene is Michelin-starred Austin import Sushi by Scratch Restaurants. Housed inside a historic house in Coconut Grove, guests dine at a 10-seat counter-only space manned by a team of three chefs and one bartender. With three seatings nightly (5 p.m., 7:15 p.m., and 9:30 p.m.), the 17-course meal consists strictly of nigiri with each item served as is — meaning no extras like soy sauce or wasabi. The menu changes regularly, but certain favorites have made their way to Miami, like the hamachi painted with a sweet corn pudding and topped with bread crumbs and the 1-2 Punch offering different presentations of bone marrow over two courses. 

Fox's Sherron Inn

Almost seven years after legendary South Miami bar Fox’s Sherron Inn closed its doors, the beloved dive bar and restaurant has returned to the Magic City, complete with new owners but the same look and feel as the original. The menu remains mainly untouched with the return of favorites like Tuesday and Thursday Prime Rib nights, thumb bits (tenderloin medallions served on toasted French baguette rounds with Fox’s special sauce), and the beloved French onion soup. And the cocktails are simple, strong, and served col — just how any true Fox’s fan would remember.

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