|Cooler Weather, Cool Outdoor Dining|
|Written by Andrew McLees, BT Contributor|
Food news we know you can use
The damp, languid summer months are finally behind us, and outdoor dining is no longer a fantasy that reads better on paper. The best months of the year are here, and there’s no better time to experience Miami’s culinary delights.
It’s a great sign when few restaurants are giving up the ghost; October was a relatively quiet month with respect to restaurant closings. Better yet, there are some welcome changes afoot that may make dining out even more fun in the coming months.
The Upper Eastside’s dark horse, Cake Thai Kitchen (7919 Biscayne Blvd., 786-534-7906) , is scheduled to open its second restaurant in Wynwood as early as November. This will come as no surprise to anyone who’s visited Cake’s less than savory current location. Hidden in plain sight among a row of ignorable storefronts, Cake earned a well-deserved reputation for its outstanding Asian fusion and curious absence of a customer bathroom. The new Wynwood location seems like an auspicious upgrade, especially considering that Cake’s new partners, Javier Ramirez and Leo Monterrey, the restaurateurs responsible for the neighborhood’s bona fide smash hit, Alter (223 NW 23rd St., 305-573-5996), are stewarding the move. Is a giant wall mural in the cards for this Asian fusion powerhouse?
Another big name is on the move: Miami’s oyster oasis Mignonette (210 NE 18th St., 305-374-4635) is opening a second location in North Miami Beach. The owners, Danny Serfer from Blue Collar (6730 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-0366) and attorney/former blog moonlighter Ryan Roman, seem to have a penchant for repurposing character-rich vintage buildings; the new restaurant will be located in the former Hanna’s Gourmet Diner (13951 Biscayne Blvd.), a massive, shiny steel structure loosely resembling an Airstream trailer. Much of the menu will remain the same, including the celebrated oyster bar, with a few meaty twists, courtesy of Blue Collar, the restaurant that launched Serfer’s name to Miami fame. Expect a grand unveiling closer to the end of the year.
Quality coffee is a requirement for keeping neighborhoods abuzz. The Wynwood Arts District has Panther Coffee (2390 NW 2nd Ave., 305-677-3952), downtown has Eternity Roasters (117 SE 2nd Ave., 305-350-7761), and North Miami has Alaska Coffee Roasting Co. (13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254). So why is it that the Miami Design District, the city’s fashion powerhouse and upcoming cultural destination, doesn’t have a dedicated caffeine dispensary of its own? The drought may finally be over: Blue Bottle Coffee, Oakland’s effortlessly cool purveyors of fresh joe, will open at the City View Garage (3815 NE Miami Ct.) sometime in 2017. Although the prospect of waiting until next year seems like purgatory, especially when there’s so much work to be done, we think patience will pay off in a big way when the 2800-square-foot café officially opens its doors for business. A second Blue Bottle coffee shop is currently in the works for Aventura as well.
With the great weather comes great opportunity. La FERIA by Mercado de San Miguel (301 Biscayne Blvd., 786-443-7129), a giant open-air tent in downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park, is back for its second year. From now until January 17, 2017, guests are invited to sample foods ranging from red meats and seafood to tapas and other small bites intended to keep the spirits high and hunger pangs at bay.
After laying low on Miami Beach as one of the city’s best kept secrets, the “hidden pizzeria,” Visa-O1 (1000 S. Miami Ave., 786-332-6868), has emerged from the shadows to set up shop in Brickell in the former Miami Smokers Express pop-up space. These authentic Italian-style pizzas range from personal-size pies to pure extravagance, so come hungry. A third location is scheduled to open in Wynwood sometime near the end of this year. Sounds like Chef Renato Viola and partner Umberto Mascagni have been saving their dough, shameless pun intended.
Although the aforementioned Miami Smokers Express pop-up in Brickell may have closed, pork connoisseurs have at least two reasons to rejoice, and they’re both located on the Miami Heat’s home turf. Two new Miami Smokers (601 Biscayne Blvd.) locations recently opened at the American Airlines Arena, on levels 100 and 300, granting these hometown heroes an enormous amount of exposure. Both locations feature a “greatest hits” menu, including the signature candied bacon, a must-try for anyone who fancies food both sweet and savory.
Volume 15, Issue 1, March 2017
Miami’s YoungArts Week features masters as mentors
Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible