The Biscayne Times

Jul 08th
A Look Back at 2019’s Biggest Openings PDF Print E-mail
Written by Geoffrey Anderson Jr. and Dianne Rubin, BT Contributors   
December 2019

Pix_Dish_12-19Food news we know you can use

Food news we know you can use

WPix_Dish_12-19hat an eventful year it has been for Miami’s diverse food scene. Diners had many reasons to celebrate throughout 2019, as some huge names opened exciting new concepts in South Florida. Now that it’s the end of the year, there’s no better time to share some of our favorites.

One of the more newsworthy additions to the scene was Le Jardinier (151 NE 41st St., Suite 135, 305-402-9060), a vegetable-forward restaurant by a protégé of the late chef Joël Robuchon. At this gorgeous eatery, we found ourselves falling head over heels for vibrant dishes like honeynut squash agnolotti and Maine scallops that burst with flavor. Our resolution for next year is to save enough money to visit the upstairs concept, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (151 NE 41 St., Suite 235, 305-402-9070), whose creative tasting menus promise an unforgettable experience.

Another restaurant that opened to huge fanfare this year: Gregory’s Diner (7301 Biscayne Blvd., 305-846-9130). From the team that brought us the beloved Mandolin Aegean Bistro, Gregory’s is a more casual concept than its older sibling. While previous occupants of the space failed due to identity crises, this concept suffers from no such problem. It’s a diner through and through, albeit with a fresh coat of paint and elevated (yet still approachable) fare. We’d bury our face into their jumbo matzo ball soup again in a heartbeat, and the sandwiches -- from the patty melt to the chicken cutlet -- are all definitely two-handers.

Celebrated chef Bradley Kilgore tried his hand at a more relaxed concept this year in the form of Ember (151 NE 41st St., Suite 117, 786-334-6494). The buzzworthy Design District bistro has given Kilgore and his team a place to try modern takes on classic comfort foods. Think poutine, shrimp and grits, smoked fried chicken, mac and cheese, and other favorites (with the Kilgore touch, of course). Standouts for us included the fun spin on a Caesar salad (jardin Caesar) and the roasted cornbread custard. The food is heavy, so prepare to roll out of there.

While these restaurants made a big splash upon opening, more recent additions to the South Florida scene are wasting no time making their mark.

Keep an eye on Amaranthine Bistro (9801 NE 2nd Ave., 786-907-4924) in Miami Shores. The charming Mediterranean eatery cooks up an eclectic menu to satisfy diners at all hours. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, happy hour.... Amaranthine covers all the bases. Enticing morning fare includes selections like a prosciutto omelet and Nutella pancakes, while an array of tasty salads, pastas, and proteins can be had later in the day. There’s never a bad time to pop in.

Further north, Mizumi Buffet & Sushi (3207 NE 163rd St., 305-705-2059) is also treating guests to a wide variety of delicious food -- in this case, a treasure trove of sushi and other Asian cuisine. The menu is too long to list, but all the crowd favorites are here, including dragon rolls, spicy tuna, shrimp dumplings, spring rolls -- plus the kitchen sink. Expect to pay no more than $25 per person for the buffet; at that price, visiting Mizumi is a no brainer.

Aventura recently welcomed Casa D’Angelo (2906 NE 207th Ave., 305-699-5500) into the fold. The name might ring a bell to some local foodies, as this isn’t the restaurant’s first outpost in South Florida. It is the first one in Miami-Dade County, however. No longer do hungry locals have to venture past the county line for a taste of Casa D’Angelo’s popular pappardelle, gnocchi, pomodoro, or other Italian specialties.

A stone’s throw away, bartaco (2906 NE 207th St., Suite 104, 305-614-8226) is keeping diners happy, too. The beach-inspired establishment lives up to its name with an extensive list of the namesake staple. Aside from traditional proteins like carnitas and fish, bartaco boasts tacos stuffed with miso cod, crispy rock shrimp, tuna “tatako,” and other inventive fillings. A robust craft cocktail lineup, with an emphasis on tequila and mescal, provides even more reasons to become a regular at this new spot.

The year was full of great additions to the local restaurant scene, and 2020 should be full of even more. We can’t wait. Happy holidays!


Geoffrey Anderson Jr. and Dianne Rubin-Anderson are co-founders of Miami Food Pug, an award-winning South Florida food blog that fuses the couple’s love of dogs and food.


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