NYC Restaurants and Chefs Head to South Florida

There’s a new trend in town, and Miamians can’t get enough of it: South Florida. While NYC has always (and will always) be the restaurant capital of the nation, Miami is (and has always been) everyone’s favorite vacation destination – and over the past decade, it’s launched a fabulous food and drink scene to go along with it. Fusing these two luxuries, some of the Big Apple’s most popular chefs and restaurants are flying south for winter to open brand new outposts in sizzling South Florida. The food is the same, the weather is even better, and best of all… now we get to enjoy them, too.

Here are three NYC chefs and restaurants bringing the flavor down to SoFla:

Upland Miami

Remove the NYC from the name, put a second outpost of it in South of Fifth, and voila: welcome to Miami’s fabulous new restaurant. Joining three other Starr Restaurant properties in South Florida – Continental Miami, Steak 954, and most recently, LeZoo – Upland is the brainchild of celebrated chef Justin Smillie and Starr Restaurant’s namesake founder and famed restaurateur, Stephen Starr. Look around, and you’ll find that this California-style restaurant is as modern and natural in its design as it is with the food; there’s an open exhibition kitchen with seats you can pull up to it and walls lined with wines and jars of preserved lemons and artichokes. When it’s time to eat, order a spread! Start with the wahoo crudo with fresh yuzu and aji dulce chili; move on to the “Little Gem Salad” with avocado, cucumber, ricotta salata and walnut vinaigrette; and get the wood-fired Amish chicken for your main. Fired to perfection and enough for two, this crisp chicken comes with chicories, market radish and an anchovy vinaigrette. Pair it all with a glass of American, French or Italian wine from Upland’s very own wine cellar, and let your taste buds sizzle. After a meal like this, that’s pretty much guaranteed. Upland is located at 49 Collins Avenue. It’s open for dinner Sunday through Thursday, from 5:30pm – 11pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays, from 5:30pm – Midnight. It’s also open for lunch Monday through Friday, from Noon – 3pm, and for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10am – 3pm.

Sant Ambroeus

Every New Yorker knows the mega-popular Sant Ambroeus, and now, South Floridians can too. Inspired by a 1950s Italian café, this 174-seat Palm Beach spot has quickly become one of the most sought-after seats in town. With its decidedly Milanese restaurant, diners can nosh on Executive Chef Marco Barbisotti’s delectable dinner options, like vitello tonnato, caprese, tagliatelle alla bolognese, risotti and cotoletta alla milanese, and the Tartufata pizza with taleggio cheese, black truffle and organic egg yolk. There are 12 desserts to choose from, not including the gelato cart stationed right by Sant Ambroeus’ entrance, like the Foresta Nera dark chocolate cake with kirsh syrup and amarene confit, or the tiramisu with lady finger cookies, espresso mascarpone cream and lightly-dusted cocoa powder. Pair it all with a glass of vino or a cocktail – like the Negroni Americano with Charles Goodnight Bourbon, sweet vermouth, orange bitters and a Campari ice cube – and you’ll be living la dolce vita in no time.

Chef Thomas Keller, Per Se

If you haven’t heard of Chef Thomas Keller… well, you might need to get out more. As one of America’s most celebrated chefs, he’s the first and only American-born chef to hold multiple three-star ratings from the prestigious Michelin Guide, and he was the first American male chef to be named “Chevalier of The French Legion of Honor,” the highest decoration in France. He was named “Chef of the Year” by The Culinary Institute of America, and “Outstanding Chef” and

“Outstanding Restaurateur” by the James Beard Foundation. HIs Napa Valley restaurant, French Laundry, and NYC restaurant, Per Se, the latter of which is known for its nine-course vegetable tasting menu and award-winning wine list, both earned three Michelin stars and have both been on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. And in 2018, Miami’s finest will be able to try his fine fare, too, with a completely new restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, the specifics of which have yet to be announced. What we do know? It’ll be the revered chef’s first restaurant with a “dedicated concept,” one that’s a throwback to the American dining at its finest and obviously, one that we can’t wait to try.

By: Jennifer Agress