That time of the year is almost here where yacht rides are dared daily, pool parties rule weekends and champagne showers flourish frequently. Naturally, we are talking about summer. However, this year South Florida’s restaurant scene has become more adventurous with vibrant flavors, sips and views we can’t resist. Here are a few of our favorite new restaurants to sweep you up your feet this summer season.
La Petite Maison
When the founding father of Zuma opens a restaurant – there is no introduction necessary. This French inspired concept isn’t the first of it’s kind either. Their flagship location is landed in London with one more destination in Dubai. Suiting for summer, the cuisine is a blend between French and Mediterranean flavors. For starters, there is a wide variety of carpaccio and crudo with some slightly savory starters like a classic French Onion Tart with anchovies and Fried Zucchini Flowers with sage stuffed anchovies. One dish you can’t leave without is the Escargot. Everything about LPM makes you feel that much more charmed – we’re sure.
Kiki On The River
You can be anything you want to be at this Grecian wonderland. All is welcome here and the prices aren’t meant to fight, especially with a 3-course menu that’s served during lunch Monday – Friday ($24.99). Stay surrounded by it’s intoxicating beauty filled with garden greens and ocean blues along the Miami River side. Kiki is named after partner, Aris Nanos’s Greek grandmother, Kleoniki. Kleoniki translates “to win,” in Greek. And everything on the menu will win your heart with simplistic dishes that allow the ingredients to shine. Chef Rhee, Estiatorio Milos alumni, imports ingredients from Greece like olive oil and uses it wisely in dishes like an olive oil braised octopus and baked lavarki seasoned with it’s native spices. Soak it all in with a Pink Panther cocktail and make a toast to the most beautiful spot in Miami right now.
Last March, Chef Niven Patel left his role as Executive Chef of Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink to purse his own dream. Miami has waited a while for the opening but, it was worth it. With the lack of authentic Indian cuisine in South Florida, Ghee isn’t just a type of butter that is used in Indian (and Asian) dishes but, it also is rooted from Chef Niven’s heritage. The menu represents his personal experiences combined with local ingredients (including his own) to executive Indian classics like the street-food snack Pani Puri. Puri is a fried bread that is filled with a tamarind flavored water, chilies, chutney, potato, onions and chickpeas. His version uses sprouted moong, beets and green juice. Reservations are recommended in advance and the Pani Puri… that’s required.
The Diplomat Beach Resort Hotel recently rolled out the concept Point Royal, by celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and things just got hotter. Their newest addition is by Restaurateur and Chef Michael Schulson who brings a contemporary take on the classic izakaya. An open robatayaki kitchen sits at the heart of the restaurant along with a 15-seat sushi bar and a private dining area overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Get a group of friends together as most plates are shareable and afterwards you can check out their cocktail lounge Nokku because… karaoke. At Monkitail, the menu offers a substantial array of sushi, robatayaki and Japanese influences. To make things easy we suggest ordering the Chef Tasting Menu ($65) that includes 10 selections and 1 dessert. To pair dinner perfectly, The Monkitail is their signature cocktail but, one of their sakes will definitely put things in perspective.
Lobster Bar Sea & Grille
After you step inside this seafood empire, eating a lobster may never be the same. This idea was brought on by the brains of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group from Atlanta, Georgia who started Lobster Bar Sea Grille in Fort Lauderdale. They recently took over the location where China Grill once sat. Now, world-class is the name of the game here. From the silver octopus statue to the glass display case showcasing the fresh catch of the day, every detail makes this place sparkle and shine. And (wait for it) there is caviar. Let us be honest though, there is something for every palate here including live lobsters and exclusively selected and hand-cut and custom aged steaks. Just promise us, you’ll order the hashed potato “tots” drizzled in truffle blue cheese aioli as a side.