Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Best Restaurants Miami 2015

                     TOP FIFTEEN

Here are the Fifteen Best restaurants in Miami moving into 2016.  Some heavyweights opened this week (Pao & Los Fuegos) and I expect them to be in contention for the top fifteen when the next rankings come out.

My rankings took some big hits over the last year or so thanks to the departures of approximately nine talented chefs from restaurants that were consistently in my top fifteen over the past couple of years. (Hanlon, Griese, Alcudia, Kilgore, Wessel, Compton, Grant, Baker and Crandall) Unfortunately, several of those chefs are no longer cooking in town. But a couple have remained local and are back in the kitchen.  As a result, The Dutch, Scarpetta, J&G Grill, Azul, Toscana Divino, MM74 etc. have been removed from the list pending return visits with the new chefs.

As I've indicated in the past, this list is chef and food driven. But beverage/wine programs, service, management, ambiance, value and overall experience all play significant roles.

Obviously, this is very subjective and done as a guide to assist you with dining choices and to pay tribute to the chefs and restaurants that are doing outstanding jobs.

I am happy to announce a NEW NUMBER ONE. Chef Gabe Fenton remains one of the best chefs in town and the restaurant scores off the charts in every facet. Hospitality, service, bar program, wine, pastry etc. Go pay them a visit as they are truly the best of the best across the board.

These are the Best of the Best in town.


1. Bourbon Steak
2. Naoe
3. Makoto
4. Cena by Michy ** Closed
5. Cypress Tavern
6. The Bazaar
7. Macchialina
8. Vagabond Restaurant & Bar
9. Proof Pizza & Pasta
10. Quality Meats
11. db Bistro Moderne
12. Lucali (#1 for pizza/calzone)
13. Pubbelly
14. Niu Kitchen
15. Michael's Genuine
15. Joe's Stone Crabs (seasonal #1 caliber)
15. Edge Steak & Bar
15. Hakkasan

Missed the Top Fifteen but are highly recommended.

27,  Mignonette,  CorsairLa MarMC KitchenYakko-SanMilosMandolinSugarcane Raw Bar GrillTimoMomiSushi Deli, Panya Thai, King Palace Chinese BBQBlue CollarSalumeria 104SardiniaWolfgang'sThe River Oyster BarMeat MarketPetit RougeBasil ParkMacaluso'sThe Forge, Cantina La 20Izzy's Fish & Oyster (new ↑), Le Zoo (new ↑), Seagrape (Michelle Bernstein no longer affiliated), El Cielo.

Category of its own... gastroPod

To Do -   Los Fuegos, Pao, Coya, Matador Room, Beachcraft, Byblos, Cleo, Stripsteak, Klima, Fooq's, Fresh American Bistro, Magic Garden, Bistro Casis, Bagatelle, Taquiza, The Golden Fig (closed) The Continental, Red Ginger, Midtown Oyster Bar, Soho Bay, Driftwood Room, Bazi (closed) Jaya, Talde, NaiYaRa, Beaker & Gray  OY!!!!!

Prominent and potentially rank worthy but not visited or need to get back -  Zuma, The Setai, Lure, Verde, Eating House, Alter and Palme d'Or.

Need to return and re-rank because of chef changes - The Dutch, Scarpetta, Michael Mina 74, Bocce, J&G Grill, Azul & Toscana Divino, The Federal.

Coming Soon - Ariete (open), Phuc Yea, PB Station (open), Sarsaparilla Club (open), Komodo (open), KYU (open), Wessel's Tropical BBQ, Plant Seed & Wine (open), 1111 Peruvian (open), A & B Food & Co. (open). Ichima (open), Quinto La Huella (open).

Cross the border(s) recommendations- Buccan, Cafe Boulud, Cafe La Buca, Hot & Soul, Myung Ga Tofu & BBQ, Blue Willy's, Valentino's, Coolinary Cafe, Oceans 2000.