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New to the Scene: Spring 2020 Miami

New to the Scene: Spring 2020 Miami

  • Miami’s newest restaurants are bursting with international flair and flavor.
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Luna Transformation
Brickell City Centre’s Luna Park has taken over the three-story space formerly known as La Centrale, transforming it into a one-stop playground for Italian food and drink. On the first floor, you’ll find a revamped Italian food market, plus Antica Pizzeria, which serves piping hot pizza direct from the wood-burning oven. Head to the second floor for three new dining concepts: Macellaio RC, acclaimed London chef/restaurateur Roberto Costa’s Italian butcher shop concept; Puro’s, an entirely gluten-free and vegetarian eatery; and N.0 Osteria, which transports guests to an Italian seaside cafe with its nautical decor (the oversized hanging buoys are genius) and Mediterranean cuisine. Visit the third floor for the impressive wine cellar and tasting room. 601 S. Miami Ave., Miami; 305.720.2401;

Red Lantern
Hutong’s Red Lantern. Photo by Tim Winter.

Spice Up Your Life
Hutong, which already boasts locations in Hong Kong, Beijing, London and NYC, is one of Brickell’s hottest new eateries, serving fiery Northern Chinese cuisine with a fresh take on classic dishes. Guests are transported into a seductive space featuring a large wrap-around patio, high ceilings and impressive design elements (be sure to look up at the wall over the bar, which comes to life at night with a colorful and psychedelic light display). When it comes to food, Hutong doesn’t disappoint—especially if you enjoy things spicy. “A must-try is the Red Lantern,” says General Manager David Tang. “It’s crispy soft-shell crab served with red Sichuan dried chili peppers and infused with spices for a lip-numbing burst of flavor.” 600 Brickell Ave., Miami; 786.388.0805;

INTI.MO’s Causa Mama Occlo
INTI.MO’s Causa Mama Occlo. Photo by Christian Lozan.

Nikkei Specialty
Peruvian chef Juan Chipoco of CVI.CHE 105 has added the elevated Nikkei concept INTI.MO to his gastronomic portfolio. Combining ingredients and techniques found in both Peruvian and Japanese cuisines, the menu offers classic dishes such as tiraditos, ceviche and sashimi alongside with more innovative dishes such as the ostra karaage (lightly breaded oysters topped with chalaquita and yellow pepper). “I created INTI.MO as an extension of me and my home,” Chipoco says of the South of Fifth eatery. “I wanted to offer a warm and welcoming experience where the focus is on authentic food made with high-quality ingredients, expertly paired wine and cocktails, and great conversation.” 840 First St., Miami Beach; 305.964.8006;

Pink Taco’s Fried Lobster Tacos

Taco Temptations
When Snoop Dogg guest DJs at the opening of a new restaurant—one that’s already a cult favorite in Chicago and L.A.—you can bet it’s destined to become a celebrity hot spot. Trendy atmosphere aside, Pink Taco’s made-from-scratch Mexican fare stands out on its own. “Pink Taco has a commitment to excellence in quality of food, hospitality and guest service, and an ambiance that lends itself to good times,” says CEO Randy Sharpe. “Our drink menu features local favorites like the Miami Vice cocktail and our signature Something Pink margarita with Código 1530 Blanco and fresh prickly pear purée.” As for a must-try dish, Sharpe singles out the fried lobster tacos, which he calls “absolutely dynamite.” 1200 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305.507.8980;

Leku’s Grilled Organic Beef Tomahawk Steak. Photo by David VRJ Photography.

Basque Country Grilling
In December, the hottest ticket in town was the opening of the Rubell Museum’s new Allapattah location. Now, the museum has introduced its restaurant Leku with some of the industry’s top names: Le Basque Catering’s Alejandro Muguerza; Terry Zarikian, culinary advisor for South Beach Wine & Food Festival; Andreas Schreiner of Pubbelly Group fame; and celebrated Spanish chef Mikel Goikolea. The restaurant centers on the courtyard’s Basque grill, which delivers a host of wood-fired items such as milk-fed lamb and organic beef tomahawk chop. “Leku combines local products with Basque Country ingredients for a culinary experience unlike anything in Miami,” says Schreiner. “We are thrilled to take part in the evolution of Allapattah and help it develop into a cultural and gastronomic destination.” 1100 NW 23rd St., Miami; 786.350.6339;

Nativo Kitchen & Bar’s main dining room. Photo by Shawn O’Connor.

In the Sky
High above Brickell on the 25th floor of the Conrad Miami lives Nativo Kitchen & Bar (NKB), a new global concept from Top Chef star Pablo Lamon. Using the city of Miami as inspiration, the chef has stocked his menu with flavorful dishes with Latin American influences. The decor, which includes a custom-made chandelier, comes from award-winning design firm Champalimaud, which has created a chic interior aesthetic to complement the unmatched city and bay views both day and night. 1395 Brickell Ave., Miami; 305.503.6529; 

Joia Beach’s Greek Salad. Photo by Brinson Renda.

On the Sand
Joia Beach, a new beach club from Liquid Hospitality adjacent to Jungle Island, serves up European-inspired fare by Chef Erhan Ozkaya along with handcrafted signature cocktails. “We see beach restaurants throughout Europe that are also beach ‘clubs,’ places where families and friends can spend the day eating, drinking and lounging,” says Liquid Hospitality partner Chris Paciello. “Joia Beach is exactly this: a chill place to come and enjoy the finer things in life in a beautiful setting. There is nothing like it in Miami.” 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami; 305.400.7280;

The Garden at Boulan South Beach

In the Garden
Located in the courtyard of the boutique Boulan South Beach hotel, The Garden from Think Hospitality is becoming one of Miami Beach’s top weekend dining destinations. Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, this outdoor concept opens as an intimate space perfect for a romantic evening or celebratory dinner. As the night progresses, it evolves into a lively party under the stars featuring high-energy performance artists and musicians. 220 21st St., Miami Beach; 786.860.7178;