by Rick Munarriz - 406 Reviews - 155 List
South Florida's inviting weather makes eating out a year-round affair. There's never a shortage of buzz-worthy kitchens to check out. From a modern chophouse scooping up rum-baked plantains to the home of a 10-pound burger beast, Miami has something for every palate. Now, in no particular order, find Miami's best restaurants of 2009.
Updated: December 07, 2009
The best bet to rub elbows with a celebrity is at this South Beach chophouse. The modern decor doesn't get in the way of the traditional choice cuts of meat. The rum-baked sweet plantains or Kobe frankfurters deliver unconventional side dishes.
Double takes were common at Scott Conant's beachfront Italian ristorante with the nautical motif and the small $23 plates of pasta pomodoro. A few critic raves later, the consensus is that it's a bargain. This is part of the reinvented Fontainebleau, so diners know that a half-dozen other snazzy eateries are a lobby stroll away.
The iconic Parisian eatery with the same name now has an Art Deco home in South Beach. The elegant Belle Epoque design brightens up the brasserie with formal European furnishings and the menu is authentically French, as expected.
It may seem like heresy to put a self-described "burger joint" on this esteemed list, but this is more than just a casual hub for folks who like hamburger grease rolling down their sleeves. This places knows how to get theatrical, too. Scene cravers order The Mother Burger, weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds. It is hacked into portions with a saw, tableside.
Local impresario Barton G. dazzles theater guests with his edible eye candy, now a waterway away from his iconic South Beach restaurant. Artistically plated tapas and monitors showing graceful jellyfish add to the sensory overload long before the curtains part at the Arsht Center.
Diners smoking out something off the beaten path can warm to the game-based menu at this downtown risk taker. Gator spring rolls, shrimp-based corn dogs, lamb sliders and bison burgers are on the menu, and a rotation of local artist displays keep the dining room on the go as well.
Rosa's Mexicana awakened the local appetite for authentic Mexican, so in comes this Coral Gables eatery. Pulled pork chilorio tacos and corn with grilled chicken huarache aren't the usual fare of its weak-kneed Tex Mex imitators. The dining room is also robust with fine ceramic vases and indigenous murals.
New owners with a new concept have brought back an old name at this locale. The new citrus spin is all French, with patrons working through escargot, ratatouille, and caramelized onion soup before moving on to main courses of racks of lamb, orange duck and sea bass in parchment.
An eclectic dining room of mismatched chairs and petite tables may find this feeling like more of a rabbit hole's path into a colorful tea party than a ritzy European restaurant, but the menu's the genuine article with rack of lamb, roasted eggplant and pheasant terrine to please the foodies.