Miami's Top 10 Restaurants of 2009

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 Top 10


Prime 112 Restaurant

112 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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.


Scarpetta

4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

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.


Au Pied de Cochon

81 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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.


Burger & Beer Joint

1766 Bay Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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.


Prelude By Barton G

1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

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.


Mr. Chow

2201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

High-end Chinese means never having to take home tiny red and white pint boxes of leftovers. Michael Chow's elegant South Beach restaurant is Asian for foodies, served under a 123-foot wide gold-leaf chandelier.


Urbanite Bistro

62 NE 14th St, Miami, FL 33132

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.


Talavera

2229 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134

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.


Lemon Twist

908 71st St, Miami Beach, FL 33141

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.


Charlotte Bistro

264 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134

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.