I think it’s finally time to write a little post about Miami restaurants. Going around and getting to know the city has been fun, especially going to all the different restaurants. From the nostalgic flavors of Versailles Restaurant to the hip and happening atmosphere at places like The Dutch and Sugarcane, there is lots of diversity and one can feel the city’s culinary scene taking off. There are a few cases of overpriced restaurants, where maybe the look of the place takes precedent over the food. However, here are some of the places I have really liked so far.
For Venezuelan food: La Latina. This arepera has an edge over the rest of the drab places around. It’s quirky decor -think bright colors and kitschy religious figurines- make it a place where you can not only eat a great meal, but also hang out with friends and a couple of cold ones (Polar, thank you very much). The actual arepas are on the small side, but the fillings were perfect: the pork pernil had a great crispy edge and the avocado and chicken mixture in the reina pepiada was nice and creamy. For dessert, golden churros fried to perfection. Definitely a place for Venezuelans to take foreigners and be proud of our food traditions. www.lalatinamiami.com
For a big family meal: Mandolin. We went to this Greek eatery with a whole bunch of people, 5 kids included, and it was perfect. It’s all about fresh ingredients cooked in simple Mediterranean style and served in a welcoming outdoors setting. My whole snapper was nicely grilled, with lots of lemons on the side for extra flavor. We also had a platter with hummus, baba ganoush and other mezze, which were very good. http://www.mandolinmiami.com
For a night out with friends: Gigi noodle bar. I just love the Asian-style buns and the Brussels sprouts at this kinda loud, definitely fashionable eatery. Gigi is one of the trendier restaurants, but it deserves props for genuine attention to the food that is being served. The Chinese barbecue ribs were a stand out, as was a tender grilled steak. There’s a big nightclub next door, so it gets quite busy on the weekends. www.giginow.com
There are many, many other restaurants in Miami. These are just a few of my favorites so far. Let me know if you like any of them and if you think there are any news ones I should try!