Miami Beach, a perennial favorite travel destination, continues to entice with new upscale hotels and cutting edge restaurants.
Where to Eat
Pao by Paul Qui
Argentine hotelier, Alan Faena, of the eponymous Faena Hotel, picked Paul Qui, a Top Chef and James Beard Award winner, to head the kitchen at Pao. Qui, who got his start in the Austin food truck scene, blends flavors from his native Phillipines, Japan and Asia in an eclectic menu. Expect the unusual.
Examples include: a seared tuna belly, cooked over white oak heated to 800 degrees, served on a bed of lettuce painted with butter. East Side King Fried Chicken, lifted from his Texas food truck menu, is a boneless, crusted chicken, fried and served with a spicy banana ketchup. A well marbled smoked beef short-rib is paired with pickled vegetable puree, a nod to Korean street food.
Unicorn , a roasted sweet corn pudding presented in a sea urchin shell, is a favorite.
You’re in good hands with a great sommelier and attentive waiters who have a comprehensive knowledge of the large menu.
Damien Hirst’s sculpture Unicorn is the restaurant’s centerpiece. Check out Hirst’s Gone but not Forgotten – the gilded skeleton of a woolly mammoth, currently on display in the courtyard.
Five-time James Beard award winner, Tom Colicchio, is at the helm of Beachcraft at 1 Hotel. Colicchio honed his cooking chops in the south of France at 2-star Michelin restaurants, but emphatically states the Beachcraft menu is not French. Using locally sourced ingredients, Colicchio’s fresh and inventive menu puts a spin on old favorites. Try his Mexican-inspired grilled octopus, glazed with a tangy ancho chile sauce or the sashimi paired with a compote of tropical fruit.
Located in Emeril’s former restaurant space at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in the St. Moritz building, Lure has the best seafood in Miami Beach. Dennis, our friendly and helpful waiter, recommended the signature appetizer, crispy rice cakes, a spicy tuna tartare, with wasabi aioli, wrapped in crispy nori. An excellent start to our dinner at Lure.
The daurade, grilled whole, served with watercress and the scallop risotto with brussels sprouts are both excellent. The nautical themed restaurant also has a secluded, comfortable back terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Featuring healthy choices in a creative, contemporary menu, Icebox Cafe is a great choice for dining in Miami Beach.
Try the Bet a Beet Juice, the wild salmon burger and the Chocolate Delight dessert, all excellent.
Things to do in Miami Beach
Interested in the architecture of Miami Beach? Try the fun, informative 90-minute Art Deco walking tour offered by the Miami Design Preservation League. Miami Vice was one of the first TV series to film in Miami Beach and the Art Deco Carlyle Hotel on Ocean Drive was a favorite location.
Several times developers had bulldozers ready to demolish the historic Art Deco hotels of South Beach and replace them with high density towers of glass and steel. Without the tireless efforts of Barb Capitman and the Miami Design Preservation League, there would be no Art Deco Walking Tour in Miami.
Tip: It’s free to inspect the lobby of most art deco hotels, but to view the Versace mansion, it will cost you 57 bucks for a cocktail at the bar. Dinner may be your best option.
The Wolfsonian Museum and research library, on Washington Avenue in Miami Beach, is dedicated to preserving the history of modernism in a variety of different media: industrial and furniture design, rare posters, and art works.
This unique collection displayed on seven floors reveals the impact design had in shaping the modern world. The Wrestler by American sculptor Dudley Talcott was first shown at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932.
Tip: Free on Fridays from 6-9pm