New Year’s Eve planning got you feeling stressed? Let some of Miami’s finest restaurants ease you into 2018 with drool-worthy items like white truffle tagliatelle, chocolate and caviar, and a lot of champagne. Oh, and that’s just the beginning. Here’s where to feast on New Year’s Eve in the Magic City, plus a bonus plant-based New Year’s Day brunch experience, guaranteed to kick off the year on a healthy (and delicious) note.
For a Luxury Hotel Blowout
At the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, dine at celebrity chef Michael Mina’s steakhouse, StripSteak. Standouts from the first seating, which is priced at $150 per person and begins at 6 p.m., includes Rhode Island sea scallops, filet mignon with pomme purée and a sweet champagne flan with roasted pineapple and coconut crunch. The second seating, which is priced at $295 per person and begins at 8:30 p.m., takes it up a notch with Iranian caviar, white truffle risotto, an Alaskan duet of halibut and king crab, and a “Black Forest Bar” for a lavish dessert made with chocolate mousse and brandied cherries. Also on the property is Scarpetta, run by celebrity chef Scott Conant, who will churn out a luxurious Italian-inspired New Year’s Eve meal. Think white truffle tagliatelle, pan-seared scallops and a passion fruit chocolate tart.
Specials from a Chopped Champion
Giorgio Rapicavoli, one of Miami’s most successful home-grown chefs—who also won the Food Network show Chopped in 2011—will dish out exclusive dinner specials throughout New Year’s weekend at his restaurant Glass & Vine in Coconut Grove. Available Friday, December 29 through Sunday, December 31, opt for chilled stone crab claws with yuzu mayo ($36); short rib and truffle flatbread with truffle béchamel, charred onion, and mushroom ($28); and roasted duck breast with bok choy and orange ($36). On New Year’s Day, visit the park-side restaurant for a peaceful brunch filled with favorites like sweet potato tots served with a buttermilk ranch dressing ($7) coquito French toast with coconut milk, cinnamon and vanilla-maple syrup ($12); and sangria pitchers filled with passion fruit vodka and fresh fruit ($10/$35).
A Family-Style Feast by a Sexy Male Chef
If the name José Mendín sounds familiar, it may be because People Magazine recently named him one of America’s sexiest male chefs of 2017. Beyond the mention, Mendín has been hard at work inside his newest restaurant Habitat in South Beach. On New Year’s Eve, savor a tasting menu curated by the Puerto Rican chef. Served family-style, highlights include stone crab tempura, toro sashimi, wagyu carpaccio, king crab ravioli, chocolate and caviar and Kobe beef striploin. Finish it off with a celebration platter of sweet desserts and champagne. The 8:30 p.m. seating, priced at $225 per person, requires reservations via Opentable.
A Themed Alice in Wonderland Dinner and Late-Night Soiree
At the Rusty Pelican, the evening begins at 10 p.m. with a six-course waterfront dinner, packed with champagne and themed entertainment. Then, follow the white rabbit down the rabbit hole into a topsy-turvy mad tea party bash until 2 a.m. with live music, bottomless booze and small bites. The menu has not been released yet, but we expect a blend of land and sea dishes like steak, chorizo, lobster and crab. Tickets start at $250 per person.
A Curated Tasting Experience by a Top Chef Alum
Jeremy Ford, best known for his win on Top Chef, recently opened his first solo venture Stubborn Seed in Miami Beach. He’ll welcome 2018 with two distinct dining experiences. The first seating, at 6 p.m., takes diners through a four-course “short story” tasting, priced at $195 per person. That includes a bottle of bubbly and items like Jojo Tea-cured cobia, crab fritters, baby Brussels with goat cheese and sweet mustard, burgundy truffle chicken, and umami short rib. For $295 per person, the five-course “long story” tasting at 9:30 p.m. includes a bottle of bubbly with additional standouts like oysters in a Thai chili sauce, corn and crab beignet with celery remoulade and truffles, Maine lobster with green curry and caramelized cauliflower and the restaurant’s signature snickerdoodle cookies, made with brown butter and cinnamon. Afterwards, diners are encouraged to stick around for a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.
For a Healthy Plant-Based Meal
After an indulgent New Year’s Eve, start off 2018 on a healthy note, with brunch at Plant in Wynwood. Focused on fresh and organic plant-based dishes, most of the restaurant’s ingredients are sourced from their Homestead-based farm, Paradise Farms. Curated by James Beard award-winning chef Horacio Rivadero, sample à la carte brunch players like corn and squash scramble with wild mushrooms ($16); tamale ranchero with adobo squash filling, salsa verde, black beans, and lime crema ($24); and cauliflower steak served with smashed golden carrots and chimichurri ($20). Mocktails will be discounted to $10 each, including the new Granada fizz blended with pomegranate juice, citrus, mint and Aquafaba.