Inside Miami’s Hottest Restaurant Openings

Given that this is the middle of the Miami social season, plenty of prominent chefs are busy introducing or reintroducing restaurants to discerning locals and VIP out-of-towners.

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Get ready for an even more exciting Miami restaurant scene this season. Jake Eaton, who worked his way up to chef de cuisine at Nobu Miami after cooking alongside culinary stars like Charles Olalia and Rashida Holmes at the storied Patina hospitality group in Los Angeles, will debut coastal Italian restaurant Signora in Miami Beach this year. And guests at next week’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) will be able to get an early taste of Signora.

At the festival’s A Taste of Italy in the Miami Design District on Thursday, February 22, Eaton will serve grilled sourdough topped with mortadella, pistachio aillade, burrata, arugula and Meyer lemon zest. He’ll also prepare his signature chopped salad with radicchio, romaine, Italian olives, pepperoncini, aged provolone and finocchiona salami. For SOBEWFF’s Best of the Best tasting event inside the Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Friday, February 23, Eaton will make wild boar sugo with black cocoa and porcini powder. The sauce, deglazed with Italian wine, will be served above fresh cavatelli.

“The festival is a great opportunity to connect with your guests,” Eaton tells Observer. “It allows you to have a lot more interaction, a lot more conversation. You meet people who are really interested in food, interested in the chefs and interested in what new restaurants are opening. It also gives me an opportunity to meet with my fellow chefs. We don’t have many opportunities to get together and discuss what’s going on in the city, what’s new, what’s interesting and thought processes on dishes and techniques. It’s a lot of fun for myself, but it’s also great for the community.”

And given that this is the middle of the Miami social season, plenty of prominent chefs are busy introducing or reintroducing restaurants to discerning locals and VIP out-of-towners. Even Mario Carbone, who recently opened Chateau ZZ’s on Brickell Avenue, is hosting a SOBEWFF event—the sold-out Sunday Supper at Carbone.

Here’s a look at all the hot new Miami restaurants to visit now, and some you will be able to book soon.

Erba

  • 227 S Dixie Hwy, Coral Gables, FL 33133

Erba is one of the most vibrant and exciting new Italian restaurants in the country, where chef Niven Patel’s house-made pastas and other standout dishes weave together an Italian ethos with Miami verve in Coral Gables. The farm-to-table gem uses vegetables, herbs and fruits grown at the chef’s own Rancho Patel.

It turns out that mafaldine with Bahamian conch, vermentino, lemon and parsley is a perfect combination of bright, acidic and oceanic. That soul-warming cioppino is even better when it has big, chunky flakes of local black grouper.

Patel, who runs Erba with Mohamed Alkassar, also plays the classics well. The chitarra with heirloom tomatoes is stunning, and guests can come between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for a sumptuous $45 pasta tasting that includes both traditional interpretations and new-school riffs.

Erba's Pistachio gelato. Evan Sung

Chateau ZZ’s

  • 1500 Brickell Ave, Miami, FL 33129

Major Food Group’s first Mexican restaurant is an over-the-top Brickell experience with littleneck clam aguachile, caviar-and-crema tostadas, spicy albondigas, lobster fideos and Japanese A5 filets that you can get in the style of al pastor. Fresh tortillas and a colorful and fierce array of salsas turn dinner here into a build-your-own taco party. There’s also a members-only lounge upstairs for mezcal-fueled evenings.

Chateau ZZ’s. Kris Tamburello

Kissaki

  • 500 South Pointe Dr Suite 160, Miami Beach, FL 33139

New York omakase player Kissaki has opened a sleek location in Miami Beach’s buzzy South of Fifth area. Guests can enjoy tasting menu options like a 15-course extravaganza or even an “omakase trolley,” where dishes are prepared in front of diners at outdoor tables. The caviar and uni arrive from Japan within 24 hours, for the freshest experience.. For those who want to order à la carte, crowd-pleasers include tuna-stuffed avocado, spicy king crab, wagyu fried rice and a tuna nigiri flight.

Kissaki. Kissaki/James Livingston

Signora

  • TBD

Chef Jake Eaton’s Signora is part of Plus Plus Group, the nightlife-minded hospitality company that operates invite-only ultra lounge Gala Miami. “We want to be able to create an environment where you can come and enjoy great Italian food, and then go enjoy your time at the club,” Eaton tells Observer. 

Signora will serve produce-forward pasta dishes like an English pea mezzaluna with toasted sunflower seeds, Parmesan and pea tendrils in a light Meyer lemon butter glaze. “The concept for Signora is Southern coastal Italian,” Eaton explains. “I remember sitting at a restaurant in Amalfi, and every 45 minutes, there’s a fisherman’s boat rolling up."

Signora will have both raw and cooked seafood towers, along with main courses of whole fish. He’s excited about bringing in Mediterranean fish, while also trying some new things with Florida seafood. “Through my time visiting Italy, a lot of the kitchens I would end up in would have four grandmas in the back. There’s definitely a lightness and a delicateness that’s brought to cuisine through those eyes," he says.

Eaton is importing a pasta machine from Italy, and he’ll be getting flour, cheese and charcuterie from Italy, as well. He might also make some of his own charcuterie (something he used to do in Los Angeles).

Plus Plus Group/Signora Miami

Yann Couvreur

  • 2243 NW 2nd Ave Miami, FL 33137

Acclaimed pastry chef Yann Couvreur will open an outpost of his Paris patisserie in Miami’s scenester-chic Wynwood neighborhood this spring. Guests will be able to order croissants, cakes and sandwiches at a restaurant that will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with signature pastries like Couvreur’s beloved Paris–Brest and mille-feuille.

Yann Couvreur Patisserie spread. Yann Couvreur

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