Tuesday, March 06, 2018

What was awesome (and awful) about Miami dining in 2017?

Every year I participate in Eater Miami's survey of the city's restaurant scene. This year, I submitted my answers too late (sadness), so I'm reprinting my two cents here. Enjoy!
What were your top restaurant standbys of 2017? Dizengoff for when I have Tel Aviv cravings, Mandolin of course, della Bowls for happy and healthy meals, Makoto still dazzles and Byblos because I literally want to marry the menu and have sweet truffle pide babies with it.
The dining room at Norman Van Aken's Three in Wynwood.

What were the top restaurant newcomers of 2017? Stubborn Seed, Three, Dizengoff/Federal Donuts, GLAM, Kiki on the River, Monkitail.

Sum up the 2016 restaurant world in one word. Plant-based (still considered on word, right?)

What was the best dining neighborhood of 2017?  Wynwood is definitely exciting but it still feels like such a mission to do anything there between the construction craziness and the tight parking and dodging the people on Instagram photo shoots. So since I love ample and easy parking I'm going with the Sunset Harbor/Purdy Ave 'hood where you can get everything from an avocado toast to a fancy cocktail without going nuts.
Dishes from Mandolin.

What was the biggest dining surprise of 2017? 1-800 Lucky Market seemed to materialize virtually overnight (at least for me). And they cleverly banked on all the hype the soon-to-open food halls were getting by being there first and having great vendors. Now if only they'd have sound system tuned to a reasonable volume...

What was your biggest dining grievance of 2017? The fact that sometimes restaurants are puzzled if I *don't* want to photograph my food. We've had some awkward moments where I'm like: Uhh, no, bro. I'm just going to eat that...because that's why I'm here. That's what we do at restaurants. We eat the food. Before it gets cold.

What was your best restaurant meal of 2017? The Friday night Shabbat-style dinner at Dizengoff cooked by Chefs Mike Solomonov and Val Chang. There were about a dozen dishes on the table that night and each one made me fight my table mates for the last bite (right, ChatChow?). From Moroccan carrots to roasted eggplant to peppers stuffed with chicken and pine nuts it reminded me of all the best food I've had in Israel.

What are your headline predictions for 2018? Food Trucks are Hot Again!