Food and Drink Carrie  Buckle

Miami's most exciting new restaurants

From Cuban classics with a modern twist to a raw food revolution, Miami’s dining scene is having a moment, with several buzzed-about new eateries

For celebrity spotting

The hottest new restaurant to visit in the city right now? Tatel Miami, a Spanish eatery that debuted at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach in March this year. Spanish heartthrobs Enrique Iglesias and Rafael Nadal are partners in the endeavor, so you might spot a celebrity diner or two. With luxe Roaring Twenties-inspired interiors, it’s the brand’s second location after Madrid. Led by executive chef Nicolas Mazier, formerly of Nobu Miami, the menu showcases traditional Spanish dishes with a contemporary twist. The Tortilla Trufada – Spanish omelette with truffle – is a must-try, and if you have a penchant for Ibérico ham, you won’t be disappointed.

For the green-minded

Leading the raw food revolution in the United States is handsome chef Matthew Kenney. His first Miami restaurant, Plant, Food + Wine, opened just over a year ago and became an instant hit. Now Kenney has unveiled a second vegan outpost, Plnthouse, at 1 Hotel South Beach in March this year. It has more of a casual, café-vibe, and the plant-based menu offers innovative dishes such as carrot ginger kelp noodles with rainbow carrots, as well as wraps, salads and sandwiches. Don’t forget to try one of the delicious smoothies or fresh juices.

For a taste of Italy

This Italian fine dining restaurant only debuted in January this year, but it has quickly garnered glowing reviews from critics. Unlike some of its glitzier Miami counterparts, Forte dei Marmi embraces the slow food concept. The brainchild of two-Michelin-starred chef Antonio Mellino and his son Raffaele, the menu champions organic and local fare. Enjoy a simple dish such as local burrata with Sicilian tomatoes and wild arugula, or go all out with chef Mellino’s seasonal tasting menu, with five courses for $105. Whatever you choose, the uncomplicated yet refined menu, and the calming sandy-hued interiors, are sure to transport you to the Italian coast.

For fans of the Estefans

When Emilio and Gloria Estefan open their namesake Cuban restaurant in Miami’s Design District, there’s bound to be some excitement. The upscale menu is based on traditional Estefan family recipes, with the baked empanadas and paella being popular choices. What makes the Estefan Kitchen stand out is that the owners are committed to pairing food with live music. If you’re unable to dine at the restaurant, which debuted in March this year, there’s also a café that offers Cuban sandwiches and authentic Cuban coffee.

For seafood specialists

If you’re a seafood fan, this latest restaurant by Spanish-American chef José Andrés should be on your wish list. Bazaar Mar  opened in November 2016 at the much-anticipated SLS Brickell and the whimsical blue and white interiors, designed by Philippe Starck, grab your attention instantly. The inventive tapas-style menu is just as captivating. It includes gazpacho with smoked blue crab, fried oyster on a steamed brioche bun with caviar, and live scallops with watermelon radish. Plenty of Instagram opportunities to be had!