T+L Reports: Miami's Hot Restaurants
Just when it seemed it couldn't get any hotter in Miami, three restaurants add more fuel to the fire. Art Deco takes a backseat to the Asian aesthetic and global-fusion menu at the Restaurants at the Setai (2001 Collins Ave.; 305/520-6400; dinner for two $240); you can also sample everything from Iranian caviar to a bruschetta of foie gras and black truffles at the hotel's alfresco Champagne, Caviar & Crustacean Bar. • Michelle Bernstein, who made a name for herself at Mandarin Oriental Miami's Azul, opened her first solo restaurant, Michy's (6927 Biscayne Blvd.; 305/759-2001; dinner for two $70), in January. Expect the freshest ceviche,not to mention braised duck with Jerez and peaches. • After winning over the Hollywood set, Table 8 (1458 Ocean Dr.; 305/672-4554; dinner for two $130) is going bicoastal when it opens at Miami's Regent this spring. Chef Govind Armstrong's menu will incorporate local produce and seafood, and, for a price, he'll serve the meal himself on your penthouse terrace.
Chef Michelle Bernstein’s 50-seat bistro on Miami’s Upper East Side may be small in size, but it’s bold in design, featuring orange-covered booths, capiz shell chandeliers, and a deep blue floor and ceiling. In creating her "luxurious comfort food,” Bernstein relies almost exclusively on ingredients provided by local, sustainable resources. What results are seasonal dishes such as yellow tail snapper with Malaysian curry and chupe de mariscos, featuring fish caught off the Florida, clams, scallops, and shrimp. Bernstein’s signature bread pudding, flavored with cognac and topped with vanilla ice cream, is a no-brainer for dessert.
Restaurant at the Setai
East meets West at the South Beach Setai Hotel’s signature restaurant, where well-traveled chef David Werly, a native Alsatian, fuses Asian and modern American flavors. The restaurant is designed in dark chocolate and copper hues with lofty ceilings, pillow-topped banquets, and glazed brick walls adorned with contemporary art. During warmer months, a garden patio with a reflecting pool tempts patrons to dine al fresco. The menu is divided into categories such as "The Wok," "The Curries" and "The Tandoor" and is accompanied by an encyclopedic wine list from which 65 bottles are hand-picked and discounted each month.