Navé in Coconut Grove just relaunched their brunch service. Pro tip: Get the donuts. | Want to see your own picture in this space? Tag #thenewtropic to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @miamifoodpug)
What’s the biggest headline in food right now?
Wynwood’s Wood Tavern is calling it quits with one last Backyard Boogie on Sunday, March 14. The beloved bar opened up at a time when all the neighborhood basically had was Panther Coffee and Joey’s; Wynwood was definitely not the tourist destination it is today. We’re going to miss you, Wood Tavern – thanks for the memories.
In more upbeat news, one of Miami’s oldest bars is making a comeback. Tobacco Road closed its doors for good back in 2014, but now the historic Brickell bar is back — kinda. Tobacco Road by Kush is a tribute bar and popup from Matt Kuscher (Kush, LoKal) and Patrick Gleber, one of the establishment’s original owners. Former regulars don’t need to travel far for a taste of nostalgia; this new project is housed in the old River Oyster Bar space, mere steps away from the Road’s original location.
2021 is still young, but 2022 is already looking good too: By summer 2022, New York’s Pastis will be making its way down south to Wynwood. The iconic Parisian-style bistro from restaurateurs Stephen Starr and Keith McNally should satisfy diners with classics like croque madame, steak frites, and beef bourguignon. The duo is also scouting sites for a future Buddakan outpost.
What are some of the best bites you’ve eaten lately?
Navé in Coconut Grove recently relaunched their brunch service, and it’s a doozy. The eatery, which is known for its flavorful pasta and seafood, is serving up hearty options like crab toast benedict, breakfast pizza, and salted espresso French toast. Raw bar selections like scallop crudo and shrimp cocktail are also on the menu. One of our favorite items is the donuts with honey along with lemon glaze and bee pollen.
Based on the crowds we saw on a recent Monday night, Uchi — which originally hails from Austin, Texas — is taking Wynwood by storm. The neighborhood newcomer is famous for its sushi selections, and the multi-course omakase tasting is a must (if you have the budget). The menu is obviously subject to change, but visitors can indulge in an array of sashimi and specials like a mouthwatering king crab/sea urchin/corn combination as well as a delectable bigeye tuna and goat cheese pairing. Come with an open mind.
What neighborhood are you exploring?
We’ve been spending a lot more time in Coconut Grove lately because of all the new restaurants. The Cocowalk plaza is finally open after years of construction, and it’s now home to great spots like Planta Queen (plant-based Asian cuisine) and Mister-01 (pizza, pizza, and more pizza). Old haunts have also reopened like Peacock Garden, a hidden gem that’s home to one of the best al fresco dining experiences in town. And we can’t forget El Taquito, our favorite hole-in-the-wall home for tacos.
The future also looks bright for the area as a whole. Cuban diner Chug’s is scheduled to reopen in a bigger space later this year, and Scoop Records — an ice cream shop and record store experience — is coming soon as well.
What are you listening to?
When we created Miami Food Pug roughly eight years ago, there weren’t many other Miami cuisine bloggers in the scene. Burger Beast and Fatgirl Hedonist are the two that stand out from that time.
The former recently appeared on Pan Con Podcast — a local podcast hosted by Ariete chef Michael Beltran — and talked about how food coverage has changed in the era of influencers. Naturally, there’s also plenty of discussion about burgers, fritas, and croquetas.
How are you supporting local?
We’ve been on a sweets kick lately and are always looking forward to ordering from local bakers. When it comes to chocolate, brownies, and other desserts, these are the three places that usually come to mind:
Casa Gioia: Tarts, brownies, alfajores, guava empanaditas … Casa Gioia has a little bit of everything. The cake collection is what impresses us the most, though: Dominican cakes can be tough to find, but you’ll find several here including coconut cake and dulce de leche.
Dolce Cartel: You’ve heard of tiramisu, but have you had fanguimisu? The “hybrid tiramisu” is the specialty of Dolce Cartel, whose creation is available in flavors like Nutella, mango, and passion fruit. The OG is our go-to: dulce de leche, Cuban coffee, and amaretto-dipped chocolate cookies topped with dark chocolate flakes and sea salt.
Exquisito Chocolates: Miami’s first chocolate factory has no shortage of offerings, including bars, truffles, hot chocolate, chocolate-covered Oreos, and a cool twist on Twix. The Little Havana shop offers delivery, or you can pick up in person.