Make your reservations at must-eat spots like Boulud Sud before Miami Spice ends in two weeks. | Want to see your own picture in this space? Tag either #thenewtropic or @thenewtropic to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: Courtesy of Boulud Sud)
What’s the biggest 305 food news right now?
Openings, openings, and more openings. Among the most notable: Chug’s Diner has finally reopened its doors after an extensive remodel. The Cuban diner from Ariete’s Michael Beltran has expanded into a full-service eatery with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night offerings. Start your day at the Coconut Grove spot with the crowd favorite cast-iron pancake or the new salmon tostada. Alternatively, you can swing by to finish your day with snapper escabeche, medianoche pierogies, and creative cocktails — yes, there’s a full bar.
Over on Miami Beach, restaurateur and nightlife mogul David Grutman has opened three concepts in the former Firestone Garage space: Winker’s Diner, Sushi Fly Chicken, and Toothfairy. As their respective names imply, Winker’s is a modern-day diner/deli while Sushi Fly Chicken is the place to go for rolls and fried chicken. Afterward, be sure to grab dessert at Toothfairy, where cakes, cookies, and other pastries by pastry chef Dallas Wynne (ex-Stubborn Seed) will wow your socks off.
Eat anywhere good lately?
We’ve been spending a little more time in Fort Lauderdale these days thanks to live music making a comeback, and we recently discovered Munchie’s Pizza Club in Downtown FTL. The pizza joint occupies the former Tarpon Bend space, and it’s a time machine calibrated to bring you back to the ‘80s. The restaurant boasts vintage arcade games and pizza names like Toad’s Magical Mushroom and Sonic’s Sweet, Hot and Fancy that’ll make you feel all warm and fuzzy with nostalgia. In keeping with its unpretentious throwback aesthetic, Munchie’s also doubles as a sports bar with giant screens galore.
Closer to home, we’re also suckers for Pummarola in Coral Gables (and Midtown). There’s not much to say about the pizza place except that it’s delicious, fast, and cheap — it’s as perfect a trifecta as you’ll ever find. We’ll let their pies do the talking.
Time is running out to enjoy Miami Spice. Where should I go?
With just over two weeks left for Miami Spice, you better start making some reservations now. One spot that should be on the top of your list is Boulud Sud in Downtown Miami. The Mediterranean-inspired restaurant switches up its menu regularly, so repeat visits are in order. Be on the lookout for items like halloumi and lentil salad, branzino, and ossobuco in the coming weeks.
Another highlight: Jaya, at The Setai. This Miami Beach treat is cooking up tasty Pan-Asian cuisine and features truffle dumplings, spiced cauliflower, salmon sashimi, and Thai beef salad among its delectable dishes; vegetarian options are available for both lunch and dinner. Whether you head oceanside or hang tight on the mainland, you can’t go wrong with either of these two spots.
What are you working on?
We write a monthly restaurant recipe column called Chefs Share for Biscayne Times, and this month’s featured chef is South Florida powerhouse Michelle Bernstein (Cafe La Trova). If you’re looking for a nice, flavorful night in, check out her arroz con pollo recipe.
What are you reading right now?
It’s no secret that restaurants are having trouble finding new staff at the moment. But what’s going on with the employees who have stuck around through thick and thin? Miami New Times published an eye-opening piece on the ways that employers are retaining their existing talent.