February Openings

Graphic: Samantha Riepe

The shortest month of the year is bursting with flavor – bite into something new this week…

  • Spring for a casual lunch or dinner at South Miami’s new moderately-priced, neighborhood hang out. 72 Bar + Grill opens Thursday courtesy of husband and wife chefs Juan and Vani Maza (Alta Cocina). Look for indoor and outdoor seating, salads, a raw bar, pizzas burgers, pastas and an adult & kid-friendly milkshake bar. Menu skews traditional and casual, with highlights including the Asian piggie burger (bbq pulled pork, Napa slaw & apple chutney); lamb Bolognese, Kobe skirt steak and white chocolate banana bread pudding.
  • Tap your international palette and explore Downtown Miami’s burgeoning dining scene at Cvi.che 105. The Peruvian restaurant features all the country’s classics including seven varieties of ceviches and tiraditos, arroz con pollo, tacua tacu in seafood sauce, beef stew, specialty juices and the ultimate classic – Inca Kola.
  • Seek comfort – and a standout French toast – at Wynwood’s new Morgans Restaurant. Billed as “Miami’s modern home-style comfort food,” the restaurant dishes out breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner from a quaintly restored 1930s house. The menu skews wholesome with free range and organic chicken and eggs and grass-fed beef while dishes like meatloaf, braised short ribs and BLTs indulge.
  • Sample nightlife with an Italian flare at Aventura’s Sicilian-inspired Cavalli Supper Club. Helmed by chef Ross M Stern (St Regis & Ritz Carlton), the restaurant dishes out classics like house-cured wood smoked salmon (cured 16 hrs), potato cake, American caviar, Tuscan Crispetta; chicken cacciatore and veal chop Marsala. Come nightfall, tables are cleared and the space skews lounge/bar.
  • Get your margarita on at Mercadito’s first South Florida location this month. The recently opened Midtown spot (also in New York and Chicago) arrived with a definitive ole, marking its entrance with homemade tortiallas, tacos and cocktails aplenty. Come for the guacamole bar and stay for margaritas on the terraces.
  • Linger over burgers and beer at JB Kitchen & Bar, Brickell’s newest gastropub. The former Badrutt’s Place space has transformed into a 5,000-square-foot palace of Latin influenced American classics. Look for rock shrimp tempura, ceviche, honey mustard wigs, truffle Parmesan fries and lobster mac and cheese. Come for the fries and stay for the cocktails – we’re thinking black cherry manhattans and yuzo pomegranate & cantaloupe martinis.
  • Art meets music and multicultural cuisine at Downtown Miami’s new Baru Urbano. The lounge/restaurant features Latin street art and a wide-ranging menu with South American, Thai and Italian touches. Chef Gabriel Petrovich’s offerings include salads, sandwiches, pastas, fresh seafood and ceviches,
  • ALTAMARE, meaning high seas, also opens its doors this month. The large space is be the next generation of longtime Lincoln Road classic AltaMar (which closed the day ALTAMARE opens). New executive chef Simon Stojanovic (Michael’s Genuine, Nemo, the Setai) is retaining the seafood focus with an emphasis on locally caught seafood. Highlights include Spanish mackerel crudo, pan seared day boat scallops and pan seared local cobia.
  • Sandwiches, salads and Mediterranean treats arrive on Ocean Drive courtesy of the Hotel Victor’s new Victor Café. Located in the old Vix space, the restaurant arrives via the team behind Bice. Entrees include Atlantic salmon and roasted beef tenderloin.
  • Get breakfast, lunch or dinner served sunny side up at the Grove’s latest outpost for American food with a twist. The Grove Spot opens this month with all the neighborhood reqs – a sunny porch, a cozy interior and plenty of bar space. The menu offers up all the classics with few surprises – specialty coffees, breakfast sandwiches, sandwiches, salads, steaks and fish. One notable highlight – house fries with curry ketchup, ginger mayo, spicy mustard or peanut dipping sauces.
  • Hello lamb ribs and goodbye day-old pizza. Washington Ave gets a bit more diner-friendly this month as Vinyl & Kai opens its music-heavy doors. Opened by the New Zealander behind Tequila Chicas, the bar/restaurant dishes out an eclectic menu covering all the basics. Look for Mexi-corn dip, hummus, tabouli, gazpacho, grilled veggie wraps, southwestern chicken salads and other traditional “international’ delights.



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