One for the meat lovers: Los Fuegos leads Miami Herald 10 best of 2016

Argentine-style grilled meat offerings abound at Los Fuegos by Francis Mallman.

Call us flighty.

Two weeks ago, we called vegan delight  Plant Food and Wine the best restaurant we reviewed all year at a perfect four stars. Yet we came right back with a four-star review for the meat eaters with Los Fuegos, a restaurant that bullied its way into the Miami Herald’s Top 10 for 2016.

Grill savant Francis Mallmann‘s Los Fuegos at La Faena Hotel swept Miami Herald critic Victoria Pesce Elliott off her feet. She called the mix of exquisite food and theatrical surroundings “the perfect culinary fairy tale.”

“All the food is exquisite. The dining area is resplendent and the service smarter than what you find in this town — but still good looking,” she wrote. “A night out with the flame-licked fare that has come to define Francis Mallmann is a fantastic extravagance that lives up to the many big names on the credits under the biggest of them all.”

One of the 3-star reviewed (Very Good) restaurants had to fall out of the top 10 and it was the our earliest reviewed, Pinch Kitchen, a “repository for an impressive array of quality ingredients assembled into the creative dishes that populate the simple menus, each of which includes maybe a dozen items.” (Read more)

Our list ecompasses our best-reviewed restaurants of 2016 so far, listed alphabetically. (We use a 4-star rating system.)

The list could change weekly with our Big Review

RELATED: See “dirty dining” inspection reports in our Dining Advisor

The new Top 10 best reviewed restaurants of 2016

4 stars

Los Fuegos 

“Main courses include, of course, a fine parrillada with plump chorizo, morcilla, tasty skirt steak and prime rib. But it is the richly decadent square of lechon braised for more than five hours with wine and herbs that begged me back for more. The tightly pressed plank of pig is then roasted until it earns its crispy, crackling deeply satisfying shell. (Read more)

 Faena Hotel, 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. 786-655-5610;


Plant Food and Wine Caesar salad

Plant Food and Wine

“Food is either completely raw, dehydrated, fermented, smoked or cooked sous vide. The menu features salads and other starters, mains, desserts and shareable multi-piece dishes. Two concepts are at work: Some dishes look, sound and taste like familiar dishes that incorporate animal products. Others are never-seen-it-before creations.” (Read more)

105 NE 24th St., Miami. 305-814-5365;


3.5 stars

33 Kitchen

“Despite fear of never getting a seat again, I’m ready to rave about Coconut Grove’s 33 Kitchen…. The setting has charm and style. It looks like a hipster hangout with a rustic, reclaimed wood bar, (faux) exposed brick wall, an old bicycle mounted on the wall, as well as cool metal chairs and straight-back wooden benches. Fernandez’s cooking is confidant, clean, bold and just what I want to be eating. So, please, save a seat for me.” (Read more)

3195 Commodore Plaza, Miami. 786-899-0336


Beaker & Gray

“In a Food Network-fueled era in which every celebrity chef is opening a Miami outpost, Beaker & Gray is a refreshing local exception…. Beaker & Gray has soared into the upper echelon of Wynwood dining. (Chef Brian) Nasajon’s super-creative, ingredient-rich menu has Yelpers yapping and snapping, and Ben Potts’ broad and dazzling cocktail menu and artisan wine list is putting the place squarely in the sights of any self-respecting hipster.” (Read more)

2637 N. Miami Ave., Miami. 305-699-2637


Cypress Tavern

“The white tablecloths and wall-mounted stag heads are gone, but refined service and impeccable classics remain at the refreshed Cypress Tavern. Cypress may have loosened up its man bun since a do-over last year — transforming from a formal “room” to a more relaxed “tavern” — but going casual here is like Jeeves and Wooster donning their country tweeds…. ike a reliable friend, Cypress Tavern can be counted on to deliver traditional dishes with expertise and outstanding service.”

3620 N.E. Second Ave, Miami (Design District); 305-520-5197


Glass and Vine

“With Glass a nd Vine, (chef Giorgio) Rapicavoli has reined in the playful instincts of his early years, maturing just enough as a chef to hit the sweet spot with almost every dish. The bright and airy, 200-seat, picnic-in-the-park space, with its fresh-flavor, ingredient-driven menu, couldn’t be more different from the dark, 50-seat Eating House, with its heavier comfort-style food. Service is impeccable, and wine and cocktail and beer lists are intriguing.” (Read more)

2820 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove. 305-200-5268



“For the barbecue that brings out the smoky best of Asian-American wood grilling. For thoughtful presentations that make eating fun. For knowledgeable servers and chefs who are excited about the food and don’t hesitate to sit and chat with diners about it. KYU (pronounced “Q” like the last syllable in “barbeque”) has easily become one of Wynwood’s best restaurants.” (Read more)

251 N.W. 25th St, Miami. 786-577-0150


3 stars




Ariete, an artful, new dining cubby in Coconut Grove, describes itself as progressive American, with a ‘supper-style, family-friendly feel.’ Eating here is an adventure…. Ariete heralds an emerging sophisticated dining scene for the Grove. The incoming hipsters and high-rise condo dwellers better be hungry.” (Read more)

3540 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove. 305-640-5862



“Ichimi, the new ramen shop in Coral Gables, is Miami at its most diverse. One look around the restaurant, filled with Asian diners on an average weekday night, is the first clue that this new chef-owner pairing goes together as well as their Asian-style baby back ribs and milky cold sake.” (Read more)

2330 Salzedo St., Coral Gables. 305-960-7016



“NaiYaRa is seducing outsiders into the once-isolated domain of Joe Allen and Purdy Lounge with artisanal sushi and elevated interpretations of Northern Thai specialties the Thai-born (chef) Bee Arreeratn learned at his grandmother’s side…. The green curry sea bass sang in creamy coconut sauce with snappy bell peppers, bamboo shoots and basil over jasmine rice. Crispy duck in red curry, jazzed with bell peppers and slivers of pineapple, also was superb.” (Read more)

1854 Bay Rd.Road, Miami Beach.786-275-6005