Porfirio's Restaurant puts upscale Mexican food in South Beach

The who: Grupo Anderson’s, the Mexico-based restaurant empire that includes the Señor Frog’s and Carlos’n Charlie’s chains, plants the first U.S. outpost of its upscale Porfirio’s Restaurant in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood. Chef Martin Cordero oversees the kitchen. 

The space: A gorgeous indoor-outdoor setting on the site of a former Miami Beach boarding house is accented by stone sculptures, cathedral-high ceilings and a central bar that features the restaurant’s scores of mezcal and tequila bottles. The bathrooms, too, are worth a look-see.  

The dishes: The menu is expansive, with easily 100 choices of tacos, enchiladas, tortas, quesadillas, soups and salads, plus chicken, beef and seafood entrees. Dishes are served with a healthy dose of whimsy in the form of tableside guacamole carts, colorful tamale boats, DIY ice cream and churros bars, and cast-iron planchas set in wooden platters.

Prices reflect the restaurant’s high-end ambitions, with appetizers hovering around $10 to $15 and entrees starting at $12 for tacos and reaching $60 for a shareable surf-and-turf skillet. A $25 prix fixe lunch option is a valuable way to work through the menu.   

The Bottom Line: The group behind Señor Frog’s delivers a see-and-be-seen Mexican restaurant in Miami Beach’s white-hot South of Fifth area.