Robbie Bell
Robbie Bell
EWM
Cell: 305-528-8557

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The Scrumpterou Report

 

What is  The Scrumpterou Report ?  Simply put, my personal favorites, dining spots in the many diverse Miami neighborhoods.  The destinations on this list are those I have personally had the pleasure of breaking bread at their table, typically way more than once and are broken down by neighborhood.   This report will be updated from time to time, so feel free to call me and ask where's the latest. 

Next to add:  Brickell (Oceanaire and Perricones) and Bal Harbour (for sure Makoto and that great little French place with the fabulous mussels).

Bon Appetite!

Buena Vista

If you don’t know where Buena Vista is, it is just a hop from Miami’s burgeoning Design District, think local, think full of flavor, think neighborhood.

Buena Vista Café – the best damn quiche ever!!!  Chef Claude Postel is the master of the quiche here – everything is priced right and the coffee is full-bodied and tasty, just like I like it.  Open at 7am so you can get a start on exploring this quaint neighborhood, which is not bustling with little clothing boutiques and at least 6 other restaurants that offer great food experiences.

4590 Northeast 2nd Avenue, Miami, 33137 | 305.576.3945 | BuenaVistaDeli.com

Lemoni – yummy, yummy, yummy – I love their tomato soup – this is a great place for the belly and the budget – you will not believe the size of the soup and ½ sandwich – it is outrageous – quite frankly, a cup of soup can do you right well. 

4600 NE 2nd Ave # 8, Miami, 33137 | 305.571.5080 | MyLemoniCafe.com

Design District
 

The Design District used to be strictly “clothing for the home”, now there is clothing for all that suits you – opening in time for Art Basel, we now have Prada, Louis Vuitton with Hermes soon to follow.  What was a sleepy little two restaurant road is now one of the hottest destinations in town.

Michael’s Genuine – love what I call my “neighborhood spot”, they make the best drinks and serve great food above all, I love the service.  This is considered American faire; Michael Schwartz (a winner of James Beard’s Best Chef: South Award) has a forager who does the shopping for all the fresh ingredients – his pastry chef, Hedy Goldberg kicks ass when it comes to dessert in a jar.  What’s my favorite dish?  Without a doubt, the pork belly on a bed of kimchi; have an order of the roasted cauliflower and least I forget, the grilled octopus -- it is to die for.

130 NE 40th St., Miami 33137 | 305.573.5550 | MichaelsGenuine.com

Little Haiti

Little Haiti's boundaries fall between.  There is an entire gentrification process occurring in which streets have been improved, business painted in bright tropical colors and business popping up.  The Little Haiti Cultural Center is a beautilful little gem that houses arts and performance art - Big Night in Little Haiti is not to be missed on the third Friday of the month - music, food and lively chatter fill the air at this open air party.

Leela’s Restaurant – This Haitian spot serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and weekends you can get your grove on with a little live dancing  music to go with your Griot (Fried Pork) or Gabrite (Goat), my favorite is Queue Boeuf (Oxtails).  Now if you are into fish, Chef Lubin steams up a lovely snapper; his rice and peas and ...., just add a touch of pikliz (yes, that's what I said; the Vietnamese have Srircha; the Puervians have their green sauce; the Haitians created a spicy relish, Pikliz) to spice it up.  This is an early to late spot, 8am-

5650 NE 2nd Ave., Suite E, Miami, 33137 | 305.759.0311 | LeelasRestaurant.com

Midtown
 

Midtown boundaries are pretty simple, running north to south: NE 36th to NE 29th Streets; east to west: NE 2nd Avenue to N. Miami Avenue – this is not a huge spot folk but packed with all the shopping, dining and living one could want when you are an urban dweller.

Mercadito – okay, help me people – their shrimp tacos are yum and spicy, then there is the Crispy Beer-battered Mahi Mahi topped with Mexican style coleslaw and chipotle aioli – go there for the Brunch; yes, they do serve a Saturday brunch $18 food only/$30 gives you delicioso margaritas – now you really know why I love this placeJ  Their weekend brunch is great to go with friends and sample all the fabulous tacos.

3252 NE 1st Ave, Miami 33137 | 786.369.0430 | MercaditoRestaurants.com/Midtown

Sakaya Kitchen – in a hurry?  This is the spot.  Good, wholesome food for a great price.  There’s so much to like when you can pork buns or banh mi – of course, filled with pork, what else?  The most expensive thing on the menu is “Sae Woo” spicy Korean shrimp w/ coconut rice, butter’d broccoli for $14.99.

3401 North Miami Avenue, Miami 33127 | 305.576.8096 | SakayaKitchen.com

 

Sugarcane – My young friend, Timon Balloo, Executive Chef (a 2012 James Beard Award Semifinalist) at Sugarcane is still cookin’ up a storm; love heading here just to work on the appetizers – oh my, the duck breast, pork cheeks (yes, I said cheeks); I am a huge fan of the wedge salad and don’t leave out the beets and the bacon wrapped dates; there’s the robata grill on which he prepares the beef short ribs, cauliflower – there is so much to graze on, enjoy the experience!  Belly up to bar and ask for Jamal Giles, he kicks butt when it comes to creating inviting and tasty cocktails to suit your mood.

3250 NE 1st Ave., Miami 33127 | 786.369.0353 | SugarcaneRawBarGrill.com

gigi (technically gigi’s is located in Wynwood but because it is across the street from Midtown (actually sits on NW side of Miami Ave), it’s easier for you to locate under this heading).  It seems everything is good here – try the buns for sure (pork belly – yes!) and the wu lo-mein, there is always the soba noodles (served cold); I prefer the ramen.

3470 North Miami Avenue, Miami 33127 | 305.573.1520 | giginow.com

Biscayne Corridor
 

Sabor a Peru – Help me – this place is addictive – I love the fried fish chunks (chicharron de pescado) and the arroz chaufa – yumilicious!  But the best dish for my liking is the Aguadito de Pescado, this is a fish bouillabaisse that is a deep green color, filled with fish chunks, rice and veggies; a heap of cilantro makes this dish forest green.  LOVE IT!  Truly enough to share with two or three.

2923 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 33137 | 305.573.9637 | SaborAPeru.net

City Hall the Restaurant – if you are not super hungry, have a bowl of gumbo – that’s all the nourishment you need to get you on the way.  If you are super hungry – hurt yourself with a delicious order of meatloaf with the best damn mashed potatoes.  Sunday, visit City Hall for their famous Gospel Brunch featuring the lovely song stylist, Maryel Epps.

2004 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 33137 | 305.764.3130 | CityHallTheRestaurant.com

The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions (known simply as The Federal).  No words here can express my thoughts on The Federal – can you say “different”, “out of the box”?  This is not your usual dining spot; they promote “food porn”, just visit their site and you will see A must try: Buffalo-style Pig Wings or the Crispy Soft Shell Crab Po’Boy.  If you are a “Wine-O”, then you just check with Federal’s Wine Wench, Aniece Meinhold, this girl knows her wines – just tell her what you want it to taste like and wahla!  Done, a glass of your heart’s desire.

5132 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 33137 | 305.758.9559 | TheFederalMiami.com

Wynwood

Once a pretty scary place to be is now considered the “Arts District” – Wynwood houses over 70 art galleries - the 2nd Saturday of every month provides the community and visitors the opportunity to hangout and visit during Wynwood’s Art Walk.  Suggestion: park on 29th and WALK NW 2nd Ave.

Wynwood Kitchen & Bar – hunting down that fabulous piece of art or just browsing and checking out the galleries of the Walls of Wynwood and need a break?  Go no further, stop at the Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, and dine outside in the lovely garden.  I am a huge fan of beets and WKB does it up right with Maytag bleu cheese & Valencia oranges; then there is the fingerling-chorizo Hash and have the brussel sprouts.  The best part about WKB, the PRICES – one of those real affordable stops.

2550 NW 2nd Ave, Miami 33127  | 305.722.8058 | WynwoodKitchenAndBar.com

Panther Coffee – a real roast house that does cup-by-cup coffee to your taste; opens at 7 so you can get a jumpstart.

2390 NW 2nd Ave, Miami 33127 | 305 677 3952 | PantherCoffee.com

Downtown
 

Cvi.Che 105 Chef Juan Chipoco knows his way around the kitchen bringing out all the fabulous flavors of his homeland, Peru.  His strong sense of flavor leave you wanting more, especially the dishes using the Amarillo peppers to create a lovely sauce for the Sudado de Pescado (poached fish).  His signature ceviche dishes are simply the best.

105 NE 3rd Avenue, Miami, 33132 | 305.577.3454 | ceviche105.com

Nemesis Urban Bistro - Don’t let the name fool you; check your Webster’s: Nemesis = formidable foe and that she is; Micah Edelstein is alive in this funky little spot in a very edgy part of downtown – no worries, sit down and just order the tasting menu; enough said!  I had “stuff” I had never thought of, she is extremely creative and provides a great dining experience in non-traditional environment.  Different, I’ve had bobotie in South Africa now here; her duck pot stickers are fab, not to mention the alligator.   If you are looking for traditional tasting menu, this is not for you;  if you are looking for daring, this is the place. 

1035 N. Miami Ave., Miami 33136 |305.415.9911 | NemisisBistro.com

Coral Gables

Ortanique on the Mile – I have been a fan of this delightful spot since its birth.  My absolute favorite dish of all times is the Jerk Chicken Penne Pasta, which makes this my favorite restaurant (okay, I have 4 favoritesJ).  Chef Cindy Hutson does a stellar job on her ceviches and all of her fish dishes; if you feel the need to have a little pork, try the Double Jerk Pork Chop, one of the most popular dishes on the menu.

278 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables 33134 | 305.446.5695| CindyHutsonCuisine.com

South Beach
 

A Fish Called Avalon – if you are looking for seafood and the ability to people watch, then this is THE place.  Chef Kal Abdalla is, in my book, THE man to make you happy when it comes to serving up morsels from the sea.  His spicy Big Eye Tuna Tartare wrapped in a cucumber sliver is a consistent hit; his seafood risotto is filled with your special order of seafoods, just tell them what you want and you will have it.  Despite this spot being known for seafood, Kal has a way with beef that makes you want more.  Please do tell him I sent you – he loves meeting all my friendsJ

700 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, 33139 | 305.532.1727 | AFishCalledAvalon.com

Grazie – What can I say about my two sons, Spurgeon Solomon and Moshe Petel; they are the best a “godmother” can have, especially in the restaurant business.  This is Italian at its best in South Beach, or for that fact, Miami.  I have never been disappointed; their maitre’d, Joe, rattles off the specials as if they don’t change everyday; an extensive list that makes you ponder over what to sample today.  I just tell Solomon to pick for me, that’s what a good son does for his godmotherJ  My favorites: Grazie Chopped Salad and Risotto Fruitti Di Mare (made with my favorite seafoods), oh but they do a devilish short rib too.  BUW

701 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 33139 | 305.673.1312 | GrazieItalianCuisine.com

Juvia – you can’t possibly go wrong when you combine French, Japanese and Peruvian cuisines; that is absolutely thinking out of the box, not to mention Juvia has THE BEST VIEW on Miami Beach; not to mention the living wall by botanist Patrick Blanc, keeps you rooted in natural surroundings.  I have only had appetizers here, they were good and the cocktails were delish – price point is up there just as the view -- so this is a definite BUW.

1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach 33139 |305.763.8272 | JuviaMiami.com

La Cave D’Azur – a lovely little lunch spot (only open until 5), fabulous wines and their wine master, Patrick knows EVERYTHING about my favorite reds.  You are sure to enjoy the freshest veggies and pastries; of course, in the French style.

309 23rd St, Miami Beach 33139 | 305 763 8688 | VillaAzurMiami.com/la-cave-d’azur

 

Villa D’Azur – absolutely one of, if not THE, most romantic restaurant in the city – no view of the water, ocean, none of that, just a place to put on your best and for us ladies, feel absolutely sexy – the service is attentive, at times a bit slow – but remember, this is French…  Genvieve makes the meanest gimlet in town; the DJ, from France, plays the best music. Think the South of France and enjoy the trip.  BUW

309 23rd Street, Miami Beach 33139 | 305.763-8688| VillaAzurMiami.com

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – short of Michael’s Genuine, most restaurants do not serve a “real” drink – I am a whiskey girl, and love me some Maker’s Mark.  I knew Yardbird was my kind of place when they had Rob Samuels come to town to talk whiskey – Rob is the direct descendant of this whiskey maker.  So let’s get on to the food, I am talking southern:  Fried Tomato BLT, this is just not any old bacon – this thing is made with pork belly, tomato jam and homemade pimento cheese.  I LOVE IT.  The fried chicken is yummy but you need an order of braised mustard greens and they even serve butter beans; shades of my momma and daddy – help me people, I am getting hungry just writing.  Chef Jeff McGinnis gets his skills from his Alabama grandparents,; let’s just say he was an outstanding student.

1600 Lennox Ave., Miami Beach 33139 |305.538.5220 | runchickenrun.com

By now you know my modis operandi: take advantage of the appetizers and/or small plates: sample, sample, sample -- you get such good grasp of flavors the chef intended. 

If you see a little note that says “BUW”, that stands for Bring Your Wallet.  I am working on a symbol for pricing but I thought I would share specific spots that can run you a few dollars more; just know that you get what you pay for.

Please feel free to send me a note and let me know if your taste buds felt like this was a real “Scrumpterou” experience.

 
Robbie Bell
Your Urban Lifestyle Specialist & Realtor*
GoToRobbieBell.info

 

   

 

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