GETAWAYS • Miami
Despite an ongoing influx of boldface chef names (Thomas Keller, José Andrés, Gordon Ramsay), Miami’s true dining gems are just a short ride away from the neon lights. Here, three worth the trip:
FARM TO TABLE: Chef Niven Patel is so committed to sourcing the freshest vegetables for his restaurants, he grows them himself at his farm in Homestead, FL. Patel’s first restaurant, Ghee (located in Miami’s Kendall neighborhood) serves arguably the city’s finest Indian food, but his new Italian spot, Erba (above), is the one to watch. Debuting as a pop-up in 2019, Erba opened in Coral Gables this past October. Here, chef Patel injects classic Italian dishes with local Florida ingredients: mafaldine is served with Bahamian conch in lieu of clams, and gnocchi with Key West pink shrimp.
EMPANADAS Y PIZZAS: Cuban-born master mixologist Julia Cabrera has earned a following for his artful drinks, particularly at Miami’s Cafe La Trova. Now, Cabrera has opened La Cumbancha in Miami Springs, offering the same level of energy and service in a smaller neighborhood spot. The new bar offers Cuban fare along with wood-fired pizzas (the restaurant came with the oven) and live music. The cocktails, as expected, are among the best in Miami.
A PAIR OF PEARLS: Chef and restaurateur Michael Beltran has opened a pair of neighboring spots in the heart of Coconut Grove’s CocoWalk. A potential dining plan: start with oysters, conch salad, and a cocktail at The Oyster Bar. Then, decamp to Eva, for foie gras and dates and the lamb chops. Finally, cool down with a boozy snow-cone back at The Oyster Bar. –Laine Doss