Miami continues to solidify its status as a gastronomic go-to with foodies flocking to the Magic City in search of swanky South Beach restaurants, sexy speakeasies in Wynwood, and bespoke bars and bistros in Brickell.
But while these neighborhoods have been mainstays of the Miami dining scene for years, they’re seeing heightened competition from historic Coconut Grove, as the district regains its spot as a must-visit dining destination. Top Chefs Jeremy Ford, Michael Schwartz, and Aquiles Chavez along with world-renowned hospitality heavyweights Mr. C and the Ritz Carlton are leading an elite group unveiling new restaurants and concepts that will tantalize taste buds.
As of now, six new concepts are on the menu for the Grove within the next two years, all of which are expected to heat up the district’s already sizzling dining scene.
Seasoned Chefs Michael Schwartz and Michael Beltran are doubling up their bets on the Grove. Both chefs have recently opened their second restaurants in the neighborhood. Chef Beltran, whose restaurant Ariete has built a popular fanbase, has opened Cuban-American diner Chug’s which features his take on the Cuban frita. Chef Schwartz, the James Beard award-winning chef behind the popular Harry’s Pizza, has recently debuted his newest concept dubbed Tigertail + Mary, which features a vegetable-forward American menu.
“Coconut Grove is full of good energy and honesty. Food and the neighborhood dining experience should be this way, too,” says Schwartz. “Add an ample bar and the best people in the business and it’s an environment designed with our guests in mind –a place people can feel comfortable spending time in.”
Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford is set to open a 7,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor bayfront restaurant dubbed Afishionado. As suggested in the name, the menu will be seafood-centric, featuring a boat-to-table concept that embraces seasonal, sustainable ingredients.
Top Chef Mexico celebrity judge Aquiles Chavez will open his first U.S restaurant, Los Generales Mezcal & Grill, in Coconut Grove’s CocoWalk. The only full-service Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood, menu items will include roasted bone marrow tacos, duck tamales, and grasshopper guacamole. Mezcal fans rejoice as the bar will feature America’s largest selection of mezcal cocktails.
The Cipriani brothers – fourth-generation hospitality leaders and visionaries behind Coconut Grove’s C – have added another restaurant to the family’s repertoire affectionately called Bellini. The newly opened restaurant offers a modern take on traditional Italian fare, including grilled specialties, delicate Crudi di Pesce, and pastas. Of course, the dining experience will include a bellini – the first one is on the house.
Paying homage to Isabelle Peacock, one of Coconut Grove’s earliest settlers, Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove has unveiled their newly redesigned restaurant, Isabelle’s Grill Room & Garden. The design concept strays from the posh vibe offered at the hotel and instead injects a bit of South Beach swag to the dining experience. The menu features an eclectic selection of modern Italian cuisine.
As foodies anxiously await the arrival of some of these soon-to-become dining hotspots, locals and tourists can reacquaint themselves with the Grove by dining at the resident restaurants that have welcomed repeat guests and visitors for years and paved the way for the Grove’s culinary comeback including Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli’s Glass and Vine, Greenstreet Café, Lulu’s, Jaguar and Bombay Darbar – just to name a few.