If your New Year's Resolutions for 2016 doesn't include "trying new things," it's time to make some changes. By trying new things we mean things like foie gras empanadas, sanguches, cactus tacos…those kind of things. Scratch all that off your list while simultaneously eating your way through Miami's newest and tastiest Latin restos. From too much Peruvian (can one ever really have too much Peruvian?) to the continuation of taco mania and an ode to the Mediterranean, here are a few eateries you simply can't miss out on visiting this year.
About that whole trying new things and foie gras empanadas, kill two birds with one stone at Wynwood's newest and best-kept secret GK Bistronomie. The Peruvian-inspired, not so hidden gem is mixing up Peruvian classics with global influences and local ingredients to create novel and delectable dishes. Think grouper doused in a velvety and pungent Parmigiano Reggiano rocoto cream; pisco cured salmon with crème fraiche and caviar; or grilled octopus terrine in aged balsamic with piquillo peppers and botija olives, and that's just the tiraditos. Ceviches keep to tradition with two benchmarks (classic fish or seafood combo) and then go unorthodox with cherrywood Key West pink smoked shrimp alongside green plantains and popcorn, tuna foie gras with pineapple and scallions, or wild mushrooms and yuzu (yes, a mushroom ceviche). Still have room for an entrée? Opt for the braised lamb shank steeped in an aji amarillo Moonshine paste of perfection.
What do you get when you put a Chilean chef with a passion for Peruvian cuisine in the kitchen? The result is 33 Kitchen, a casual neighborhood joint serving up elevated Peruvian-inspired fare. An evident 2016 Miami trend, Peruvian-inspired is all the rage, and here it can best be savored through the seared tuna causa, broiling conchitas (scallops in their proper shell) covered in Parmesan, aji de gallina with a 64 degree egg and potato croquette, or fried arroz con leche spiked with pisco. Simplicity is key here as no single dish on the menu has more than six ingredients and ceviche changes daily in tandem with whatever is swimming in local waters.
The folks behind beloved Spanish gastrobar Bulla have gone, wait for it, Peruvian and opened Pisco y Nazca down south at Town & Country. More than just Peruvian-inspired, Pisco y Nazca is a contemporary yet authentic ceviche gastrobar. That means 10 options of the raw fish dish, from Nikkei to traditional to aji Amarillo to rocoto and even passion fruit or jalapeno huacatay, to satisfy every palate. Can't make up your mind? Go for the ceviche sampler. Helming the kitchen is Gaston Acurio protégé, executive chef Miguel Hernandez, who made the jump to Miami from La Mar in San Francisco. Small and large Peruvian classics "but with a twist" like pasta macho, chaufa, and lomo saltado make up the rest of the menu. With a name like Pisco y Nazca one might expect lots of pisco-based cocktails but it's the beer list (with over 100 international labels) that have been paired with the ceviches.
Disclaimer: We promise this is the last Peruvian place on this list (and well worth it). Station 28 might be more new-ish than new but for some bizarre reason not enough people know about the sangucheria (Peruvian slang for sandwich hut) dishing out Peruvian tamales and hamburgers and sandwiches topped with chicharrones, lechon, fried egg (naturally), fried plantains, and fried sweet potatoes. Their secret is in the top-secret house made aji amarillo that gets sopped up by the bread and meat like love at first sight. For you it'll be more like love at first bite. Wash it down with some fresh lucuma, squeezed in house.
Take a trip to Europe without ever having to leave Miami. Simply head to Brickell darling Marion where, besides being transported to somewhere in the Mediterranean, executive chef Jean Paul Lourdes is bringing his three-starred Michelin kitchen experience from Paris, London, and even Hong Kong to elicit a taste of France, Spain, and beyond to the grand cafe. Indulge in watermelon gazpacho, Spanish carabineros or whole fish, fresh from the Mediterranean and grilled over an open wood fire or baked in a mountain of Normandy Sea salt. There's also pan con tomate, Galician style octopus, and paella, as well as a cheese and dessert cart brimming with French fromage and delicacies baked up by pastry chef and former pupil of Jean-Georges Vongerichten Christina Kaelberer. Pro tip: come for the three-course pre-fixe lunch menu.
There's no denying that 2015 was the year of the taco, but the Mexican movement continues well into 2016 with Firito Taco. The taco shack is the brainchild of Alfredo Patino (who also owns neighboring Tap 79 and Bin No. 18 in Edgetwater) and serves up a plethora of, well, tacos. Fixings include churrasco with bacon, avocado crema, and scallions; Coca-Cola chili braised short ribs with roasted garlic, blue cheese, and cilantro; a banh-mi orange-ginger chicken variety; grilled nopales (translation: cactus) and mushrooms; and the quintessential al pastor but with chipotle sauce and some queso for good measure. Housemade agua frescas, horchata, and sweet churros round off the Mexican experience.