The best new Miami restaurants for 2022

Lifestyle /

Lee Brian Schrager, founder and director of the Food Network South Beach and New York City Wine & Food festivals, dishes on the best new spots to dine during Art Basel.

After launching in Toronto, Sofia has made its way south to Miami’s sunny Design District, aiming to become Palm Court’s latest signature restaurant.

It offers both contemporary and nostalgic Italian classics like beef carpaccio (below), grilled octopus and rigatoni alla vodka.

Sip elegant, Italy-inspired cocktails (such as the Nights of Cabiria and Sorrentino) or hard-to-find vino while enjoying live entertainment in Sofia’s glammed out, flamingo-pink spaces.

A plate of food at Sofia.
Both throw-back and neo dishes are coveted at this Italian spot.
Sofia Design District

Gekkō, 8 SE 8th St.

Superstar rapper Bad Bunny and restaurant-nightlife mogul David Grutman (of Groot Hospitality) are the duo behind this Japanese-inspired steakhouse in Brickell.

Interior of Gekkō.
Bad Bunny and David Grutman are the dynamic duo behind Gekkō.
Michael Stavaridis

Gekkō, meaning “moonlight,” immerses guests in a luxe and dramatic ambience: velvety banquettes, dragon motifs, rich wall coverings and rope-like draperies, across indoor and outdoor spaces. If the celeb sightings and Wagyu skirt steak aren’t extra enough, order the 24K Otoro — sushi sprinkled with glimmering edible gold.

Interior of Mayfair Grill.
Under this arch, veteran Miami chef Sean Bernal makes foodie magic happen.
Will Pryce

Following an extensive revamping, the historic Mayfair House Hotel & Garden has reopened its doors in Coconut Grove.

The hotel’s namesake Mayfair Grill restaurant serves up wood-fired cuisine with Southwestern flavors from veteran Miami chef Sean Bernal. The wide-ranging menu includes blazing dishes like fire-roasted squash, aguachile, wood-oven cheese, braised lamb shank and Navajo breads.

Contessa, 111 NE 41st St.

Triangulate yourself to culinary delights at Contessa.

Wine and dine your favolosi friends in this glamorous new Northern Italian concept from Major Food Group. With Art Deco and Venetian twists, the restaurant evokes Lake Como, circa 1960.

Kick off your meal with a variety of antipasti starters, followed by a selection of pasta — maybe the decadent spicy lobster capellini or the rigatoni carbonara. Then dive into grilled branzino or a 40-ounce dry-aged bistecca Fiorentina for two before satisfying your sweet tooth with a scoop of homemade gelato or a slice of chocolate-hazelnut cake (above).

Close up of MaryGold's Plum & Pink Peppercorn cocktail.
Sip on MaryGold’s signature Plum & Pink Peppercorn cocktail.
Ruben Cabrera

This brasserie, offering contemporary American cuisine that spotlights Miami’s cultural diversity, has just opened in the heart of Wynwood.

A collaboration between chef Brad Kilgore and Broken Shaker’s Elad Zvi and Gabe Orta, MaryGold’s menu will offer both eclectic cocktails, like the Plum & Pink Peppercorn (above), and exciting dishes. Introduce your taste buds to brioche beignets topped with jerk oxtail ragout and, for dessert, a Floridian spin on baked Alaska toasted tableside, with hints of citrus and spice-infused Haitian rum.

Klaw, 1737 N. Bayshore Drive

Close up of a plate at Klaw.
Surf and turf has been reimagined here.

Located in the 95-year-old Woman’s Club building, Klaw mesmerizes diners with its Spanish Renaissance architecture and breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay.

As for the food, entrepreneur Sasha Krilov and London-based restaurateur Mikhail “Misha” Zelman have introduced a new wave of luxe surf and turf. Norwegian king crab (above) and bluefin tuna share plates with meat originating from Nebraska ranchers, all sourced by chef Michael Paley, with seasonal dishes rounding out the menu.

Close up at a dish at Hotel Esmee's Sushi Bar.
Ambrely Ouimette, one of the country’s only female omakase chefs, holds it down at this hotel restaurant.
Liam Brown

Helmed by one of the country’s only female omakase chefs, Ambrely Ouimette, this beloved Austin, Texas, restaurant has now arrived at Miami Beach’s Esmé hotel.

With only three nightly seatings for 12 guests to indulge in a 17-course meal, it’s no wonder the spot mustered a 20,000-person-long waiting list during its pop-up era. As Ouimette told Time Out Miami: “If traditional sushi is considered an art form, I want Sushi | Bar to be looked at as the Banksy of the industry — illustrious, impactful and cutting edge.”

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