Where to Dine in Bal Harbour

By: Shayne Benowitz

Indulge in Bal Harbour's haute restaurant scene.

From Michelin star chefs to upscale Japanese cuisine at the luxurious Bal Harbour Shops, fine dining is always on order in Bal Harbour. The neighborhood is a luxurious enclave at the northern tip of Miami Beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and bordered by the Haulover Inlet. Check out these fine dining restaurants in Bal Harbour.

Makoto

An afternoon of shopping designer boutiques deserves an equally chic lunch stop and that’s exactly what Makoto serves up at Bal Harbour Shops. The upscale restaurant by Stephen Starr puts an inventive and refined twist on Japanese and sushi fare, making it a consistent favorite amongst Miami locals. Helmed by Chef Makoto Okuwa, his signature dish is the frosty kobe fried rice with foie gras and a jidori egg cooked tableside. Other items not to be missed include the five-spice salmon tataki, tuna pizza with anchovy aioli and the wagyu short rib robata grill. 9700 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, FL 33154; 305-864-8600

Le Zoo

Also found in Bal Harbour Shops and also by restaurateur Stephen Starr, Le Zoo is a French bistro that conjures all the charms of Paris with a touch of playful whimsy. With a neon curlicue sign, ample terrace seating and Art Deco flourishes inside the dining room, the décor is as appetizing as the menu. Start with a selection from their raw bar and then move onto classic fare, including onion soup gratinee, Nicoise salad, croque madame or steak frites. For dessert, do as the French and order the cheese plate or opt for a sweet treat like their crème brulee with warm madeleines. 9700 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, FL 33154; 305-602-9663.

J&G Grill

Helmed by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, J&G Grill at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort is one of Miami’s most revered fine dining establishments. The dining room offers panoramic views of the glistening Atlantic Ocean for a lavish, multi-sensory experience. To start, you can’t go wrong with sharing the black truffle fontina cheese pizza or the spicy ahi tuna tartare. The grill offers everything from wild king salmon to a 32 oz. wagyu tomahawk steak for two, and delectable entrees include poached Maine lobster and an almond caramelized duck breast with foie gras and baby turnips. If you simply can’t decide, the five-course tasting menu with wine pairing is fail-safe. 9703 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, FL 33154; 305-993-3300.

BH Burger Bar

Also inside The St. Regis Bal Harbour, BH Burger is their latest casual concept. In a warm, bistro-like setting, the straightforward menu offers an upscale twist on classic comfort foods including burgers, hot dogs, wings and shakes. You can opt for one of their signature burgers, like the Foie Gras Burger made with gouda, tomato jam, black truffle, aioli and, of course, foie gras. Or you can build your own with your choice of beef (there’s even a vegan option), cheese, toppings and bun. Wings come in a variety of finger-licking sauces, including spicy BBQ, Korean BBQ, house dry rub and classic buffalo. Get your greens in with a kale Caesar salad and don’t skip the addictive truffle parmesan tater tots. They’ve also got a great selection of Florida craft beers, from Due South to Cigar City to Wynwood Brewing. 9703 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, FL 33154; 305-993-3300.

Bistro Bal Harbour

The Ritz-Carlton, perched at the northernmost tip of Bal Harbour with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Haulover Inlet, offers a classic dining experience with Bistro Bal Harbour. The dining room boasts panoramic views of the aquamarine sea in a casual setting that’s perfect for lunch or dinner. The well-rounded menu offers a little something for everyone and many dishes have a Latin American twist. For instance, start with a seafood raw bar or beef carpaccio, or take the Peruvian route with fresh ceviche. Other appetizers include croquetas de jamon or shrimp cocktail. Lunchtime offers a variety of salads and sandwiches, while dinner boasts entrees like lobster pappardelle, black grouper fillet or braised lamb shank. 10295 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, FL 33154; 305-455-5400.

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