Local Miami Chefs Dish
on the Best Eats in the City

The Federal, Miami

By: Kara Franker

Miami chefs talk about their favorite meals in the city.

We asked some of Miami’s top chefs where they enjoyed the most memorable local meals and here’s what they told us:

Michael Shikany at Shikany:

Michael Shikany

“I recently celebrated my anniversary at Michael Mina 74. Chef Tom Griese presented us with an amazing and artistic 10 course tasting menu. The stand out dish of the night for me was his seared foie gras and house made beignets with strawberry compote, pickled rhubarb, and foie gras icing aka ‘foisting.’ It was perfect!”

Thomas Griese at Michael Mina 74:

Thomas Griese

Coya makes amazing Pisco sours and not to mention top notched Peruvian ceviches. I think that the flavors are bold and must highlight the extreme freshness and quality of the fish there. A great place to grab a snack of have an amazing dinner experience. My recommendation is to get the chef’s tasting and take a culinary tour through Peruvian deliciousness!”

Marlon Rambaran at Scarpetta:

Marlon Rambaran

“Dinner is always a treat at 27 Restaurant and Bar at Freehand Miami. I love the different influences on the menu and a surprising twist every time. The kimchi fried rice is amazing!”

Dustin Ward at BLT Prime:

Dustin Ward

“I recently went to Matador Room at The Edition with my wife and daughters and we absolutely loved it! Our meal was spectacular and the service and attention to detail wowed us. They really catered to us and made us feel at ease. It’s not easy going out to dinner with three young kids; the restaurant accommodated to my small brood and were really attentive. The girls had a great meal, which was really important to me. We had the most tender roasted dry aged ribeye, which was my personal favorite. It was the perfect cut of meat, juicy and full of flavor. The seafood paella and decadent black truffle and Fontina cheese pizza were excellent. Their cocktail program is really great – my wife and I enjoyed lemon grass and orange cocktails that were on point. It was a fantastic meal.”

Brian Nasajon at Beaker & Gray:

Brian Nasajon

“One of the best things I've had in Miami is the pho at Hy Vong. This tiny whole-in-the-wall Vietnamese place is hidden on a corner right off Calle Ocho. When you walk in, the place feels like a family turned their humble home into a restaurant, putting out some of the most balanced, well-seasoned Vietnamese food I've ever tried. Walk by the kitchen and you'll see a petite lady, resembling pretty much everybody's favorite grandma, stirring a crock pot that's probably twice her size. The concoction is an amazing pork based broth, doused with herbs and lime juice. The aromas have clearly been developing for hours and the braised pork ribs have soaked it all up. I swear I would bathe in that soup if given the opportunity.”

David Blonsky previously at Apeiro Kitchen & Bar:

David Blonsky

“My favorite, most memorable meal I have had in Miami was at The Bazaar by José Andrés. From the moment you walk in, you are greeted by the incredible décor. The dining experience is fantastic. The flavors and presentation of the food are explosive and fresh, colorful and unique. And the best time to catch it is during Miami Spice when they bring out the classics and you get treated to a phenomenal meal at a great value.”

Cristian Cuevas at Burger Taco Whiskey:

Cristian Cuevas

“I'm impressed with The Federal and the experience they create. They have great nonalcoholic cocktails that are tasty and refreshing, which the bartender creates on the spot. I have so many favorite dishes here, but one that really sticks out is the Roasted Peach Tartine (Gainesville and Pompano Beach) with straciatella, spicy honey, barbecued pecans and ruby streaks. This dish was so well done and it has actually given me inspiration in my own kitchen, both at home and at work.”

Chefs Up Front & Miami Spice Month

All of the above chefs will be offering the ultimate gastronomical experience at the annual Chefs Up Front dinner on Friday, Sept. 18 at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Each chef will make a customized five-course signature meal for groups of ten at their own table and each course is prepared and presented tableside with a wine pairing for a complete decadent dining experience. Tickets are $250 per person and benefits the non-profit Florida Introduces Physical Activity and Nutrition to Youth (FLIPANY).

And don’t miss out on Miami Spice Month, a special two-month long restaurant promotion that runs throughout August and September. Try your favorite hotspot during lunch ($23 per person) or dinner ($39 per person).

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