With Art Week upon us—the annual convergence of international art shows and parties invading the Magic City from December 4–11—hundreds of thousands of visitors will descend on Miami, along with a slew of new restaurants.
To navigate it all, Resy tapped chef and restaurateur Michael Schwartz, who shared his dining lineup (and pro tips!) just in time for Art Basel.
“Make sure to plan ahead, have a focus, and try not to do too much. You could pop around the restaurants, but it is by and large, the busiest week of the year so planning ahead and having reservations is always helpful and advisable—especially if you’re more than two people,” Schwartz notes. “If you’re with your wife or your husband, or your friend and you’re bopping around, you can manage to eat at bars and grab a table, but otherwise, planning is key.”
Schwartz’s latest restaurant, Amara at Paraiso (opening January 2018) is offering an exclusive pop-up preview on-site at Paraiso Bay, giving lucky diners a sneak peek to Schwartz’s self-described “love letter to Miami” during Art Week. The restaurant, which is inspired by its bayside setting, brings together Latin American flavors, coastal ingredients and South Florida’s diversity of food culture, to create the quintessential Miami dining experience (from environment to cuisine to vibe).
The James Beard Award-winning chef and longtime local shares his picks for the week:
Image Courtesy of 27 Restaurant.
This eclectic staple by the Bar Lab team—the same group behind the neighboring Broken Shaker—is a must-visit spot for Schwartz.
“It’s a little bit of a getaway from the art crowd, but still right in the middle of the action. Local, and the food is homey and honest. Plus, my vegetarian daughter appreciates when we go there because there is lots for her to eat.” Book Now on Resy.
GAIJIN IZAKAYA BY CAKE
A newcomer to Miami’s restaurant scene, Gajin in the brainchild of Phuket “Cake” Thongsodchareondee, who is best known for his namesake Cake Thai restaurant. However, Cake has expanded and is also now showing off his Japanese cooking chops at his latest restaurant.
“It’s right in the middle between Wynwood and the Design District, and right near Midtown, so it’s close to all the art fairs. I’ve been there a couple times and I thought it was a solid with a wide variety of choices along with some passionate people trying to make some good food,” notes Schwartz. Learn more.
JOE’S STONE CRAB
It’s hard to visit Miami and not make a stop at Joe’s Stone Crab. The legendary restaurant, which just kicked off its 104th season, is not only a must-stop on any out-of-towners eating itinerary but also still a favorite amongst locals, even after all these years.
“For me, I love like three to four times a year to go to Joe’s. What I love about it most is that everybody goes there—it’s not like the institutional sort of place that only tourists go to,“ adds Schwartz. “Locals go there, tourists go there. It’s Joe’s, you have to go there, you have to.” Walk-ins only. Learn more.
Image Courtesy of Ariete.
Tucked away at the entrance of Coconut Grove is low-key hangout Ariete. Mixing together Miami’s Cuban influence with classic American cuisine, all created by Cypress Room alum Michael Beltran.
“If you want to escape the madness of Miami Art Week, Coconut Grove is probably the place you want to do it. I’m a fan of the Grove, and I like Beltran’s cooking. He’s seasonal local but he also digs in to a little bit of his heritage and Cuban and pays homage to that, which I respect,” says Schwartz. Book Now on Resy.
James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov has brought his popular hummusiya to South Florida, and locals can’t get enough. Located in Wynwood, it’s a quick and healthy go-to spot in the middle of all the Art Week action.
“It’s just so f—ing good, and it’s quick and it’s easy. What else do you need to know? Get one of each of the hummus, lots of hot sauce, and don’t forget extra pita,” adds Schwartz. Walk-ins only. Learn more.
While out-of-towners might assume Miamians shy away from carbs, that couldn’t be further from the truth. With a bevy of new bakeries invading our sandy shores in the past few years, it’s easier than ever to grab a solid baked good to-go, and True Loaf is a favorite of Schwartz’s.
“He’s the best baker in Miami, and I know that he’s not the crowd favorite, but I just love him and I love what he does and I love how humble he is. So pop in there grab a loaf, get a sweet — the phantom cookie is amazing, all the cookies, everything he bakes for me is amazing,” says Schwartz. Walk-ins only. Learn more.
Image Courtesy of Amara at Paraiso.
AMARA AT PARAISO
Schwartz’s pop-up of his forthcoming restaurant will include four nights of dinner service with seatings available on the half hour from 7–9:30 p.m. from Wednesday, December 6 to Saturday, December 9. Guests will enjoy an Amara experience including snacks and cocktails, a four-course dinner (served family style), and three wine offerings along with beer and beverage options.
“The pop-up is a chance for us to give people a taste of what that restaurant is going to be. It’ll be a great cross-section of the menu—big meats on the grill, some sharing situations, great cocktails—and the cocktail program is driven by tropical flavors that are light, bright, and fresh,” Schwartz notes. “There is a big wood-burning grill (a Josper), an open kitchen, and a big bar inside and outside. The doors open up to this outdoor area that leads right into the water. It’s on the open water, which sort of doesn’t exist in Miami.” Tickets are $189 per person. Book Now on Resy.