New Dining and Cocktail Hotspots to Try Now in Miami


Lobster Ravioli at Ambersweet at Confidante Miami Beach

Lobster Ravioli at Ambersweet at Confidante Miami Beach

The summer is heating up and so is the dining and drinking scene in Miami. From recent openings serving fresh menus to familiar staples mixing things up, this vibrant city has plenty of new offerings to try this season and beyond.

ZZ’s Club

151 NE 41st St. Suite 117

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Located in the ultra-sleek Design District, ZZ’s Club is a brand new members-only venue (sister to New York’s own ZZ’s Clam Bar) hailed from Major Food Group who brought us Carbone. The two floor space (formerly Chef Brad Kilgore’s Ember and Kaido) has its stylish restaurant located on the lower level with a menu complete of fresh fish delicacies.

Start with your choice of trout roe drizzled with honey truffle and served on buttery toast, or caviar topped avocado with bluefin tuna tucked inside. There’s a variety of dumplings and carpaccio to try too, along with uni sushi that is a must. But this place isn’t only about the fish. The selection of wagyu beef (three different types) is something not to pass up — and once your server presents the raw beef selections in a glass case at your table you won’t be able to say no. Pair the meat with one of the sides, including the spicy cauliflower and garlic fried rice. While there is a vast wine list to choose from (the Krug Grand Cuvée Champagne complements the wagyu nicely) the cocktails are not to shy away from, especially the light and refreshing Asian Pear that goes with just about anything.

Pro tip: ask your server to take you on a culinary journey through the menu so you don’t miss anything (who would have thought chilled asparagus could be so good?) — and let them pair the drinks to go along with it. Once you’re finished with your meal, head upstairs in the speakeasy, an intimate gathering space where carefully crafted fruit-enhanced cocktails await.

Ambersweet at The Confidante Miami Beach

4041 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

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Housed in The Confidante Miami Beach (formally Thompson Miami Beach), Ambersweet offers Miami-inspired plates with locally sourced ingredients and unique takes on the beloved classics.

The goat cheese and fig flatbread with caramelized fennel is a must from the lunch menu along with the Korean BBQ sandwich made with thinly sliced steak that is tender and served between a warm bun made in-house. Anything off the dinner menu won’t disappoint, including the lobster ravioli, dry-aged NY strip with chimichurri, or the mushroom bolognese. The vibe here is as breezy as the ocean air itself, with an open patio showcasing lush greenery and a view that overlooks the hotel’s two pools. If you prefer to sit inside with the AC, you’ll find an interior that features vibrant artwork on dark wood walls and bold accents that make the room pop.

While here, be sure to check out everything else the hotel has to offer, such as the lobby bar called The Lounge for an after dinner drink (try the Oak Barrel Aged Manhattan) and a late-night snack (fried oysters, anyone?). Don't forget to wander the first floor to see the canvas art exhibit created by local graffiti artists, a new art residency from the hotel’s partnership with the Museum of Graffiti that goes until February 2022. And if you find you’re having too much fun, grab a room for the night (preferably one that overlooks the ocean), and opting for a poolside cabana the next day. The Lounge turns into The AM Cafe, a grab and go coffee and breakfast service in the morning, and Ambersweet has its all-you-ear breakfast buffet. Just saying.

Le Rouge Lounge

318 NW 23rd St, Miami, FL 33127

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A newcomer to the colorful Wynwood scene, Le Rouge Lounge opened back in June and offers a spacious interior for mingling, dancing, and drinking.

Modeled after a 1920s French cabaret, the lounge is decked out in dark, moody colors with velvet curtains, flickering candles, and a glittery piano. The stage can handle a 10-piece band (or sultry cabaret performance), and a DJ booth located in the center of the room helps spotlight the talent behind the beats. But the topnotch entertainment is not the only highlight. Master mixologist Samer Abdallah (Bodega Miami Beach) fixes up prohibition-style cocktails, such as the Old Rum Old Fashioned made with Santa Teresa 1796, angostura bitters, and coconut water. There’s also the Mezcal Negroni mixed with Aperol and a vanilla-noted vermouth, and of course bottle service at your table if you’re feeling fancy.

SLS South Beach Miami

1701 Collins Ave Miami Beach, Miami, FL 33139

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In addition to the already eclectic menu at this South Beach hotspot, the SLS has stirred up some new cocktails just in time for summer.

Case in point: Taken for Granted created by Cocktail Innovator Miguel Lancha. Made with bourbon, sherry, passion fruit, mint and cinnamon, this is a refreshing drink ideal for poolside sipping. But if spice is what you want, head to the hotel’s own Katsuya where you can order the Jaja Picante with tequila, lime juice, and Serrano peppers for that added heat. The new offerings are not limited to South Beach either. The SLS Brickell has its own new cocktail to try: Cilantro Paloma at SAAM Lounge. Crafted by Head Bartender Stefan Sosic, this drink is mixed with tequila, grapefruit, and cilantro, and served in a glass rimmed with black lava salt.

Welcome to MIAbites guest contributor: Carissa Chesanek is a professional writer with a Master’s in Journalism. Her work has been seen in Eat This, Not That!, Food Network, Forbes Travel Guide, Miami Herald, SpoiledNYC, BlackboardEats, and Zagat. She is currently getting her MFA at The New School in New York City. Follow her @Chesanek.

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