There are a lot of big restaurant openings happening around the city right now, but one of Miami’s most exciting new dining neighborhoods is Coral Gables. That’s right: Coral Gables. The Miami neighborhood where $100 bills go to retire and people drive Ferraris they actually own. Don’t believe us? Just try one of these six exciting new restaurants.
Zitz Sum is a former dumpling delivery pop-up that opened during the pandemic. So, yes, you should order dumplings - which rotate frequently and will probably be delicious. We tried plump pink shrimp har gow and chicken potstickers, which sat on a pile of tingly Sichuan chili. Both were excellent. But there was also a tasty crudo that involved strawberries, charred cabbage with habanero butter, and fried rice with a creamy egg, bits of snap pea, and crunchy bites of crispy rice. The restaurant is also the perfect size for a date or catch-up dinner with a friend who appreciates the tingly sensation of Sichuan spice. They’ve also got a small menu of natural wine, as well as a courtyard with pet-friendly outdoor seating.
Luca Osteria is a Coral Gables Italian restaurant where you will stare at every dish that hits the table the way Ryan Gosling stares at his co-star in the emotional climax of a romantic comedy. Everything here is delicious. The cacio pepe is perfectly al dente, and the bucatini alle vongole is beautifully balanced with tender manila clams resting on top. There are some excellent non-pasta dishes here too. Specifically, the patate fritte. It’s little fried potato balls covered by a creamy layer of parmigiano fonduta, black truffle, and a single egg yolk in the center - and it’s one of the best dishes in the entire city. This place also has lots of spacious outdoor seating where you can watch a steady stream of dogs and people. But as soon as the food hits the table, you’ll be as focused as Gosling preparing to nail a scene.
L’Artisane is a small vegan bakery perfect for picking up something sweet for breakfast, or sitting down and eating a croissant sandwich for lunch. The croissants are what this place does best - and they come plain, in flavors like chocolate or almond, or as sandwiches stuffed with avocado, mushrooms, and more. There are other good things here too - like danishes and macarons - and it’s quiet enough to bring a laptop and get some work done.
Mamey is a Caribbean-inspired restaurant from the Ghee team inside the Thesis Hotel. It has a dimly lit dining room with lots of hanging plants, an outdoor patio, and also a third-floor rooftop deck where you can grab a drink and some small plates for Happy Hour every day from 3-6pm. The food here is quite good - which is what we’ve come to expect from the Ghee team. The wahoo ceviche, roasted jerk plantains, and lemongrass-glazed grouper are all things we’d happily eat again. The cocktails are also just fantastic. This place is in a hotel, so guests in pajamas may wander by your table if you’re sitting outside. Don’t let them have a bite of your rum cake.
This Australian brewery in Coral Gables is a great place to drink and eat outside. Their front patio is really spacious, and laid out over a stretch of astroturf, so you can feel like you’re having a little picnic. This place is equal parts brewery and restaurant, and you can certainly come here to just drink - they’ve got some crisp, refreshing day-drinking brews. But if you did that, you’d be missing out on what are quite possibly the best fish and chips in town. There are other tasty things to eat here that pair excellently with a cold beer, like sausages, meat pies, and smoked salmon rangoons.
So MKT Kitchen isn’t that new of a restaurant. This breakfast and lunch spot opened last May. But, they are doing something new that should be on your radar. The restaurant is hosting a Li’s Dim Sum dinner pop-up Thursday through Saturday from 6-10pm (it’s unclear how long it’ll last, so book sooner rather than later). Li’s Dim Sum was a pandemic takeout operation Chef Raymond Li ran from his apartment during the pandemic. But now they’re working with an actual professional kitchen and offering things like yuzu sesame cold shanghai noodles, guava and cheese spring rolls, and Vietnamese streusel.