Promises to eat healthier in 2020 are just fine, but these new eateries promise calories worth a cheat day or two.
The main dining room at CHICA by Lorena Garcia
1. CHICA by Lorena Garcia The celebrity chef has taken over the former Soyka space and totally reinvented it with a design aesthetic that’s both elegant and dynamic. Garcia calls her menu “a celebration of Latin flavors.” That means standouts like pork belly tacos with blue corn tortillas, grilled Peruvian octopus and a slow-roasted suckling pig porchetta with spiced plantains and pickled onions that recalls a king’s feast. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the sweet corn pancakes. 5556 NE Fourth Court, Miami, 786.632.7725
2. HutongCooking traditions from Hong Kong set the tone at this eatery, where the focus is on northern Chinese dishes. A row of copper Zhejiang teapots among columns of stacked Chinese clay tiles and other traditional Chinese design elements set the aesthetics and let diners know this place does not embrace subtlety. As far as dishes, the Peking duck is king. The bird is prepared for 24 hours using a recipe developed more than 100 years ago for royalty. For fish lovers, the halibut with noodles is a must. 600 Brickell Ave., Miami, 786.388.0805
3. InRamenThe name of this casual restaurant says it all: noodles, noddles, noddles. But these are not just any noodles. At InRamen, the doughy delights are made fresh to order and paired with housemade broths. Among the highlights is the beer short-rib ramen, which features Asian bone-in Angus beef short rib that is braised for eight hours for optimal flavor, bok choy, micro greens and tempura enoki. Also of note are the eatery’s Asian tapas, such as Parmesan-crusted gyoza. 5829 SW 73rd St., South Miami, 305.639.8181
4. Nativo Kitchen & Bar In December, the Conrad Miami hotel unveiled a shiny $10 million renovation, but now, all eyes are on the property’s new restaurant on the 25th floor. Nativo is helmed by chef Pablo Lamon, and his is menu shines with selections such as octopus causa, goat cheese gnocchi and duck breast with polenta and pumpkin. Mixologist Nicholas Mantzaridis makes the most of spirits with cocktails like the Halo-Halo, a mix of gin, mezcal, purple yam, coconut, pineapple and lime. 1395 Brickell Ave., Miami, 305.503.6500