Texas de Brazil blends the steak-centric cuisine of Texas with the traditional churrasco method of slow-roasting meat over an open flame grill to form a luscious meaty mélange. The full dinner ($39.99) marches out a cavalcade of choice cuts, allowing diners to welcome continuous windfalls of flavorful proteins. Brandish your table's provided card, green on one side, red on the other, and it will function as a meat traffic light that summons servers to either send stacks of seasoned beef, pork, or lamb skewers or halt plate traffic like a decorated culinary crossing guard. Or feel free to substitute greens for the grill by stepping into the sprawling salad-bar conga line ($24.99), two-stepping through toothsome goodies such as imported cheeses, steamed asparagus, and dozens of other hors d'oeuvres.
920 Grill's rustic dining room sets a comfortable tone for an evening out. Argentinian prints adorn the walls where diners sink into their upholstered chairs to peruse a menu of steak, seafood, and pasta, Chef Elias Vasquez is hard at work preparing meals that include juicy, 16-ounce boneless rib eyes, sesame-seared ahi tuna, and house-made fettuccini bolognese. The restaurant's friendly staff can make a recommendation from the accessible but carefully curated wine program to complement the meal or make one's imaginary friend more interesting.
It's not uncommon to spot the head chef at 530 Ocean's Grill, cheerfully greeting customers as he strolls beneath the crimson umbrellas and leafy palms of the outdoor terrace. After waving goodbye to the party clinking glasses of wine on the upper patio, the chef heads back into his kitchen to craft the Argentina-inspired specialties lauded by reporters from Qué Rica Vida. Argentinean recipes, along with Italian and American influences, inspire a variety of tapas, steaks, and pasta dishes. The chef showers pizzas in housemade tomato sauce and Argentinean chorizo before returning his attention to the juicy Angus steaks sizzling on the grills. For dessert, guests fork bites of decadent regional treats, such as sweet flan with a cloud of whipped cream and dulce de leche cheesecake decorated in a sprinkle of Argentinean pesos.
Doma Polo Bistro is a Buenos Aires–style bistro that pays homage to the sport of kings, both in its decor and in its menu of proteins hearty enough to replenish famished polo players. In reality, it might be more likely to fill the bellies of another kind of athlete—the Miami Heat play just across Biscayne Boulevard at American Airlines Arena. The most outrageously carnivorous option available to mighty appetites may be the picada de parrilla, a trove of grilled skirt steak, blood sausage, chorizo, golden sweetbreads, veal kidneys, and beef or chicken empanadas, served with an ode to meat recited tableside. Even in less decadent feasts, the Argentine taste for beef makes itself known via rich stews and subtly spiced salads.
As the wait staff—which the Miami NewTimes called “extremely attentive, friendly, and timely”—help them rifle through the menu, Argentine transplants and other Miamians alike dine in an enormous space built to resemble an elegant barn. Below raw wooden rafters, leather booths are cut into stalls that are lit softly by copper fixtures. On one wall, some 2,500 wine bottles bearing more than 150 different labels peek out from a metal grid of cubbies.
Bolivar Restaurant and Lounge, which takes its name from that famous revolutionary figure, brings Spanish, African, and native South American elements together. Colombian flavors color Peruvian ingredients, and Venezuelan influences make Bolivar's dishes even more unique. Ceviche, grilled skirt steak, and sautéed salmon with creole sauce are but a few of the specialties savored in a moodily dim dining room/lounge caught between sponge-painted walls and a glowing, crimson bar. Tapas step in with a taste of Spain—fried calamari, beef empanadas, chorizo. Then there's the bandeja paisa, which almost became Colombia's national dish. It's a large, oval tray heaped with 13 ingredients that must all be present—and have their homework completed—if the dish is to be considered a true bandeja paisa. These ingredients include red beans cooked with pork, plantains, fried eggs, pork rind, black pudding, and avocado.
Kone specializes in sushi hand rolls known in Japan as temaki—te, which means hand, and maki, which means roll. These tiny wonders rely on a strong Brazilian influence, and contrary to traditional sushi principles and intense protesting from old-school fishermen, they are crafted in a cone shape. Though Kone has more than 60 temaki recipes in salmon and tuna, patrons can modify rolls or create their own to specifications for pairing with a wide array of appetizers, salads, sashimi, and traditional-style house rolls.
Located in South Beach less than 1,000 feet from the Atlantic Ocean, Kone's modern dining room harbors a black-and-white color scheme, with glints of red in chairs and wall segments. In a separate lounge area, diners can also sip on Sakerinha, the sake version of Brazil's most popular liquor drink, or dish on a brazilian waffle treat called brigadeiro, made per tradition with chocolate and fresh fruit.