A towering wall of book-lined shelves and a wooden chessboard tucked in the corner create "that vibe where you feel like maybe you should stay for a spell" at Moloko, according to the Miami New Times. That feeling grows stronger as you sip from a cup of steaming coffee or steeped tea and drive a fork into abundant crepes stuffed with anything from prosciutto to raw, organic maple syrup.
Overhead, exposed wooden rafters keep the ceiling from floating away from the walls, adding a rustic touch to the otherwise modern décor. Customers lounge beside cherry-red walls at the coffee bar, settling into vinyl seats that fall somewhere between stools and armchairs. When the space isn't serving customers, the staff hosts crepe-making classes and live music.
Pasha's Healthy Mediterranean Cuisine has expanded to seven locations throughout the Miami area, each characterized by eye-catching, contemporary decor. Bright-blue umbrellas and swaying palm trees pop up in sunny outdoor patios while soothing music filters through dining rooms of arched columns and white-leather seats. The elegant surroundings provide a suitable backdrop for fine Mediterranean dishes—fresh, wholesome wraps, kebabs, and spreads that won accolades from an abundance of newspaper and magazine publications. Backed by a team of fitness specialists and nutritionists, Pasha chefs take healthy approaches to cooking, using fresh produce, measuring proper portion sizes, and lecturing all their cows on the importance of routine exercise.
The chefs at Morgan's Restaurant transform locally sourced ingredients into made-from-scratch dishes that pull influences from all over the world. Entrees include international dishes such as pan-seared Scottish salmon, Moroccan-style stew, and moules frites with French fries. Though the restaurant's wraparound porch may exude an old-fashioned charm, the interior's chic ambiance, replete with mirrored walls and hanging light fixtures, creates a modern dining atmosphere for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Calming breezes waft throughout Uvas Restaurant, emanating from the sea wind drifting across the patio lounge and the refreshing drafts from the dining room’s air conditioning. The aromas of chorizo simmering in spicy chardonnay broth and sizzling Angus beef mingle with these gentle gusts, filling the 1920s Mediterranean-style building with the robust fragrances of European dishes. Chefs swaddle burgers in focaccia, fill empanadas with sweet plantains and fresh mozzarella, and, for brunch, souse poached eggs in hollandaise sauce and top vanilla pancakes with strawberries and white chocolate shavings. They serve up mimosas and champagne with late morning dishes, while pouring an extensive selection of international wines at dinner.
The breadth of the Atlantic Ocean doesn't impact the reach of Alfredo Patino. As the chef and owner of Bin No. 18, the Miami-based chef draws inspiration from the casual cuisine of European bistros while using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and contemporary technique to lend a bit of New World flair to the ever-changing menus. French, Italian, and Latin American flavors appear throughout Chef Patino's cuisine, adding a global scope to the regionally rooted dishes.
Shareable platters of imported European cheeses and cured meats are served alongside Latin staples, including octopus salad, as well as classic Italian entrees made with homemade pastas. But recreating time-honored classics isn't the only thing that Chef Patino does. He also demonstrates a willingness to experiment by fusing New and Old World influences. This culinary whimsy is evident in the kitchen's modern interpretation of a Cuban sandwich—complete with slow-roasted pork, brie, and fig sauce—which earned a spot on Food & Wine magazine's list of the Best Sandwiches in the U.S.
And much like the European bistros that originally inspired Chef Patino, Bin No. 18 features an extensive wine list. Like his menu, the wine list takes a global approach by including bottles from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Hungary, Greece, and Austria, as well as Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, Washington State, California, and Oregon. This variety of options ensures that numerous pairing options are available for diners looking to enjoy a glass with their meal or collection of small plates. CBS Miami was also impressed by the selection, placing Bin No. 18 on its 2011 list of the Best Wine Bars In South Florida.
The Old World inspiration shines through a bit more clearly in the restaurant's décor, which skews more toward a rustic, yet refined ambiance as opposed to a nouveau vibe. Wooden wine barrels sit beside tables with avocado-green chairs, occasionally doubling as small side tables. At the same time, the collection of crystal chandeliers dangling from the ceiling adds a bit of classical elegance to the space.
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.