At street level, it’s easy to forget how beautiful Miami can be. But a handful of Miami restaurants offer great vistas of the city's modern skyline and waterfront while serving up cuisine representative of the Miami’s Cuban, Latin, and American traditions.
Named for the expanse of Atlantic, Gulf, and Caribbean waters around Florida where chefs source sustainable fish and shellfish, the EPIC hotel's Area 31 delights guests with both fresh flavors and spectacular views. The restaurant's Terrace Bar, perched on the 16th floor of the hotel, opens up to panoramic views of the Miami skyline, designed to complement the sophisticated cocktails from mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout. Acclaimed chef E. Michael Reidt displays precision and creativity through a tasting menu and dishes that incorporate cooking techniques from around the world.
Nearby, a different hotel holds another of Miami's best views—this time, closer to the ground. Mandarin Oriental's Azul is known for its Mediterranean and Asian fusion cuisine served alongside sprawling views of Biscayne Bay through floor-to-ceiling windows. The indoor views stun in equal measure, with gleaming white marble decorating the open kitchen, raw bar, and the long wine table flanked by heavily stocked wine cabinets. These climate-controlled safes preserve the more than 700 wines hand-picked by sommelier Claudio Giordano from well-known vintners and boutique wineries.
From inside an enormous old residence on the southern tip of South Beach wafts the aroma of prime porterhouse steaks that have been dry-aged for four long, tenderizing weeks. At Smith & Wollensky's Miami location, breezes drift across outdoor tables shaded by massive umbrellas while, a mere fork's throw away, ships cruise through the Government Cut channel. The two floors of dining-room seating feature water-view private rooms for parties that range from 20 to 450.