Exploiting a growing season that starts while much of the rest of the country is dormant, Miami restaurants pile beautiful, bright tomatoes, watermelon, and citrus on every available surface. Now is a restorative time to taste what's fresh.
1. Azucar Ice Cream Company
Suzy Batlle left the competitive banking world to craft ice cream just like her Cuban grandma used to make. She offers a lineup of 40 flavors, including coconut, sweet plantain, almond, and even avocado. Batlle has also been experimenting with sorbets, which are flash frozen to achieve ice cream-like creaminess. "I've cut the sugar way down because of the natural sweetness of the fruits," she says.
At this Midtown gem, Chef Alejandro Piñero shares his commitment to all things local with his closely sourced 50-mile salad, which includes wood-roasted beets, pickled purple onions, and Paradise Farm brassica, as well as crumbly bits of goat cheese from nearby Redland.
3. Crumb on Parchment
As if this chef didn't have enough on her hands with her award-winning Michy's and Sra. Martinez restaurants, Michelle Bernstein—with husband David Martinez—opened an airy breakfast/lunch gem in the Design District. Lunch finds perky salads, hearty soups, and a selection of well-garnished sandwiches, like seared tuna with spicy housemade pickles. (305-572-9444)
4. Canyon Ranch Grill
Everyone seems to know about the flagship properties in the Berkshires and Tucson, but Miami Beach boasts a hipper oceanfront satellite of this luxury retreat. Although the spa and resort facilities are only available to guests, Canyon Ranch Grill is open for all and is the place to stop for a healthful bite. The menu is loaded with healthy dishes and lists nutrition info. Try the local mahimahi with minted quinoa, artichokes, and Swiss chard.
5. Miami Culinary Tours
Grace Della leads food lovers through the streets of Calle Ocho in Little Havana and the tasty havens of South Beach. It's a great deal for the $59 price. Stops may include a stroll through an open-air fruteria, a detour for one of Miami's best Cuban sandwiches, or a restorative rest at a cafe for sangria or a sip of strong Cuban coffee.