Since it opened in 2007, local foodies (and a few savvy visitors) have embraced this little Design District bistro wedged into a breezeway amid chichi showrooms and art galleries, because of its unassuming owner-chef Michael Schwartz and its mission to be Miami’s locavore ground zero (though given the vagaries of Florida agriculture, Swartz sometimes has to go farther afield—but always keeping it organic). One thing I especially like is the variety of plate sizes for every budget and appetite. In the past, my faves on the constantly changing menu have included chargrilled octopus with gigante bean salad, roast peppers, tomato harissa, and green olives; wood oven-roasted yellowjack with kalamata olive tapenade, and creative wood-oven pizzas like the one with Fontina, slow-roasted pork, shaved onions, and—wait for it—peaches. The wine list is modest but well curated, but they do hope you’ll try their home-brewed ale, light and slightly citrusy. By the way, if you’re out in Miami Beach but too chilled out to schlep across the causeway, Schwartz finally opened an outpost in SoBe’s Raleigh Hotel in 2013.
- David Paul Appell