Here, the F&W Best New Chef alum (Class of 1989) shares his go-to restaurants, from hot newcomers to beloved classics, in the city he calls home. 

Matador Room
Credit: Evan Sung; The Miami Beach EDITION

Nobu Matsuhisa introduced New York to creative Japanese cooking with dishes like his now-legendary miso-marinated black cod. These days, the entrepreneurial chef is spending a lot more time in Miami Beach, where he just opened the restaurant Malibu Farm in his Nobu Hotel. “So many people travel here from all over the world, and the cuisine reflects that,” he says.

Bazaar Mar

1300 S. Miami Ave.; 305-615-5859;

“I’ll swing by this new spot in the SLS Brickell hotel anytime, especially if my pal José Andrés is in town. His rossejat here is so good—it’s like paella with noodles.”

Casa Tua

1700 James Ave.; 305-673-1010;

“I’m not sure if it is even on the menu, but I always order pasta with tomatoes, onions, garlic and a little basil. Then I head to the members-only bar upstairs for a Don Julio 1942. But don’t tell anyone—I’m not actually a member!”

Jamón Ibérico Pata Negra Restaurant

10 SW South River Dr.; 305-324-1111;

“I love traditional Spanish food, so my team brings me here for cured meats and tapas.”

La Mar by Gastón Acurio

500 Brickell Key Dr.; 305-913-8358;

“The flavors remind me of Peru, which was the first place I cooked outside of Japan. Order the ceviches, and the causas (potato terrines): I love the one made with crab, tobiko and avocado—it’s like sushi.”

Mandolin Aegean Bistro

4312 NE 2nd Ave.; 305-576-6066;

“In the Design District, this is simplicity done well. I’ll drop by for lunch, for the superfresh fish and amazing Turkish and Greek meze.”

Matador Room

2901 Collins Ave.; 786-257-4600;

“Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s food is always fantastic, and this is no exception. Try the avocado pizza with lime and cilantro, and the suckling pig.”

Michael’s Genuine

130 NE 40th St.; 305-573-5550;

“I’ve known Michael Schwartz since we opened Nobu here years ago. This place is a Miami staple. I love the steak and whole fish from the wood oven.”


49 Collins Ave.; 305-602-9998;

“Chef Justin Smillie really knows how to use fire! But at this spin-off of his New York restaurant, I’m into all the raw stuff, too, like crudos and the bigeye tuna bowl, which reminds me of poke.”