OllaAddress and Info
Aside from a handful of tasty taco spots, Miami has never been known for real Mexican food. That is until Scott Linquist entered the scene. Starting as a dishwasher at an LA pizza spot in high school, Scott worked his way up through the kitchens of some of the best restaurants in America: Lutece and Gotham Bar and Grill in NYC, Boulevard in San Francisco, and Citrus and City in Los Angeles. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, and was executive chef at Border Grill in LA, Arizona 206, and Pershing Square in NYC. He led the opening of seven Dos Caminos Mexican restaurants during his 10 years as national corporate executive chef and partner of BR Guest, released a modern Mexican cookbook, and even taught classes at Le Cordon Bleu to mold the minds of future chefs. Basically, he's the go-to guy for all things Mexican in Miami.
Glass & VineAddress and Info
While most Miamians in their early 30s are happy to drink and not get a hangover, 31 year-old chef Giorgio Rapicavoli has already won Food Network's Chopped and Chopped Champions, been listed on Forbes' "30 Under 30," opened a series of pop-ups and three must-try restaurants (Taperia Raca, Eating House Miami, and earlier this year, Glass & Vine), and been a James Beard Award semi-finalist… three times. So yeah, he's somewhat of a big deal.
AlterAddress and Info
Some people believe cooking is a work of art and when you try Brad Kilgore's dishes, you'll understand why. Hailing from Kansas City, Kilgore has spent more than 10 years firing up the kitchens at fine-dining spots across the country, like L2O, Alinea, Epic, Boka (in Chicago), Azul (in Miami), and finally, J&G Grill, where he served as executive chef. What more can we say about Kilgore? OK, well he started cooking at a diner at the age of 12, graduated from Johnson & Wales University, is the brains behind Wynwood's famed Alter, and after this past year, became a two-time James Beard Award semifinalist. Let's not forget he opened BRAVA by Brad Kilgore in the Adrienne Arsht Center where he was named culinary director. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you... the incomparable Brad Kilgore.
Olla is a South Beach spot for Mexican cuisine from the man behind Coyo Taco, but the kitchen extends its reach far beyond the handheld favorite. Olla's menu spans the different regional cuisines of Mexico, with recipes inspired by Oaxaca, Puebla, Yucatan, and Veracruz, among others. Expect a family-style, shared experience, with a number of small and large plates best enjoyed among friends. Have your guacamole prepared tableside, your mole en masse, and your cocktails mezcal-based.
From Chopped champion and Eating House Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, Glass and Vine is a vibrant restaurant with New American cuisine and Floridian flair. The Peacock Park space offers bucolic views and a laid-back atmosphere, with some 200 brightly colored seats and a menu with dishes equally as bright in flavor. The simple, ingredient-forward courses are conducive to sharing, and the best way to order is by picking a plate from each of the four sections: Snacks, Garden, Sea, and Land.
If there is a restaurant that is completely emblematic of what Wynwood has become, it’s Alter. The place is hipster and casual at first glance, but actually sophisticated and upscale. The big, light, warehoused area is full of causal seats, waiters in jeans, and tropical plants. The food however, is as fine-dining as it gets. Because Brad Kilgore is constantly creating new plates, you’ll have a different experience every time you go, and probably a fairly-different menu. But each plate is exquisitely created and crafted with flavor profiles you’d never think to put together. And it might be the perfect place to take out-of-towners who think everything great in Miami lies in South Beach.