As restaurants continue to reopen across South Florida, we’ve been a little iffy about going out to eat. We’ve been doing takeout and the occasional (outdoor) dinner, but otherwise, we’ve been staying put at home and watching trashy reality TV.
We just don’t want to risk it, especially since one of us is immunocompromised. When we have gone out, it’s been to trusted places that we know are taking the whole global pandemic situation seriously. If you’ve been toying with the idea of dining out or just want some good recommendations, we’ve got you covered.
Here are four great businesses that we’ve been frequenting since everything went to hell:
It’s no secret that we love Jaguar Sun, the awesome downtown bar and restaurant — yay, Parker house rolls. Prior to the pandemic, we were visiting at least once a week. But the cozy spot closed several months ago due to the (now-lifted) COVID-19 restrictions.
Until the downtown space reopens, you can find Jaguar Sun at Lot 6 in Little River, where they’re currently popping up as a steakhouse concept. While the menu has changed, the quality hasn’t: Stiff drinks and great food are still the norm.
Hand sanitizer is everywhere, and everything is properly spaced out – sometimes much more than the mandatory 6-feet distance. If you and your friends or family are looking for a safe place to hang out, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a spot that’s more on top of things than JS.
For delicious and socially distant Italian food, look no further than Macchialina on Miami Beach. The beloved local eatery was closed for much of the pandemic, but recently reopened for dinner service. They’ve taken over the outdoor space of the next-door hostel, giving them ample room for providing a safe dining experience. Much of that experience is contactless, minimizing interactions between guests and staff.
Should you want a more intimate experience, Macchialina is doing a grand tasting of sorts inside the dining room: Bestia. This private-dining option is a family-style feast with a set menu, and it gives patrons the opportunity to have the entire restaurant to themselves. Up to 12 guests can partake in the experience, and reservations are required. Menus are subject to change but expect items like whole fish and lamb legs.
Nave Seafood Shack
Another restaurant that has had to pivot during these trying times is Nave, the coastal Italian restaurant in Coconut Grove. Aside from occasional takeout ventures, the restaurant has remained closed during the pandemic. However, the staff is staying busy with a pop-up seafood shack on the patio.
Guests won’t be able to indulge in Nave’s tasty pastas and mains for a while, but they can indulge in more casual fare like lobster rolls, fish dip, crab and cheddar hush puppies, and Old Bay fries in the meantime. The menu changes every week for the pop-up, so make sure to follow them on social media for the latest offerings. We hope the concept sticks around even after Nave fully reopens.
One last word of advice: When you see snow crab on the menu, order it.
Overtown is home to one of our favorite pop-ups right now: Rosie’s. Located at The Copper Door B&B, the charming locale features a small menu with big flavors. Soft scramble toast … hot chicken and waffles … fish and grits … the offerings are substantial, and there’s really no wrong choice. We know because we’ve had the whole menu (multiple times over). If it’s your first time here, though, that fish and grits is a must; you can split it easily with two people.
Originally, you could only order take out or delivery but Rosie’s recently added on-site (and socially distant) seating for enjoying food fresh out of the kitchen. Drinks-wise, there’s coffee from Argyle Coffee Roasters along with a seasonal lemonade and chilled Jamaica that’s to die for. Get a chocolate croissant with guava glaze for the road, and you’re good.