The Scoop: Your Guide to South Florida's Trendiest Hotspots
NI.DO. FEED.O Amid all the restaurant hype, Ni.Do. Caffe in the Upper East Side quietly hums along as a neighborhood trattoria. So its formula works perfectly in peaceful, family-friendly Miami Shores, where it expanded with a second location. Patrons of North 110 recognize their old stomping ground that’s been revamped with a mozzarella bar, Italian market, and dining room with projected films rather than one’s smartphone as entertainment. In fact, being “present” is sort of its motto—Ni.Do., short for “niente domani,” translates to “no tomorrow.” Executive chef Claudio Sandri, whom you may have caught on Iron Chef America, combines his classic bestsellers and new dishes like whole wheat handmade bigoli pasta with Sicilian anchovies and breadcrumbs, and fig ravioli in gorgonzola cream sauce topped with roasted walnuts.
WILD ORCHID The Orchid Boutique, which closed its South Beach store two years ago, has resurfaced in Wynwood. How it happened is a funny story. The swimwear company operated strictly as a wholesale showroom and e-commerce website for a while, but Miami customers would stop by anyway, happy to try on swimsuits in the conference room. Now shoppers have bona-fide dressing rooms again in the new, 2,000-square-foot space that houses both e-tail and retail sides of the business. Dozens of brands include swimwear by Maaji, L*Space, and Orchid, their private label that’s manufactured in Peru; athleisure wear with print and mesh accents from Michi and Blue Life Fit; witty muscle tees by the Laundry Room, and Kaanas pineapple-printed espadrilles made by artisans in Colombia.
PLAY MISTY FOR ME Marine Layer launched its first Southeastern store in Wynwood, a much sunnier locale than the aptly-named fashion brand’s foggy hometown of San Francisco. Here’s the backstory: an investment banking analyst’s better half threw away his favorite, worn-in T-shirt, so he founded a collection based on his beloved top. First, he developed a cotton modal blend that feels soft to the touch but takes a beating in the washer dryer (a boon for Miami wearers who easily go through a couple t-shirts a day). Next, his ingenious sizing chart for men features in-between sizes like “marge” and “larger” to fit more body types. Find shirts in stripes, polos, and sporting the logo, a hammock strung across the Golden Gate Bridge. Women’s wear from plaid dresses to bomber jackets sticks to traditional sizing.
DEUX DATE Francophiles have two more dining options to sate their cravings for Gallic gastronomy. Villa Azur in South Beach expanded with Brasserie Azur in Midtown Miami. If anything, the roomy, luxe restaurant is a stunner worthy of date night. Nightclub designer Francois Frossard’s garden-inspired scheme features bougainvillea-thatched pergolas, citrus trees and a charming fountain. Executive chef Erwin Mallet and pastry chef François Paille oversee a menu that spans rotisserie chicken and butterflied, whole branzino to caramelized meringue lemon tart and pistachio macarons. Back on the beach in South of Fifth, Pléthore et Balthazar bowed in the Hilton Bentley. Owner Fabien Chalard hails from Lyons, where the original P&B restaurant is located. His new venture’s top toque, Diego Amat Lopez, owned one of Spain’s best tapas restaurants in Barcelona for years.