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3 Sizzling Spots in Miami: Michy's

Michy's Miami

Photo by Greg Clark

Yellowtail snapper at Michelle Bernstein's restaurant, Michy's.

Locale: 6927 Biscayne Blvd.

Chef: Michelle Bernstein, a Miami native of Jewish and Latin descent (Oy, Chica!) is the chef/owner of two of the city’s most notable restaurants—Michy’s and Sra. Martinez. She took home a “Best Chef South” James Beard award in 2007.

The scene: Michy’s is the kind of place you wish a hotel concierge would recommend, but rarely does: independently owned, teeming with lively energy and filled with locals. Bernstein picked an off-the-beaten-path locale for Michy’s, hoping to position the restaurant as more of a neighborhood haunt. “It’s been nice to watch the neighborhood around Michy’s grow,” she says.

The food:
Bernstein uses locally sourced ingredients when she can, but she isn’t tethered too tightly to that rule of law, which I applaud. She incorporates items from international purveyors to mix it up, so while fried chicken with cheese grits and coleslaw might be a nice homage to your Southern Belle, you can go Flo-ribbean-Asian with whole yellowtail snapper served with Malaysian curry and green mangoes on your next visit. Michy’s menu reads like a list of the world’s best comfort foods. It’s a modern take on the kind of meal you expect from a loving Abuelita, Nana or whatever you call your grandmother. 

The menu: While Michy’s regulars have come to love certain dishes (the short ribs are always a hit), Bernstein likes to change up the menu frequently. “I make a list of everything coming into season and just sit alone and create ideas,” she explains. Her husband and business partner, David Martinez, is the first to hear about—and taste—new dishes.

Causes: After experiencing chef Art Smith’s Common Threads program in Chicago, Bernstein brought the concept back home to Miami. The goal? To teach underprivileged kids to cook, socialize and eat healthy, one recipe at time. “I want to start more programs to help kids,” Bernstein says. “Nothing makes a child more proud than to combine eggs, flour, sugar and butter and in 45 minutes, bake a cake on their own. It’s instant gratification!”

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