Celebrity Chef Michelle Bernstein Takes Miami

SPONSORED POST: Miami native Michelle Bernstein is a James Beard Award-winning chef who has made numerous television appearances, including as a regular guest judge on the Emmy-winning “Top Chef.” Celebuzz asked her to gives us the low down on the best places to eat around the globe. Today, she takes us to her hometown of Miami.

It’s tough choosing my favorite places in Miami, my hometown. Let’s face it: I’m usually saddled up to the bar at my restaurant after work with my husband.

My favorite is Hakkasan, it’s not homegrown … but its awesome. They spent a fortune on the design and it shows. The service is always very friendly and knowledgeable and the food is the best Chinese I’ve had since I worked in Hong Kong. The food is for serious eaters, you won’t find sweet and sour anything here. It’s artistry on a plate and tastes as good as it looks. Try the tofu, they make it in house and its texture is amazing.

Since I was 8 years old, my parents have been taking me to Joe’s Stone Crab for my birthday. I know what you’re thinking, tourist trap! You are so wrong! If you follow my lead, you will have an unbelievable experience.

Start with the fried chicken or the fried lobster tail as an appetizer. I know, I know … don’t question me! Just listen. Then have an order of stone crab with cole slaw (awesome if you like vinegar as it’s full of it. I love it), fried sweet potatoes or hash browns, stuffed tomatoes and dig in.

If you finish with key lime pie and American coffee, you will have the full Bernstein experience. Or if you would rather, you can go next door and have it TO GO for a picnic which I do with my husband and puppies (and no, the dogs don’t eat the crabs!).

Garcia’s is the stablishment that I think purely defines Miami. A Cuban family that fishes for everything they sell in their store and serve in their restaurant. I’ve been frequenting this place since they first opened. The best is whole grilled yellowtail and spiny lobsters, delicious plantains and arroz con frijoles. You have to try the flan with a cup of café con leche. The Garcia brothers are always there, with mom watching over them. If you want a true slice of South Florida, go straight to the river– but don’t fall in as I have! Don’t ask…

And here’s my recipe for yummy grilled lobster with charred chili sauce.

Tags: Miami