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Four Miami restaurants, one in Fort Lauderdale named best new spots in U.S.

One Fort Lauderdale and four Miami-area restaurants, including the reboot of an old favorite in Coral Gables, have been named the best new restaurants of 2023 by Yelp.

The website and mobile app, which crowd sources reviews about restaurants, has released its Best New Restaurants of 2023 list, and Florida had the most spots on the list (California had four).

The South Florida restaurants praised by Yelpers are the Italian spot Osteria in Miami’s MiMo neighborhood (no. 6); Chef Michael Bolen’s upscale Lion & the Rambler in Coral Gables (7); the revamped Eating House on Giralda Plaza from Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, Miami’s first “Chopped” winner (10); the eclectic, wood-fire powered Walrus Rodeo in Little Haiti from chefs Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer of Michelin-starred Boia De fame (11); and the fusion-centric The Katherine in Fort Lauderdale, helmed by Chef Timon Balloo, formerly of Miami’s Sugarcane (13).

Yelp created the list by looking at restaurants that opened after Jan. 1, 2022, then examining how many reviews were posted and what the ratings were between that date and Aug. 7, 2023.

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Chef Timon Balloo of The Katherine in Fort Lauderdale, whose restaurant was named one of the best new spots in the country by Yelp.
Chef Timon Balloo of The Katherine in Fort Lauderdale, whose restaurant was named one of the best new spots in the country by Yelp.

Yelp reports that one of the consistent elements found in all 25 restaurants highlighted is a commitment to redefining the term “farm to table.” The importance of fresh ingredients has skyrocketed, Yelp writes, citing Michael Bolen of Lion & the Rambler as an example: he even grinds his own wheat and makes his own butter.

Bolen said that he was honored to be on the list.

“We are incredibly grateful to our guests that have come out to support us, and we’re incredibly excited about being on this inaugural list,” said Bolen, who opened Lion & the Rambler in June of 2022. “It feels great that they appreciate the amount of incredibly hard work and details that go into the type of food we do.”

The restaurant, in the former space of Rapicavoli’s beloved Eating House, opened as a tasting-menu-only spot. After a week, though, Bolen added a la carte items, after listening to customers who were looking for a lower price point and a more approachable atmosphere.

Now, the tasting menu is back, though customers can still order a la carte items on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, left, with his partners Alexander Casanova and Laura Faraci at the new Eating House restaurant.
Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, left, with his partners Alexander Casanova and Laura Faraci at the new Eating House restaurant.

“We think it truly encapsulates what we are trying to achieve at this restaurant,” Bolen said.

For Rapicavoli, who also owns and operates Luca Osteria on Giralda Plaza, the new Eating House represents the maturation of the restaurant, which first opened in 2012, when Rapicavoli was 26. With a new home near Luca Osteria, Eating House boasts a revamped menu that reflects how Rapicavoli and his customers have changed and grown (“The ethos was always evolution,” he told the Miami Herald in 2022).

Now, Rapicavoli said that making the list “means the world to me.”

“Community is everything to us,” he said. “Whether it’s in person or online, we truly value the feedback we receive from our guests and utilize that feedback to keep growing and improving.”

The interior of Walrus Rodeo, the latest concept from Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer of Boia De and chef and partner Jeff Maxfield.
The interior of Walrus Rodeo, the latest concept from Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer of Boia De and chef and partner Jeff Maxfield.

The top-rated restaurant in Yelp’s best new restaurant list was Anima by EDO, a fine-dining establishment located 20 minutes west of the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. The restaurant, which features interactive open kitchens and roaming gin-and-tonic carts, is led by James Beard Award finalist Oscar Amador.

The rest of the top five include Pomet in Oakland, California; Manzke in Los Angeles; Oreatha’s at The Point in Atlanta; and Rania in Washington, D.C.

Yelp’s top new restaurants in Florida

Osteria: 8001 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; www.osteria.miami; 786-634-1005

Lion & the Rambler: 804 Ponce de Leon, Coral Gables; www.lionandtherambler.com; 305-603-7612

Eating House: 128 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables; eatinghousemiami.com; 786-580-3745

Walrus Rodeo: 5143 NE Second Ave., Miami; www.walrusrodeo.com

The Katherine: 723 E Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; www.thekatherinerestaurant.com; 754-216-0690