FAR EAST FARE
Two former managers of La Piaggia opened Now & Zen a few blocks away. Alex Maufroy and Benoit Nanquette’s Asian eatery promises to transfer a little bit of their previous spot’s St. Tropez spirit in the form of decadent dim sum brunches on Sundays. Pair small plates of shu mai, wontons and bao buns with exquisite teas that explore varieties far beyond classic jasmine, such as herbal chrysanthemum and pu-erh, a strong, earthy black tea. The menu draws on Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines with a modern spin like pan-seared branzino in oyster sauce, and teriyaki tuna crusted in white and black sesame seeds. Light eaters can nibble on summer rolls, while foodies go for the namesake, signature roll of lobster, foie gras and truffle.
736 First Street 305.704.8323; nowandzenmiami.com
January offers a ton of wellness activities to get in shape. EAST, Miami hosts an all-day retreat with Lauren Imparato (pictured), author of the international best seller, Retox, at Body by EAST. Join her for yoga, meditation, lectures and lunch at Quinto La Huella on Saturday at 8 a.m. Purchase tickets here. The Confidante partnered with wellness power couple Chris and Tracie Vlaun to lead hour-long workouts on the beach and its spa’s rooftop deck. Daily classes at 10 a.m. like Yoga Core Fusion, Beachcross Bootcamp and Aeroga are open to non-hotel guests for $20. Exhale’s monthlong promotion invites participants to attend 30 days of unlimited classes, such as barre and cardio, at its Miami locations for $145. Purchase passes before January 31 here.
788 Brickell Plaza; 305.712.7000; east-miami.com. exhalespa.com. 4041 Collins Avenue; 305.424.1234; theconfidantemiamibeach.hyatt.com
Atlanta’s popular hub for authentic Italian eats by way of Napoli expanded to South Beach with Centro Storico. Proprietor Giovanni di Palma imported his beloved Antico Pizza’s bubbling hot pies, which can be enjoyed at sit-down tables or a walk-up window open late on weekends.Wood-fired items range from a bianca pizza topped with broccoli rabe and mushrooms, to a Sicilian tuna sandwich with spicy mustard. The food hall also houses Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano for his endless variations of charred, organic poultry dishes, such as classic Sorrento Lemon pictured. Choose from bone-in or boneless, and single or family portion. Pasta sauce options are three-hour Sunday ragu, arrabbiata and a seasonal vongole with littleneck clams. Finish with an old-fashioned pastry like cannoli or a scoop of gelato including Neapolitan.
1058 Collins Avenue; 786.216.7808; centrostorico.it
Though the Alchemist opened awhile ago in Fort Lauderdale, many people—even neighbors in Wilton Manors—still don’t know about Argentinean Matias Jurgeit’s rustic garden café. His magic combination of superb coffee beans and the purest water results in award-winning hot and cold drinks. Rather than rely on French presses and complicated espresso machines, he brews coffee with a syphon after beans are roasted and steeped onsite. Blended with sweetened condensed milk, whole milk and a hint of brown sugar, ice coffee arrives in custom Mason jars, pictured, to sip in the leafy courtyard filled with orchids. Complement your dessert in a glass with a savory slicer, an open-faced sandwich on Tuscan bread (pulled pork, veggie, smoked salmon), or new hot dishes, “crocks,” such as lasagna primavera.
2430 NE 13th Avenue; 954.673.4614; thealchemistcafe.com