March 24, 2021 By Shivani Vora Forbes
When Major Food Group’s co-founder Jeff Zalaznick came to Miami, he quickly fell in love with the city. Even though he’s a New York native, he says he’s left the Big Apple behind and made the South Florida metropolis his home.
And he has good reason to establish a foothold here: in January, his famed New York restaurant Carbone opened a location in Miami Beach on Collins Avenue. This is the fourth iteration of the buzzy eatery, with another two in Las Vegas and Hong Kong. This one, though brand new, is already poised to bring the unmatched luxury dining experience the brand is known for in full force.
Florida’s Covid restrictions have been lifted, which means that restaurants have no limits on capacity. Because of this, Carbone Miami is packed with locals and tourists around the clock. Even though it’s so new, lines out the door are common, and reservations are hard to come by. Unquestionably, it’s THE spot in Miami Beach right now.
“Like all of our restaurants, Carbone isn’t just about what’s on the plate,” says Mario Carbone, co-owner of Major Food Group. “Of course, the meal is top-notch, but we want our guests to head home after dinner with happy and lasting memories. We want their expectations to not only be met, but exceeded, and then some.”
When talking about Miami, Carbone says, “I, along with my partners, are thrilled to land in such an extraordinary city, and feel fortunate to join such a vibrant community. We’re looking forward to showing Miamians and visitors alike what’s to come.”
Food aside, the restaurant’s setting has eye-candy appeal: designed by Ken Fulk, it features a color palette with plenty of terracotta, cream, and emerald green accents, as well as malachite ceiling beams and columns, damask-upholstered walls, and leather-upholstered doors. There’s also a large outdoor patio with fans and verdant greens.
“My inspiration for Carbone was Maria Callas and Frank Sinatra waking up in a suite on the Grand Canal after a night of passion,” says Fulk.
As for the menu, it sticks to many of the classics popular in New York: spicy rigatoni in a vodka sauce, veal chop parmesan, octopus pizzaiolo, linguine vongole and a porterhouse meant for sharing. New additions for the Miami location include scallop crudo with pistachio and key lime, stone crab knuckle sandwiches and chocolate hazelnut cake as well as coconut lime chiffon cake for dessert.
The cocktail menu doesn’t hold back either, with frequently ordered drinks like the classic negroni and margarita with cinnamon, or the banana daiquiri with rum, lime, and of course, banana.
An insider tip for those clamoring for a table: book well in advance, and be flexible on your day and time. You’ll have a much better chance of snagging a seat.