Having friends over for dinner and drinks can be intimidating. Sure, by this point they probably accept most of your flaws, but how will they react to your lack of giant spherical ice cubes? And will they ever want to hang out again after they discover that your bathroom door only kind of closes?
These are valid concerns that you won’t have to worry about, though, if you just grab a reservation at 27. Eating here is like having an open invitation to the coolest house in Miami, where you can eat, drink, and never have to worry about making Old Fashioneds with crushed ice after running out of the four “good ice cubes” you have in your freezer.
27 is attached to the Freehand hostel and the Broken Shaker, both of which are the kind of cool spots that will inspire you to wear that large, unwieldy hat you’ve been too scared to debut in public but are 74 percent sure you could pull off. The two-story space has outdoor seating and a few dining rooms, each of which is furnished with the kind of vintage tropical decor that will make you feel like you’re eating in the house of a very hip abuela. The restaurant is certainly cool with a capital C, but it’s also a lot more laid back than the insanely expensive hotels around the corner, where you’re always slightly nervous that you’ll trip and fall onto an irreplaceable piece of art.
That’s a big reason why people come here with dates they want to impress or friends from out of town who think all of Miami Beach looks like Ocean Drive. When you bring someone to dinner at 27, it’s like casually introducing them to Brad Pitt. And then, on the ride home, when they bring up the fact that you know Brad Pitt, you can be all like, “Who Brad? Yeah. He’s great isn’t he?”
The menu at 27 bounces from Florida to the Mediterranean with pit stops in Latin America, Korea, and the Atlantic ocean. It’s a bit random, but also designed to be an ode to some of Miami’s great cultural influences. It’s a good idea to prioritize seafood here. Any crudo, ceviche, or daily catch is always delicious. But we’ve also enjoyed the kimchi fried rice, griot, and smoky jerk chicken with plantain hummus. The menu changes often, so there’s also a chance you might not see all of those dishes during your visit.
That’s OK. Because the food - while very good - isn’t quite the reason you come here. You come to borrow one of the coolest houses in Miami Beach for a night. That house just also happens to be filled with good food, excellent drinks, and one of Miami’s best cocktail bars right in the backyard. Plus, the bathroom doors actually work, too.
You’ll generally find either a crudo or ceviche on the menu. Your server can tell you what fish you’ll be eating today, not that it really matters. Every version of this is delicious.
This excellent Haitian favorite should be on your table, especially if you’re a big fan of pork. These chunks of pork shoulder are crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Get some of that spicy pikliz on your fork too and you’re very close to a perfect bite.
If you really love kimchi, you’ll probably wish this came with a little more of it. But the fried rice itself is perfect and comes topped with two sunny-side-up eggs you can mix into the rice to make the whole thing even better.
While we wish this came with a bigger portion of chicken for the $20 it costs (there’s only about a quarter chicken on the plate). But it is a great version of this Caribbean classic, and the sweet plantain hummus really makes the dish.
We don’t know what the catch of the day will be, but we know it’ll be awesome - mostly because the excellent curry they use in this dish demands to be slurped from your plate.