At ZZ’s Club in Miami, Throw Caution to the Wind

From the neon sign that everyone who passes through Miami Beach’s South of Fifth points out to a hidden culinary membership club in the Miami Design District. That’s the leap that Major Food Group made last year by following up the South Beach it-spot Carbone with the enigmatic ZZ’s Club. The discreet venue—packed in season, hushed during the summer—marks the 26th MFG property in the world, and the second in Miami after Carbone.

And like Carbone, ZZ’s Club has its roots in New York’s Greenwich Village; the high-concept temple of reinvented Japanese gastronomy takes its name from ZZ’s Clam Bar, another MFG restaurant and the smallest restaurant in the United States to have earned a Michelin star. (ZZ is the nickname of MFG’s co-owner Jeff Zalaznick; his partners are Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi.) But everything else here is new and daring, from interior designer Ken Falk’s curvy relief work on the walls, which looks like underwater racetracks, to chef Yasu Tanaka’s richly sourced range of cooked and raw dishes.

This is especially true of fish egg connoisseurs. Some of the most insanely flavorful and beautifully presented options are the caviar and avocado appetizer (with chopped bluefin tuna) and a sweet and savory “toast”: trout roe spread on a brioche doused with truffle honey.

You want to make a meal of dumplings? You can do that, too: the Szechuan shrimp wontons, pork gyoza and steamed lobster dumplings are equally toothsome and satisfying. And you can go light, with the restaurant’s signature miso Caesar salad—it sounds uninspiring, but it’s shockingly addictive.

A heartier meal can be built around ZZ’s Club’s Wagyu beef, sourced exclusively from Josh’s Premium Meats in Miami. Even if you’re limiting red meat (who isn’t?), this is the time to break the rule: That’s how melt-in-your-mouth tender Josh’s Wagyu is. The Mishima Reserve skirt steak’s juiciness, with a crispy finish, comes courtesy of the restaurant’s Josper ovens, which are part conventional oven and part charcoal grill. The garlic fried rice is the perfect accompaniment.

To indulge in the roe dishes, the dumplings and some Wagyu shared with a partner is to yearn for a return visit to sample one of the more traditional fish dishes—the steamed Asian bass or the continental Dover sole meunière—and choose from the modest, well-curated menu of rolls (yellowtail scallion, spicy tuna, scallop truffle and surf & turf, among them).

The elevated experience and the anticipation for next time are enough to make you raise a toast with a lychee martini (delicious) and turn you into a member.

You May Also Like

Fogo De Chão Delivers a Meaty Performance on Las Olas Boulevard

Bustling Las Olas?Boulevard?remains a foodie destination for its wide selection of high-end restaurants perfectly capable of producing an elegant evening. Yet, the luxurious interior mixed with the carnivorous food experience at Fogo de Chão stands out among the establishments in the area. Located along the east side of Las Olas under the opulent The Main

5 & Dine: Bar Bites

Beach House Pompano Address: 270 N. Pompano Beach Blvd., Pompano Beach The Buzz: The second-story bar view here is hard to beat; you’re perched high enough at the Rooftop Lounge to enjoy the exquisite sand and surf. Better still, nab one of the Crows Nest VIP booths for an even better view—availability is at a

The Dish: Ember Grill

1. The Sage: It says as much about Vic Casanova’s never-ending thirst for learning as it does his kitchen prowess that the executive chef overseeing the culinary program at the Ray quotes from the 1988 novel The Alchemist. Like the Andalusian shepherd in Paulo Coelho’s best-seller ultimately discovers, Casanova continues to find lessons in the

The Dish: Kapow Noodle Bar

1. Bigger & Better: Since its launch in 2011, Kapow has treated foodies to innovative Southeast Asian cuisine that established the concept as destination dining in and around Boca Raton. The problem became accommodating an ever-growing fan base inside its intimate room at Mizner Park. Consider that problem solved. In September, Kapow relocated to a

Other Posts

5 & Dine: Healthy Bites

Ariete  Address: 3540 Main Highway, Coconut Grove. The Buzz: A staple at the Coconut Grove restaurant, the Farmer is a menu item that’s been a local favorite since chef Michael Beltran introduced it at the opening in 2016. A fresh way to start any meal, ingredients change each season depending on which fruits and vegetables

The Dish: Korner 67

1) Family Affair: A shared love of food led husband-and-wife team Cesar Olivo and Adriana Perez Benatar to become restaurateurs. It’s more than food, though, says Perez Benatar; it’s about gathering friends and family to enjoy treasured recipes and delight in different flavors from around the world. “We would do these food reunions at home

The Dish: 3030 Ocean

Taster’s Choice: It wasn’t as if Damoriae Graham didn’t already have a world-class palate. Before taking over as executive chef at 3030 Ocean in the summer of 2021, he had established himself as an innovator in kitchens throughout Southern California and at restaurants in Arizona with the Madera Group. But his recent certification as a

The Dish: Dune

Second Act: It’s not uncommon, in the restaurant sphere, for properties to launch under different ownership as fresh culinary concepts with new names. But the reopening last November of Dune, part of the luxury residential footprint at Auberge on Fort Lauderdale Beach, offered a curveball, albeit a tantalizing one. The name would remain the same