Matador Room

Prance up the glossy steps of the Miami Beach EDITION Hotel and take a right turn to be welcomed into Matador Room, a refined restaurant that was reimagined by world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. It now consists of a wonderful menu that has been influenced by Caribbean, Spanish, and Latin and South American cuisines. The interior design is dramatic and imaginative, with a sunken oval dining room and an original chandelier that hangs theatrically above. The Matador Terrace, however, is where my guest and I chose to dine; we were placed under a custom pergola, surrounded by lush greenery and magical climbing bougainvillea. The lighting was subdued, a mood-setter; and the breeze from the ocean, a few skips away, could be felt.

Matador’s menu is split up conveniently, with small snacks on the left and bigger portions on the right. For my appetizer, I selected the Charred Octopus from the section, “Golden & Crispy.” The octopus arrived looking phenomenal, with crispy potatoes, smoked paprika, herbs, and an orange sauce that was light and tangy. The octopus had a mouthwatering singed taste that wasn’t too overpowering, which paired nicely with the complementary sauce. The potatoes were a texture lover’s dream, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, with an addicting seasoning. For the main course, I went with the Maine Lobster, which came in a salad-like presentation with corn, cucumber, mint, and a habanero-lime sauce. Despite the sauce’s name, it was actually quite sweet, which balanced out the energizing flavors of the other ingredients. The lobster itself was outstanding; colored a bright red with massive meaty claws, it was juicy, tender, and impossible to put down!

For dessert, my favorite part of any evening, I went with the JG Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake. The cake was delightful—spongy and delicate with powdered sugar on top. It also came with a side of vanilla ice cream which was rich and velvety. When I bit into the cake, a silky smooth, honeyed chocolate filling poured out. I was in chocolatey heaven! Matador Room is not only an aesthetic gem but its food and service will also have you ridiculously blown away.

2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

By Aaliyah Pasols