Lee Schrager (the guy on the left) knows food. More than that, he knows food festivals. He launched the Food Network NYC Wine and Food Festival, created the "Have a Foodie Holiday" campaign with Barneys New York, and is the head of all things South Beach Food & Wine Festival. Drawing all the big chef names you know and love, from Emeril and Giada to Daniel Boulud and Masaharu Morimoto, the SoBe Food and Wine Festival is one of the country's biggest and most impressive food fests.
So we caught up with Lee to chat about his favorite haunts in Miami, from breakfast to drink and beyond. Here's where the unofficial mayor of Miami's food scene dines and imbibes.
Breakfast: Buena Vista Deli, they have some of the best quiches I've ever had. The fact that it's on my daily walk route makes it hard to resist a stop in.
Lunch: Michael's Genuine Food & Drink for the world-class food AND service. Also, Yardbird Southern Table + Bar for its welcoming atmosphere and delicious food—a gourmet twist on your classic comfort food dishes.
Dinner: Mandolin, which specializes in Greek dishes and is a great spot for both an intimate dinner and a special celebration. And Michelle Bernstein's Michy's is my all-time favorite spot for the perfect piece of fried chicken.
Drinks: I enjoy the SoHo Beach House lobby bar, which manages to be a great spot for both an intimate meeting and running into lots of friends all at the same time. They make a great Pimm's Cup.
Culture: The Miami Art Museum—and not just because I'm on the board of trustees. The museum's permanent collection is constantly expanding and they are preparing to move to a new Herzog & de Meuron-designed facility downtown, which will also include more exhibition space to support the excellent job they do curating artists as well as an education complex.
Relax: Remede Spa at the St. Regis Bal Harbour is a perfect spot to recharge and enjoy brunch at J&G Grill.
Hidden Gem: neMesis Urban Bistro by chef Micah Edelstein—from her South African family heritage to her extensive travels, Edelstein showcases some of the world's best flavors here using fresh ingredients.
Photo Credits: Buena Vista Deli: Buena Vista Deli; Michaelâ€™s Genuine Food & Drink: The Genuine Hospitality Group; SoHo Beach House: Soho House; neMesis Urban Bistro by Chef Micah Edelstein: neMesis Urban Bistro.