Makoto close to Miami Seashore named prime restaurant by OpenTable

Makoto, an upscale Japanese restaurant, moved earlier this year to the third floor of the Bal Harbor Shops.

Makoto, an upscale Japanese restaurant, moved earlier this year to the third floor of the Bal Harbor Shops.

An online reservation service has named its top 100 US restaurants of the year — and only one Miami-area spot made the cut.

Makoto, a modern, upscale Japanese restaurant in Bal Harbor Shops, was the only Miami-Dade restaurant on OpenTable’s annual Top 100 Restaurants list.

The restaurant, which opened in 2011, serves sushi and robata dishes (cuisine cooked on a fire grill) and is led by chef and partner Makoto Okuwa.

Earlier this year, Makoto moved up to the third floor of the luxury outdoor mall and underwent an update by international designer India Mahdavi. Now the space offers indoor and outdoor seating for 244, with a new terrace and sushi counter.

Stephen Starr of the restaurant’s ownership group reacted to the news by praising the Makoto staff.

Makoto Outdoor Terrace.jpg The new outdoor terrace at Makoto at Bal Harbor Shops.

“The team at Makoto has demonstrated excellence in hospitality from the beginning, and it’s great to have those efforts recognized by our patrons,” he said. “To be named as one of the top 100 restaurants in the country is an exciting honor and a reflection of our incredible, dedicated staff members.”

California had the most restaurants on the list — 21 spread across a variety of cities like Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, San Diego and San Francisco. Illinois had 17 restaurants represented, all of which are located in Chicago, the city with the largest number of restaurants on this year’s Top 100 list.

Florida and Nevada were tied at 10 restaurants each. Fort Lauderdale saw two of its favorites, Louie Bossi Ristorante and Takoto, on the list, while Tampa was most represented with three (one of them, in a mystifying turn of events, is the national chain Cooper’s Hawk).

OpenTable reviewed more than 13 million verified reviews to create the list, which features 47 cities across 21 states. Only those who book via OpenTable and dine can leave reviews.

Makoto Crispy Rice.jpg One of the most popular menu items at Makoto is the crispy rice.

OpenTable data for 2022 also indicates diners are willing to spend on memorable dining experiences: meals priced more than $50 per person saw the biggest increase in diners (+ 8 percent) compared to 2019.

“Despite challenging macro economic factors, we’re seeing a renewed vigor for dining out — diners are spending more on meals and going out during the weekday more frequently, too,” said John Tsou, OpenTable’s vice president of marketing, in a statement.


Where: Bal Harbor Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

Hours: 11:30am-11pm daily

Reservations: 305-864-8600 or OpenTable

Connie Ogle loves wine, books and the Miami Heat. Please don’t make her eat a mango.

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