You might have heard that NAOE restaurant offers a unique and intimate Japanese dining experience, but here are five things you should definitely know about the Brickell Key eatery before planning a visit:
1. Reservations are only accepted via OpenTable. Should you want to dine at NAOE, you’ll have to hit the Web to book your reservation. If you’re a solo diner, note that OpenTable won’t let you book a seat for one, but if you email the restaurant advising them that you’re dining solo, they’ll amend your reservation accordingly.
2. The menu is omakase, meaning that chef Kevin Cory chooses what you’ll be eating. There’s only a single option, which is $85 and includes a four-item bento box followed by eight rounds of nigiri sushi and dessert. If you’d like additional rounds of sushi, however, you’re free to do so at a cost of $3 to $12 per piece.
3. The Miami restaurant only offers two seatings. A meal at NAOE lasts a minimum of two hours and will likely run two and a half hours, so you’ll want to plan your evening with that in mind. The two seatings available are at either 6 or 9:30 p.m., and we’d recommend the earlier time slot so you can catch the staff when they’re freshest.
4. The restaurant never serves more than eight customers at a time. If you’re looking for an intimate dining experience, this is it. Because the restaurant never seats more than eight diners at any given seating, you will have both chef Kevin Cory and manager/hostess Wendy Maharlika’s undivided attention. Throughout our meal, we were able to ask them questions about our dishes and converse with them about the restaurant’s culinary philosophy, which greatly enhanced our overall experience.
5. Service is excellent and personalized. As soon as you step into the restaurant, you’ll be greeted by name and will receive a personalized menu. All of the staff are exceptionally friendly and as professional as can be, always a step ahead of you, whether it’s pouring your water before you realized the glass was half-empty or offering to call you a taxi towards the end of the meal. Additionally, the restaurant keeps track of what each customer orders, so when you return to the restaurant on subsequent visits, you’ll encounter wholly new dishes.