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What to Do in Miami, According to the ‘Griselda’ and ‘Narcos’ Creator Eric Newman

What to Do in Miami, According to the ‘Griselda’ and ‘Narcos’ Creator Eric Newman

The magic of Miami is that “you can still discover places,” said the writer and producer Eric Newman. “It doesn’t feel like people have a chip on their shoulder. There’s a healthy civic pride and gratitude.”

Mr. Newman, who created the Netflix show “Narcos” and produced “Griselda,” starring Sofia Vergara, has, over the years, spent months at a time on location in Miami. To Mr. Newman, a California native, the appeal of this southern Florida playground isn’t just what it is — it’s also what it’s not. “There’s an appreciation in Miami that you don’t see in other places,” he said. “Maybe it’s because a lot of people here came from somewhere else. Maybe you came to escape East Coast winters, or you came to escape Castro, or you came to escape taxes. People in Miami are genuinely happy to be here.”

Mr. Newman, 53, produced the Academy Award-winning movie “Children of Men” and, more recently, was the executive producer of “Painkiller” and “Narcos: Mexico.” He favors a side of Miami not easily found in guidebooks. An after-hours salsa club, a Xanadu hiding in plain sight, the best Cuban sandwich around: These are the secrets that Miami has slowly revealed to him.

“The diversity of Miami makes it feel like the least American city, which is kind of what makes it incredibly American,” Mr. Newman said. “It feels wonderfully foreign and yet uniquely American.”

Here, his five favorite spots in the city.

“La Trova is a show,” explained Mr. Newman. “The waiters are all immaculately dressed, they dance. You can tell that working there is a career, not a job.”

La Trova, owned by the master bartender Julio Cabrera and the chef Michelle Bernstein, is beloved for its impeccable drinks and its theatricality. Although the establishment, in the middle of Little Havana, has a robust menu that leans heavily toward empanadas, croquetas and Cuban fare, the specialties are mojitos and other cocktails — made with all the flare of performance art. (La Trova was a James Beard semifinalist for its “Outstanding Bar Program” in 2022.) The décor, like the uniforms, is deliberate — a long bar lined with red barstools, low lighting and an impressive wall of spirits.

“You feel like you are in Havana in 1958. It reminds me of ‘The Godfather Part II,’” said the showrunner. “It’s a place where you go to drink and end up eating, or go to eat and end up drinking.

“These sandwiches are phenomenal,” said Mr….

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