Esmé Miami Beach Hotel to Open With Three Food and Beverage Concepts
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A Spanish-themed restaurant, tapas restaurant, and rooftop bar will be part of the Esmé Miami Beach Hotel when it opens next year on Washington Avenue and Española Way in Miami Beach. The 145-room boutique hotel, due to open in March 2021, has announced that it will be launching El Salón, Bar Pintxo and The Roof in partnership with Miami-based Lost Boy & Co.
James Stuart, managing director of Esmé, tells the New Times that his team was inspired by the Spanish-Mediterranean architecture of the Española Way and used this influence to design the hotel’s dining facilities.
The Pintxo Bar offers tapas, the Roof Bar offers a wide variety of homemade sangrias, and El Salón serves Greatest Hits and Miami-themed liquor specialties.
Stuart, who oversaw Gemma and the lobby bar at the Bowery Hotel and the ballroom at the Jane Hotel, among other things, is most excited to revive the energy of the original Spanish village on Española Way.
“In developing the Esmé brand, we wanted to both honor the history of the buildings and reinterpret the bohemian spirit of the property’s original incarnation,” explains Stuart. “The buildings that make up Esmé Miami Beach are nearly 100 years old and part of developer NBT Roney’s vision to create an artist village in Miami Beach. His goal was to create a colony where artists live, work and Inspired by Greenwich Village and the old bohemian district in Paris. The challenge was to find the right approach for each outlet that would help define the atmosphere of the hotel for our guests and at the same time appeal to locals and neighbors alike. “
In addition to Stuart, Chris Hudnall, co-founder of Lost Boy & Co. in Miami, was instrumental in designing the venues in Esmé. For more than a decade, Hudnall has built and operated some of Miami’s iconic food and beverage concepts, from his eponymous Lost Boy Dry Goods bar to his role as national bar director for Soho House.
Esmé’s signature restaurant, El Salón, is located on a footpath that connects the property’s historic buildings. It offers a selection of iconic Miami dishes, from arepas and empanadas to chicharrones.
A representation of the typical El Salon restaurant in Esmé Miami Beach.
Rendering by Jessica Schuster Designs
In the evening, El Salón is transformed into a cocktail bar, where guests can sample the restaurant’s proprietary blend of spirits.
“Mixing spirits within the same categories was inspired by an old bartending trick of mixing sweet vermouth to make the best Negroni,” Hudnall tells the New Times. “I had always wondered why bartenders only experimented with sweet vermouth and why we didn’t use the same practice with all spirits – for example, mixing gins for the best gin martini and tequilas with orange liqueurs for the ultimate margarita.”
The roof of the Esmé consists of a series of roof terraces, on which there is a bar and a restaurant, a pool, cabanas and the hotel’s own wellness area. During the day, guests can take a yoga class, enjoy cold-pressed juices, or lounge around the pool and sample an all-day menu of healthy and nutrient-focused bowls, salads, and sandwiches.
At night, the roof will specialize in large-format cocktails called “Spirited Jugs”, which include house angrias and reinterpreted classics like the French 75 and the Paloma.
“We use traditional Spanish wines from small vineyards and balance them perfectly with fresh fruits, herbs, spices and vegetables to create our sangrias,” says Hudnall. “We also take it to another level of experimentation with Spanish vermouth, sparkling wines and cherries, which serve as the basis for our sangrias.”
A short distance down the hotel’s footpath is Bar Pintxo, a modern take on a Spanish pintxo bar that offers a changing selection of snacks as well as Spanish beers and wines. The bodega-style concept combines small bites like Pulpo Pinchose (squid with smoked paprika) and Gilda (anchovies, pickled pepper and olives) with Estrella Damm beer, Spanish Txakoli wines and Basque cider, which is served from a pulp. The space will also feature weekly activations from local artists and musicians, as well as chef takeovers.
“Our inspiration was to create a full-day, unique journey for our guests, a sensory journey,” summarizes Hudnall. “We asked ourselves, ‘How would we like to spend a day eating and drinking in Esmé?’ The idea was to have a culinary and beverage experience that was simple yet meaningful. “
Esmé Miami Beach. 1438 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; esmehotel.com. Opening March 2021.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who has been reporting on the South Florida food scene for the New Times since 2011. She also enjoys drinking beer and writing about the growing craft beer community in the region.