Latest Sizzle in Miami? Food Halls
The Miami food scene is exploding with food halls, collections of vendors, and restaurant booths in a space that is usually huge. In 2017 there were none; Now there are four that offer alternatives to more formal eateries as well as casual street food. And you’ll discover these dining rooms in the elegant areas of Brickell, between luxury boutiques in the Design District and camouflaged with graffiti in Wynwood, an arts district north of Downtown Miami. Miami Beach is poised to host a few more in the next few months.
“Miami has matured from fast food and fried to quality oriented. It’s no coincidence that grocery halls are popping up in every major neighborhood, ”said Jessica Goldman Srebnick, managing director of Goldman Properties, a pioneering developer in Miami, and Goldman Global Arts.
What all dining rooms generally do is well-prepared, reasonably-priced dishes that attract families, shoppers, tourists, and business people, especially at lunch.
The burgeoning skyscraper in downtown Brickell City City has not one but two dining rooms, both Italian and both based on the global Eataly chain, and features a number of departments and restaurants, mostly individually owned, rather than a collection of independent providers.
1. The headquarters
La Centrale, a multi-level property with 14 shopping and dining stations, includes an elaborate Venchi shop for Italian chocolates and shares the second floor with full-service restaurants serving seafood (pesce), meat (carne) and seasonal vegetable menus (stagionale ) to offer. On the ground floor, where the action takes place, you can buy a sandwich of fresh ciabatta, a plate-sized pizza, a selection of cheeses, Italian condiments such as high quality canned oranges, a pound of ham to order and some wine, ice cream and more to take away or eat Rows of tables and counters inside and outside.
2. Your kitchen at home
About a block away in Brickell is a satellite of Casa Tua, an exclusive boutique hotel and restaurant with five suites in South Beach. Casa Tua Cucina, the food hall, is a joint venture with the business.
Here the scene is bright and busy with 10 counters each focusing on a different category, such as pizza, dolci for desserts, bread sales and gastronomy with ready meals and raw materials for chefs shopping. Around 300 seats are combined in several areas. Order this rich, well-made bowl of Cacio e Pepe at the pasta counter, grab a chair, put your numbered flag on the table and within minutes the waiter will find you. There is also a central wine bar with counter stools that you can order from at each station.
In trendy Wynwood, dotted with curated graffiti over former warehouses, more exotic tastes are expected at 1-800-Lucky, a funky Asian collection of independent booths with groups of indoor and outdoor communal tables. The team behind the nearby Coyo Taco, restaurateurs Sven Vogtland and Alan Drummond, gathered a number of vendors under one roof, including Lotus + Cleaver with a Chinese grill and Peking duck under a carnival-lit display, Banh Mi for seared Vietnamese sandwiches, Hayato Miami Ramen, Myumi for sushi, Poke OG filling bowls, Yip, which dispenses savory and sweet dim sum from a steamer the size of a kid’s pool, and Taiyaki for Japanese fish-shaped ice cream cones.
4. St. Roch Market
Not far away, among the international labels of the high-end design district, is the St. Roch Market. Located on an upper level, steps away from Bulgari, Dior, and Valentino, it is done in chic black and white. It’s a branch of a larger, historic New Orleans grocery store. And despite its uniformly high-fashion environment, it offers the most varied selection of food that has ever been under one roof in Miami. The offer includes vegan delicacies and desserts, homemade southern, Mexican tacos and ceviche, delicious Italian pasta, an oyster bar, Israeli-Mediterranean cuisine, a station called Itame for Peruvian sushi, Vietnamese noodles, smoothies and a coffee counter. Seating is inside and outside.
5. And more
In the coming months, a huge 60,000-square-foot food hall called the Citadel is planned in Little River, also known as Little Haiti, a Caribbean-accented neighborhood north of the Design District. Located in downtown Miami, between Brickell and Wynwood, Central Fare will soon open in a new development next to Brightline Miami Station with 20 grocery vendors and three restaurants.
Across the bay in Miami Beach, the Lincoln Eatery, just off Lincoln Road, is slated to open with a collection of food stalls by December. Early next year and just steps from Lincoln Road shopping street, the much-anticipated Time Out Market will open, a branch of a group founded in Lisbon, Portugal that will soon open an outpost in New York. (It is owned by Time Out, the 50-year-old London magazine and travel guide publisher.)
There, some well-known local chefs, including Jeremy Ford of Stubborn Seed in South Beach and Michael Beltran of Ariete in Coconut Grove, will hand out specialties from 17 different kitchens by chefs installed around the 17,500 square foot, row-filled area of communal tables .
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