Dining Destination: Miami…Kelly Wearstler’s Design of EOS, Quattro and OLA

I have just returned from seven days in Miami and while there, I was able to check out a few interesting new restaurants and I wanted to share.  I hit gold this week with regard to dining decor and here were a few notable ones:

I ventured out from Key Biscayne, where I stayed this trip, and my first stop was to Eos on the 15th floor of the Viceroy Resort and Spa overlooking the bay in downtown Miami. I was excited to try the Mediterranean-inspired menu created by Chef Michael Psilakis and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia.  The Miami New Times has called it “the new benchmark for Miami hotel restaurants”.  Town and Country Magazine also just wrote about it in its latest issue, which had me curious.  Psilakis was named a “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine and “Chef of the Year” by Bon Appetit in 2008.  Aside from what appeared to be great food, I was anxious to see the Kelly Wearstler designed space.  The food was delicious, three thumbs up from me!  We ordered a number of items from the Raw section of the menu including one fabulous combination of niaragi sushi with pistachio, speck and apricot and the grouper ceviche with mango, chipolte and cilantro.  The chilled corn soup is just beyond delicious, with crab, fig and yogurt in the middle.  Deliciouso!  Next, we samples the Spanish “tapas”, a well-made grouping of serrano ham, olive, boquerones croquetas and onkizu.  There were so many great things on the menu, that we didn’t know where to start (or stop!).

For those of you who are not planning any trips down to Miami in the near future, here are some photos of this boutique hotel and designer restaurant.  It is worth a peek:

Kelly Wearstler also designed the interior of Club 50 at the hotel.  The stunning club is layered with grained marbles and woods, Japanese woodblock-inspired prints and blossoming plants scenting the atmosphere.  The combination of the fabulous decor and the extensive views of Biscayne Bay makes it a fun gathering spot if you happen to be in downtown Miami!  Here are some pics of Club 50:
I had a lot of fun checking out the hotel.  The spa has some incredible Wearstler touches, like an absolutely enormous, oversized bright yellow chandelier.  To see more of her creative touches, visit the Viceroy’s website and check out the photos section.
Next on my culinary adventure was OLA, Latin American cuisine by chef Douglas Rodriguez, which had been recommended to me by a good friend.  There were many meals eaten over my seven days there last week and I am only noting my favorites or ones that had notable decor features.
The food was delicious.  Again, three thumbs up from me.  Their signature cocktails are fabulous.  I enjoyed the Cojito, which set the mood for a fun night.  The Ceviches are scrumptious!  I had the Fire 7 Ice, which is Cobia marinated in sour orange, with thai chilies, cilantro and jalapeno over a cool Asian pear granita.  My dinner guest had the King Crab Salad, which I sampled and enjoyed.  I had filet minon with crab as my main course and was not disappointed.  It was all delicious, the service was slow, but that was largely in part because the place was jam packed.  However, the service definitely needs improving (an hour passed between my appetizer and main course) – the good news was that they weren’t rushing us out.  The decor was chic:
My next stop was for dinner at Quattro Miami.  Chef Nicola Carro did not disappoint.  He came out a few times to our table ensure that everything was perfect and we tried many of his dishes and fabulous desserts, which were all delicious.  He and his identical twin brother, Fabrizio, will be opening a Quattro at the SoHo Hotel in NYC soon. He is charismatic and has a great energy!
I am very much looking forward to visiting the restaurant here in New York once it opens.  The twins were recently featured on the Iron Chef.  If you are in Miami, check out the restaurant, which is on lively Lincoln Road.  The bar is spectacular and is lined with mirrored subway tile, which adds incredible drama to the space.  Here are some photos:
Last stop was Prime Italian, which was also great (huge portions but delicious food), and they do have a notably designed bar area, but their website doesn’t make sharing photos easy.  So, if you want to take a look, visit their website!
The rest of the time I dined at the restaurants at the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, where I was staying, which were all good,  This blog entry was to highlight some of the more unique designs I saw.  I am impressed with the creativity and effort being put in to differentiate all of the great new dining spots.  The competition is fierce this days…Kelly Wearstler didn’t disappoint and if you are on Lincoln Road, stop by Quattro to check out the chic interior and of course, the fabulous chef.
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