Safi Restaurant & Gourmet Market Attempts to Leave Mark Among Difficult Downtown Competition
Safi took over the 14,000-square-foot space once occupied by the sparsely-attended lounge/nightclub Mia. Marketing manager Liza Santana of the Creativas Group blames the failure on a panicked constant shifting of the place's idea.
"We plan to stay loyal to our concept," said Santana, who also took over marketing for Safi. "We want to be a cozy chill environment avoiding the pretentious velvet rope feeling of South Beach where you can get great food, lay back have a martini and enjoy live music."
For the live music part, Safi seeks to be a platform for emerging local artists and plans on holding open casting calls regularly. The collapsible stage makes fashion shows a very real possibility and the DJ booth hanging in between the ground floor and well-placed terrace level will soon be occupied with the best the 305 has to offer.
The menu can be described as an Italian-Mediterranean fusion with a touch of Latin American influence. They brought in Latin general manager Larry Morales from Duffy's and Frank Ferreiro from Perricone's, also a market/restaurant. The menu features appetizers like tuna tartare ($11.00) with pickled ginger, avocado, mango and wonton chips; octopus carpaccio ($7.95) with baby arugula, radish, lemon and olive oil; and a fabulous antipasto platter ($11.95) with salami, coppa, 400-day prosciutto di parma, artisanal seasonal cheeses and cured veggies.
Only time will tell if Safi will succeed where Mia failed, but it seems to demonstrate what may be the right ingredients -- hoping to engage the community with art shows, local musicians, 26 plasma TVs for movie screenings and reasonably priced thoughtful menu items.
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