The Seven Biggest Miami Food Stories of 2013
The Miami food scene really came into its own in 2013, with local Miami chefs opening innovative restaurants and the culinary community evolving into a sophisticated and cohesive entity.
Karlie Tomica, Twitter Karlie Tomica: Party Princess without a fairy-tale ending.
It's also been a year of drama and tragedy. In 2013, Terrazza's executive chef, Stefano Riccioletti, was struck and killed by a young drunk driver, and the Miami food and nightlife scene was shaken to its core. Chef/restaurateur Jonathan Eismann was charged with vehicular homicide, and an electrical fire shut down the beloved Enriqueta's Café for several months.
There have also been surprising battles and an incredible success. Here are the most intriguing stories we followed in 2013.
7. Like a Thief in the Night
Restaurants, like living creatures, have a life cycle. A restaurant is conceived, planned, and brought to life. Then, hopefully, it thrives for a long time -- sometimes a decade, sometimes a century or more, as evidenced by Joe's Stone Crab and Tobacco Road. But sometimes, a restaurant has a sudden and unexpected ending. That was the case with several Miami restaurants that abruptly closed. South Street Restaurant & Bar closed in August 2013 despite having a strong celebrity following, and the Hoxton shuttered its doors in October after being open about a year -- despite serving what Miami New Times dubbed the best cocktails. But most shocking of all was the demise of Box Park, the Brickell restaurant that offered inventive food and received critical accolades. Our own Emily Codik wrote that chef Matt Hinckley's cooking "can transform the wonted into something unique." Box Park, we hardly knew ye.
6. J. Wakefield Brewing's CrowedBrewed Success
Johnathan Wakefield has been passionate about beer for years, but in 2013 he saw his dreams of brewing beer go into hyperdrive with the success of his CrowdBrewed campaign.
With a goal of opening a full-production 15-barrel brewing facility in Wynwood, Wakefield asked the general public for financial assistance. His original target of $55,000 was doubled when nearly 500 backers pledged a total of $111,690.00 to assist in his efforts. The gamble worked, because J. Wakefield Brewing is scheduled to open in March 2014 -- complete with a speakeasy-style tasting room and a beer garden.
See also: Johnathan Wakefield Brewing Up a Storm
5. Enriqueta's Fire
On April 10, an electrical fire damaged Enriqueta's and forced it to close. The unassuming little Wynwood spot was a favorite place to get a good meal at a fair price, and owner Jose Luis Pla vowed to reopen as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there was more damage than originally thought, and a complete remodel of the little sandwich shop was required.
Finally, four months after the incident, Enriqueta's opened in August. All over Miami, a collective sigh of relief was heard from people craving a well-made cafecito.