Perfecto in Brickell Gets It Right With Tapas and a Snappy DJ
A man in a pink button-up and slicked-back hair raises a flute of rosé cava and whispers into the ear of the young blonde perched beside him. She sports a perfectly teased topknot and tilts her head ever so slightly to angle her cheek in the direction of his lips. Four other people sit at their table, but the impeccably groomed lovers pay them little heed. To their left, a large Spanish-speaking party with rambunctious children passes around tapas and toasts to another occasion.
Photo by billwisserphoto.com The seafood fideuà is an angel hair pasta paella.
Over by the freestanding bar, 20 or so fresh-faced guys with loosened ties and girls in pencil skirts mingle long after happy hour has ended. The office crowd seems oblivious to the basketball game playing on the flat-screen TV sets.
Near the open kitchen, Ferran Lozano, the resident DJ from Barcelona, spins house music. His hair is the color of salt and pepper, and his T-shirt depicts a scantily clad female from the waist down. She wears a garter belt and a videogame console stuffed down her panties. Like the DJ's work? You can find Lozano's playlists on the restaurant's website.
At Perfecto, a gastrobar on Brickell Avenue, the mood is celebratory and the food is a modern riff on Catalan classics. It's the brainchild of Oscar Manresa, a chef-restaurateur from Barcelona with 20 years of experience. He chose Miami for his first international venture because the cities share a similar climate and culture.
Since Perfecto's opening in June, Manresa has been spending one week per month overseeing it. He says he's dined at several Spanish spots in the city, but none has rivaled The Bazaar by José Andrés. Manresa openly looks up to the James Beard Award-winning chef and calls Andrés "the real representative of the Spanish new cuisine in the United States."
Adamant about serving authentic fare, Manresa plucked Perfecto's chef de cuisine, Daniel Torres, from Barcelona. Torres was working at the Michelin-starred Catalan restaurant Hofmann. Manresa's other goal is to provide guests with an awe-inducing dining experience he compares to attending the theater. "I want guests to say 'ooh' and 'aah' two or three times," he explains.