March 2014 Restaurant Openings and Closings

Courtesy of 1826
1826 brings beautiful food in a stylish retro setting to Miami Beach.
Spring is in the air, bringing new beginnings and lots of restaurant openings.

From small burger and beer joints to lavish multilevel dining experiences, it seems there's a new restaurant for just about everyone's taste and budget.

Notable openings include 1826 Restaurant & Lounge, Danny Grant's multilevel supper club; Touché Rooftop Lounge and Restaurant, Top Chef Carla Pellegrino's restaurant atop the E11even nightclub; and Taperia Raca, a new tapas concept by Eating House's Giorgio Rapicavoli and Alex Casanova.

Also notable is the growth of Wynwood as a dining destination with the imminent opening of Michael Shikany's namesake restaurant, set to launch today; the opening of Kush, the burger and beer joint by LoKal's Matt Kuscher; and Mmmm, in the old Lester's space.

Midtown Miami took a hit with the closing of Mercadito Midtown and George's Kitchen & Loft.

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The Cypress Room Turns 1 Year Old With a Poem

Bill Wisser
A toast to the Cypress Room's first birthday.
On March 25, 2013, Michael Schwartz opened his first fine-dining concept, the Cypress Room. Many restaurants mark their first anniversary with a dinner special or perhaps a signature cocktail created for the occasion. But how many celebrate it with a poem?

When you think about it, though, a literary missive is fitting. The restaurant itself is an ode to days gone by, when an evening out at a swanky restaurant meant dressing in your best finery, while elegant servers delivered course after course of beautiful dishes served on silver platters.

See also: The Cypress Room Keeps It Classy in the Design District

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Nina Compton Serves Six-Course, $125 Dinner Straight Out of Top Chef

Photos by Carla Torres
Nina left her mark on NOLA.
Walk into Scarpetta on any given Saturday and it's obvious that magic is happening. The charmed Nina Compton is responsible for it. The executive chef recently made it to the Top Chef: New Orleans finale, only to lose to Nicholas Elmi at the very end in an unusual twist. And by twist, we mean completely screwed-up series of events.

We're not just saying that because we love Nina, although we do -- who can help it? She was consistent throughout the competition and didn't blame anyone for anything. The same can't be said of Elmi, who lashed out at the staff that led him to victory in the finale. Elmi may have gotten the final win, but Nina walked away with lots learned and the title of fan favorite. To show local fans her appreciation for all the support, the Saint Lucia native is giving diners a glimpse of her experience on the TV show by offering a six-course meal of dishes inspired by those she cooked on Top Chef. From now through the end of March and possibly extending into April, you can get a taste of the action for $125 per person. Short Order was invited to try it.

See also: Nina Compton on Life After Top Chef

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Help Zak the Baker Open a Wynwood Bakery and Cafe Through Kickstarter Campaign

Courtesy of Zak the Baker
Zak the Baker to open in Wynwood.
Fans of good bread in Miami know Zak Stern makes some of the best manna in town. Available at various markets and restaurants throughout town, his wares can be difficult to find unless you are searching for a sandwich at Panther Coffee or a loaf at the Pinecrest farmers' market.

But now Stern, AKA Zak the Baker, and his baked goods will finally have a home when his Wynwood bakery and café opens in early April.

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Michael Schwartz Announces Waterfront Restaurant and Beach Club at Paraiso Bay

Alberto Tamargo
Chef Michael Schwartz to open restaurant by the bay.
Chef Michael Schwartz and Jorge Perez, the CEO and Chariman of The Related Group, have just announced a collaboration for a waterfront restaurant and beach club at Paraiso Bay and One Paraiso.

Located in the East Edgewater neighborhood, this new collaboration is still in the early, early phases.

The restaurant still does not have a name or expected opening date, but look for Schwartz's signature approach to dining with fresh ingredients and solid food and drink.

Although a menu has not been worked yet, Schwartz and his team are already teasing potential condominium buyers with his cuisine at the project's Paraiso Bay Fridays at Edgewater events.

See also: Restaurant Michael Schwartz: The Prettiest Outdoor Dining on the Beach

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Daniel Boulud Cooks Four-Course Meal at DB Bistro Moderne (Photos)

Carma PR
On Saturday afternoon, one of the world's most talented chefs dropped into his Miami outpost to cook lunch for his fans. Daniel Boulud joined his DB Bistro Moderne executive chef, Jason Pringle, and team to cook a meal straight out of his latest book, Daniel: My French Cuisine. The book celebrates the chef's 20th anniversary of his NYC restaurant, Daniel.

The meal, accompanied with a wine pairing, was exemplary of a French bistro. Short Order was invited to attend. Pictures of the feast after the jump.

See also: Watch the Making of Daniel Boulud's My French Cuisine

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Tom Colicchio to Open Farm-to-Table Restaurant at 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach

Photo by David Moir/Bravo
Tom Colicchio is opening a farm-to-table dining concept at 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach.
Top Chef mentor/judge Tom Colicchio will officially join the roster of celebrity chefs with Miami Beach eateries when his new restaurant opens at the 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach this fall.

The chef cofounded Gramercy Tavern with Danny Meyer in 1994 and then opened Craft in 2001. He also owns several other restaurants, including Craftbar, 'Wichcraft, Craftsteak, Riverpark, Heritage Steak, Topping Rose House, and Colicchio & Sons. His restaurant empire includes locations in New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and now Miami Beach.

See also: The Perry, Formerly the Gansevoort, Will Soon Be Known as 1 Hotel

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Dolce Italian Celebrates Anniversary With Menu Change

Photos by Carla Torres
Oh foie, you get us every time
In celebration of its first anniversary, Dolce Italian has revamped its menu and added tasty new offerings to showcase chef Paolo Dorigato's skills.

Located in the Gale Hotel, the Italian restaurant is unassuming yet charming. Short Order sampled the new offerings in celebration of the anniversary. Check out the pictures after the jump.

See also: Michael Mina 74: Like You're at the Club, But With Really Fancy Food

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Help Name Ralph Pagano's New Mexican Restaurant

Ralph Pagano via Facebook
He's got the coffee station all worked out. But the joint still needs a name.
It seems like everything about opening a restaurant is difficult. You have to come up with a concept and a location. Then you have to get funding (all of those schmancy forks and glassware are expensive) and hire staff. Finally, just as you open the doors to the public, you realize you forgot one important thing: a name.

A restaurant's name is the soul of the establishment. It sets the tone and mood of the experience long before a guest even walks into the place or tastes the food. Imagine if, say, Le Bernardin were called the Fish Shack or French Laundry turned into Rinse Cycle. The food might be the same, but would the place garner the same immediate visceral response?

Sometimes, even the most creative chef has trouble choosing a moniker for his "baby." Which is why Ralph Pagano is looking for a little assistance in the name game.

See also: Ralph Pagano to Open Mexican Restaurant at Dream South Beach Hotel

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Hogfish Might Be Your New Favorite Local Fish

Courtesy Hogfish Bar & Grill
Fresh seafood -- including hogfish -- at Hogfish Bar & Grill on Stock Island
Have you tried hogfish? The local catch tastes sweeter than grouper, is flakier than dolphin, and is as rich as scallops.

"It's the perfect fish -- not firm or tough. It just melts in your mouth," says Rebecca Franks,
owner of Fish Fish Restaurant Bar & Market in North Miami and an Islamorada resident.

Indeed, hogfish would be perfect -- if only catching it were easier. On clear days, divers spear Lachnolaimus maximus off coral reefs. But during bad weather, spearing becomes impossible.

See also: Key West: Where to Score the Best Hogfish, Doughnuts, and Shrimp

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