Do the Shuffle

A number of famous South Beach chefs have ditched their dance partners

In fact Boone will also be creating and overseeing the new menu at Astor Place, which will be renovated by interior designer Sam Robin. Masri and Robin will concentrate on refurbishing all the common areas as well as the restaurant and rooms. "The secret [to] my renovation is to capitalize on the outdoor space that I have which is now the pool area. The pool will be closed up and turned into a charming modern garden with vines growing overhead on a trellis system." He continues, "With Bambú, our goal is to get away from the myth that we are outrageously expensive and make Chef Rob's menu more accessible to the general public.... We've scared away some of the clientele that helped make South Beach what it is today with skyrocketing hotel and restaurant prices." Amen.

Of course the question remains: What exactly is South Beach today? It may be easier to answer what it is not -- a home base for Tim Andriola. The executive chef of Mark's South Beach cemented his burgeoning rep there after many years working with Allen Susser. At Mark's he started to attract the attention of investors while simultaneously collecting kudos like hosting James Beard dinners. Indeed when I spoke to Andriola two years ago, right when another Mark's alumnus, Kris Wessel, had launched Liaison, he'd indicated to me that Mark's was a necessary stopping point on the way to opening his own place. I'm as pleased to see he's keeping to his timeline as I have been disappointed to see Liaison shut down. Appropriately exploiting his current name recognition, Andriola left Mark's last week with the hopes of signing a lease in Sunny Isles. And while he hasn't pounded out the details yet, he's done enough work on the basic dough to ensure that something delicious will rise in the future.

Meanwhile sous chef Christopher Tapper has been promoted to exec at Mark's South Beach, and he isn't the only one with a transition position. Frank Jeanetti, who has worked as second head babysitter for Michael Schwartz at Nemo and chef de cuisine for Ephraim Kadish at Breez before being named executive chef there (when Kadish and Billboardlive came to a parting of the airwaves), has gone over to the semiprecious frontier of Pearl. In addition a secret source who won't even tell me his name reveals that Sean Bernal, numero uno ceviche producer at almost-year-old Tambo, has departed on the infertile grounds of bounced paychecks.

Jeremy Eaton

Location Info


Nemo Restaurant

100 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: South Beach

Big Pink Restaurant South Beach

157 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: South Beach

Shoji Sushi

100 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: South Beach

Pearl Restaurant & Lounge

1 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: South Beach

Related Stories

More About

All these shifts come at a time when South Beach continues to experience national media recognition. Just last week, Wish and its chef, E. Michael Reidt, were highlighted in a three-page, full-color spread in People magazine. Food & Wine magazine, it appears, was so impressed by the potential of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival that editor Dana Cowan has agreed to sponsor the 2003 event.

The aforementioned changing of the culinary guard may make us feel, temporarily at least, a bit uneasy. But this is summer after all. When it comes down to it and I look at the possibilities for next season -- a revitalized (and cheaper) Astor Place and Bambú, a fresh concept from veteran Schwartz, a resurfacing of Andriola, and, I fervently hope, Wessel -- I say what the hell. Let's dance.

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help