Coconut Grove eatery Ariete is barely a few months old, and already it's about to get a sibling.
The restaurant's partners, Jason Odio and Michael Beltran, along with nightlife professional Roman Jones, have announced the imminent opening of Baby Jane, a bar and eatery in Brickell.
The partners, forming Native Sons Hospitality, describe Baby Jane (500 Brickell Ave.) as a laid-back bungalow where locals can grab an after-work cocktail and upscale bar snacks crafted by Beltran.
The executive chef says the menu will be more casual than Ariete's. "We want to do a classic beef tartare and pub standbys like chicken wings and things of that nature," Beltran notes.
The space, designed by Ghosthouse Design's Mark Lehmkuhl, will combine the look of a cozy beachside bungalow with touches of Americana. The 40-seat dining room will feature brick walls, a fireplace, a tile bar, elk horns, and a mural by artist Juan Rojas. In addition, a 20-seat outdoor area will allow patrons to drink alfresco.
Baby Jane's cocktail program will feature house-made bitters, tonics, and shrubs. It will also feature a punch board that offers a changing menu of drinks like the Jane and Juice, made with passionfruit, jalapeño, gin, honey, and fresh mint. Baby Jane will also serve a selection of local beers on tap, along with wines and bottled beers.
A rotating menu of bar snacks includes elevated versions of typical bar fare. Beltran and chef de cuisine Gio Fesser will offer dishes prepared with local, seasonal ingredients.
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Chicken wings are served with a choice of jerk, soy caramel, or Buffalo sauce. Croquetas are made with duck and foie gras, and tacos are filled with short-rib pastrami or grilled pork belly and homemade pickles. If you're hungry for something more substantial, Beltran's chug burger should fit the bill. It's a double-patty burger topped with bread-and-butter pickles and cheddar. Simple desserts such as lemon bars, turtle brownies, and pie pockets are sweet finishes to the meal. The menu is not finalized, and prices are not yet available, but according to Beltran, prices will top out in the teens. There will be an emphasis on small plates, though Beltan's version of small plates will still be considered quite generous, according to the exec chef.
The announcement for Baby Jane comes on the heels of Ariete's opening. The Coconut Grove restaurant — which serves a hearty mix of homespun favorites such as roast chicken and intriguing dishes like foie gras with roasted plantains and cocoa nibs — opened at the beginning of the year. The fledgling eatery generated enough buzz to be invited to this year's South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Best of the Best event. The partners originally wanted to open a restaurant in Little Havana, but when the space fell through, they decided on Coconut Grove. Now the team, with its unique takes on classic food and drink, is poised to tackle Brickell.
Baby Jane will be open seven days a week for lunch, dinner, and late-night dining. It's expected to open midspring 2016.