Batch Gastropub is preparing for an early December opening, which is good news indeed for partners Kevin Danilo and Jerry Flynn, who have been working on bringing their vision of a true gastropub to Miami for years now.
On a recent visit, Danilo and Flynn were putting the finishing touches on the Brickell space, which includes a custom built quartz bar that changes colors, a wood-burning oven, and the coolest hand dryers ever seen in a public bathroom (hint: they both wash and dry your hands at the same time).
Seven tasting tables will feature personal taps that allow guests to pour themselves a craft beer or cocktail via an onboard Android tablet. Those tablets will also allow people to send drinks to other tables.
The name of the restaurant is derived from the pub's signature cocktails, which will be pre-batched in five-gallon nitrogen-enriched kegs. The cocktails, served draft style, serve a few purposes. Partner Kevin Danilo explains that this will make for a more balanced, consistent drink and will also allow some cocktails to be carbonated directly instead of adding soda water (and diluting the product).
As interesting as the cocktails and the decor is the menu...and the chef who is helping to create it and mentor the two chefs heading up the kitchen.
Chef Michael Reidt, formerly of Area 31, is working on the menu and kitchen development, while also working on his own restaurant, Pilgrim. Reidt is joined in the kitchen by Adrian Talavera and Pablo Zitzmann, who will take over reigns as co-chefs. Talavera, a west coast native, has worked at California's King's Fish House, Gladstone's, and Studio Diner. Zitzmann's kitchen experience includes stints at Nobu, Sra. Martinez, Crave,and Bloom.
Reidt told Short Order that although Batch may seem different than his most recent gig, there are more similarities than you think. For one, Batch Gastropub will source ingredients as locally as possible. "I think anybody who's doing a responsible restaurant these days is using local products, otherwise otherwise you're not going to succeed in this market. You have to take care of your neighbors. It's all about community."
The chef says he hates the word gastropub, mostly because it's been overused. "Everyone uses gastropub, but we wanted to make sure we stayed true to what the concept really is --an atmosphere and decor that may be more rustic, but with food that retains the "DNA" of a fine dining establishment. For instance, chicken wings, a bar food staple, will be confit instead of "freezer-to-fryer" and macaroni and cheese will be made with gnocci and allow for guests to add pork belly and vegetables.
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Menu items will include blistered pedrona chilis with Florida Keys sea salt $8.50); tater skins with salmon tartare, jicama, and wasabi ($12); coffee rubbed pork belly with pumpkin and cranberry jam ($12.50); crispy sweetbreads with black bean cassoulet ($14.50), and smoked duck and short rib "meatloaf" with Brussels sprouts and cotija cheese ($23.50). There will also be wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, and salads.
Danilo says he and and Flynn have put everything they have into this venture. "We're small business owners who are trying to compete with a lot of big fish in the neighborhood. We just want people to give us a shot."