Bazi, the modern Asian restaurant by Michael Pirolo and Jennifer Chaefsky is closing after only eight months.
The restaurant, which opened September 2015 at the Marlin Hotel on South Beach will have its final dinner service this Sunday. Chef Pirolo announced, “With a heavy heart we have made the decision to close the restaurant as of May 1.”
Though Pirolo is best known for his Italian cuisine at his bustling rustic eatery, Macchialina, on the other side of the beach and at Scott Conant's Scarpetta before that, Asian food had long been a passion of the chef's. In an interview with New Times, Pirolo said, "we love this style of food and have been playing with the idea of an Asian concept for years."
In a review of Bazi, Zachary Fagenson said that, although the ingredients are different, the chef's skills translate to any culinary journey he wants to take. "The ethos that helped Pirolo make Scarpetta and later Macchialina such successes has carried over to Bazi. He uses simple strategies to coax the most out of humble ingredients. The pantry here may be different, but the philosophy remains."
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Pirolo, who was named a semifinalist for a coveted James Beard award this year, recently hosted a dinner at Bazi along with the other Miami chefs who received Beard nods. The fete was a who's who of the local culinary scene with Jose Mendin (Pubbelly, PB Station), Giorgio Rapicavoli (Eating House, Glass & Vine), Deme Lomas (Niu Kitchen), and Bradley Kilgore (Alter) all sharing kitchen space for one fine evening.
Still, the amount of success wasn't quite what Pirolo envisioned. “Though we’ve been overwhelmed by how the community has embraced Bazi, business unfortunately has not developed as we’ve hoped.”
If you want one last taste of Pirolo's pan-seared pork belly gyozas ($14) or duck udon noodles ($22), you have until Sunday evening. After that, we'll always have pasta.