Amid so much construction, remodeling, and updating on Biscayne Boulevard, you might've missed a subtle rebranding that took place this past Saturday. What was once known as DeVita’s for the past eight years, located at 72nd Terrace and Biscayne, is now Winewood, a fully functioning wine bar, Argentine eatery, and patio that has summer written all over it.
This remodel of the former MiMo District staple is the project of Natalia Repiso and her husband Antoine, an Argentine-Dutch pair whose focus is bringing locals back to the neighborhood that she and her husband love. “People come here like two or three times a week. It’s not like South Beach. It’s local people who want to come here and have good wine,” says Repiso, eager to make the sprawling patio and incredible wine selection a neighborhood favorite.
Repiso took over DeVita’s in January and slowly began implementing changes. The interior was redesigned to feature an ever-expanding selection of wines from as far as South Africa, Chile, Mexico, and even Brazil. This past Saturday, the restaurant was relaunched as Winewood, a name less intent on sounding like the similarly named arts district nearby but instead simply reflective of the decor. “I picked the name because of the wine and the wood decor,” Repiso says. It's less about monosyllabic names with too much backstory that no one cares about and more about emphasis on a great neighborhood joint where locals can spend several nights a week.
On the front lawn, guests can lounge on a pair of couches and watch cars pass by on Biscayne or head to the covered patio to listen to live music five nights a week. Repiso and her husband hope to draw on their Argentine and European heritage to give guests a place to relax, have a bite to eat, and not break the bank.
Inside, the kitchen team has carried over from DeVita’s, though changes have been made to reflect the simplicity of the concept. “Oscar translates our ideas into food,” says Antoine, singing the praises of the humble chefs. The menu reads like a classic diner on the streets of Buenos Aires: no frills but full of flavor. Pastas, milanesas, and grilled meats are perfect matches for the wine collection that Repiso hopes to continue expanding.
Asked which plate stands out on the menu, Repiso says, "I recommend the seafood tabla." Two small salmon fillets, a whole calamari steak, and four shrimp are bathed in chimichurri and grilled to perfection. Diners who've sworn off salmon due to constant overcooking and poor quality will be won over by Winewood's version, delivering two rosy, fork-tender fillets brightened by the herbal acidity of the chimichurri.
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Saturday nights, Winewood will do Argentine-style asados while Repiso draws on her past as a DJ throughout Miami, jamming on drums and other instruments to accompany the live DJs. Winewood is open seven days a week. Monday through Friday, it opens at noon for lunch and closes around midnight. It's open Saturday and Sunday for dinner service only, and live music and DJ sets happen Tuesday through Saturday.