A few months ago, Apeiro Kitchen & Bar's executive chef Anthony Sitek was engrossed in the kitchen, perfecting the last details of the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant's menu revamp. Now, with more than 15 new plates added to the roster, from Moroccan-spiced chicken wings to a fresh summer orecchiette, Sitek's next challenge is the revival of brunch.
The midtown Miami eatery, which opened in October 2015, is Apeiro's second location, with its flagship in Delray Beach. But the outpost had a rocky start.
Founding partner/chef David Blonsky said goodbye just before the new year, and Sitek, who started as executive chef in Delray, trekked south to keep the midtown location alive.
With Sitek settled in, his influence and quirk can be found across Apeiro's updated menu — from lunch, dinner, and now brunch. Each dish gives diners a window into how Sitek's creative juices flow, with a plate's flavors and presentation representing the chef's overarching enthusiasm in gastronomy.
"Chefs are innately creative people," he told New Times in April, "and at Apeiro, I get to have fun with the menu and create new items that people want to eat. Not all chefs can say they have the liberty to channel that creative energy."
On a recent visit for brunch (New Times was invited for a taste), Apeiro's tall green hedges served as a barrier between outside reality and a relaxed, booze-filled haven filled with tasty eats and hush beats. Once inside its pseudo-gates, choose between indoor and outdoor seating, which features a mixture of couches, tables, and barstools. Music speakers and bottomless alcohol make the patio resemble a South Beach-style brunch, though it avoids the Beach's usual traffic and parking mayhem.
Wherever you sit, make your meal bottomless before you order. It's an extra $20 per person, giving a diner unlimited mimosas (made with Biagio prosecco and fresh orange juice) or bloody marys (fused with fresh lime juice, celery, and citrus salt).
The menu is divided into five sections, giving brunchgoers a taste of various breakfast-oriented plates, including empanadas, flatbreads, and gyros.
To start, consider a few of Sitek's menu staples, such as the grilled Spanish octopus ($18), paired with a plate of empanadas ($10). The octopus, which is one of the restaurant's bestselling dishes, comes drizzled in red chili and smoked pepper aioli. Crisp potatoes, smothered in the sauces surrounding the octopus, are served alongside. Sitek's empanadas, which were one of his recent menu additions, are stuffed with prosciutto sausage, stracchino cheese, truffle honey, and pickled melon. Two are served with each order.
For entrées, go traditional with an egg dish, such as eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, or an omelet, or opt for something sweet like waffles or French toast.
There are three Benedicts ($9 to $12), ranging from classic, made with a poached egg and maple-cured Canadian bacon topped with hollandaise sauce on a toasted English muffin, to vegetable, which swaps bacon for spinach and roasted mushrooms, to Italian, which soaks the poached eggs in a red-wine sauce and uses prosciutto sausage, spinach, béarnaise sauce, and toasted focaccia.
For something more lunch-oriented, consider one of Apeiro's classic flatbreads ($13 to $15), such as the margherita or spiced lamb. A burger, a gyro, and a chicken pita are on the menu too, along with sweet potato and sweet chorizo hash ($14), which is topped with basil pesto and egg and served with crisp potatoes.
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End your meal with a sweet dish ($10 to $11) ranging from buttermilk pancakes topped with bananas or chocolate chips to maple-glazed baked French toast and caramelized waffles with Nutella. There are crepes too, served in groups of three. They come filled with Nutella, drizzled in a dulce de leche sauce, and topped with caramel-soaked banana slices. A scoop of vanilla gelato is served alongside. Eat it quickly — it tends to melt fast.
Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit miami.apeirorestaurants.com.