Byblos Restaurant and Lounge has set an opening date. The Eastern Mediterranean restaurant will open its doors on Friday, July 17, at 1545 Collins Ave., in the Shorecrest tower at the Royal Palm South Beach.
The 200-seat restaurant, which originated in Toronto, will be helmed by executive chef Stuart Cameron. The chef, whose résumé includes Nao, Patria, and Weslodge in Toronto, has created dishes that showcase the region's spices and light fare. "The food will be authentic yet distinct. We are building on the essence of the tradition, letting them guide us as we create new methods and develop our unique interpretation of Eastern Mediterranean cuisine.” To learn more about the cuisine of the region, Cameron has traveled to the Mediterranean (tough job).
Many dishes will come from Levantine culture, found mostly in Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, and parts of southern Turkey. Meals will start with mezze (small plates) before moving on to larger offerings like lamb, duck, octopus, fish, and vegetarian options. All dishes will be served family-style and the restaurant will make à la minute rice and barbari, a Turkish bread cooked in a stone oven and traditionally served with labneh and olive oil.
Although the Miami menu has not been finalized, the Toronto location features modern interpretations on classic dishes like duck kibbeh with dried figs and molasses; shakshouka with spicy tomato, yogurt, and a duck egg; oxtail basmati rice with kale and black trumpet mushrooms; and seared cauliflower with duck fat, tahini, sesame, and coriander.
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In addition to food, Byblos will offer an extensive cocktails, along with a spirit-infused cold tea service rolled to your table on a special trolley. A selection of beers and wines from Lebanon, Israel, Spain, and Greece will be served, and for those looking for something soothing and non-alcoholic, the restaurant will feature exotic teas like Moroccan mint, hibiscus rose, and Turkish delight.
The dining room, designed by Munge Leung, will feature 17-foot high ceilings, terrazzo floors, and fabric-wrapped art panels. A lounge adjacent to the dining room will feature a house DJ, so guests can continue their evening after their meals. Byblos will be open seven days a week, from 5 p.m. to close.