Subtly lit in blue and purple hues, one of Miami's most highly anticipated restaurants, Estefan Kitchen, has opened. Created by international superstars and Magic City royalty Emilio and Gloria Estefan, the restaurant brings fine Cuban fare to the Design District.
Located in Palm Court (140 NE 39th St., Miami), Estefan Kitchen marries food and drink with live music and interactive performances, and servers whisk away plates with a jump and a twirl for added pizzazz. The restaurant's design, inspired by vivid colors and a 1950s-esque vibe, features mosaic murals, an art deco column, and a 34-seat oyster-shell bar for predinner cocktails.
As a nod to the Estefans' heritage, the kitchen, helmed by chef Odell Torres, turns out revamped versions of traditional family recipes. A peek at the menu reveals lechón-topped flatbread drizzled with truffle oil ($14); vaca frita, in which shredded flank steak is topped with sautéed onions, rice, and black beans ($22); and paella, which takes about 30 minutes to prepare, blending lobster, shrimp, scallops, and sweet plantains ($70). For something smaller, there are mini cubanos ($6) and baked empanadas served with guava barbecue sauce ($6).
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Sweet endings include natilla, a Cuban-style vanilla bean pudding; and tres leches, soaked in sweet milk and topped with torched meringue.
Estefan Kitchen also offers an express café stocked with traditional Cuban grab-and-go sandwiches, as well as cafecitos, espressos, juices, and shakes.
The opening marks the couple's nearly 30 years in the hospitality industry. Their other restaurants include Larios on the Beach, Bongos Cuban Café, and the newly opened Estefan Kitchen Express at Miami International Airport. Torres is also the executive chef at Larios and Bongos.
140 NE 39th St, Miami; 786-843-3880; estefankitchen.com. Lunch and dinner daily beginning at 11:30 a.m.; express café opens at 9 a.m.