It has been about 15 years since La Estancia Argentina opened in Aventura, bringing a South American-inspired bakery, deli, and café to the suburban Northeast Miami-Dade city. Founder/owner Claudio Kojusne says it's time to grow.
The first outpost of La Estancia is now open at the Shops of Civica, located at 1050 NW 14 St., across from the Jackson Memorial Hospital campus. Kojusner, who owns Clos Bistro & Café too, wanted to create a more central location for those who live and work in Miami's urban core.
"This is the first of more locations we plan to open," he says. "Our customers wanted something in Miami, and we felt this spot would serve a lot of different people since it is easily accessible from Miami's city center."
The menu is nearly identical to the one at the Aventura location, featuring dishes such as picada quixote with serrano ham and manchego cheese ($17.50), as well as slices of the Spanish omelet called tortilla española ($6); milanesa a caballo ($14), breaded veal topped with a crisp fried egg; and a parrillada of assorted grilled meats and vegetables ($32).
The bakery features both sweet and savory items. La Estancia Argentina's empanadas, named best in the city by Miami New Times in 2013, are available stuffed with ham and cheese, chicken, tuna, or beef ($3 each or $30 for a dozen). If you have a sweet tooth, opt for balcarce ($6), poundcake packed with dulce de leche, whipped cream, and peaches. The café also includes a grab-and-go market with salads, sandwiches, and prepared hot foods.
Unlike La Estancia's flagship in Aventura, the new space features an open kitchen, giving diners a firsthand look at how each dish is made. And a massive wooden wine wall holds varietals from Argentina and other parts of the world.
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"We love how dynamic the Health District is," Kojusner says. "There aren't a lot of full-service restaurant options in the area since everything is fast-casual. Although we have our bakery side for quick orders, we also offer a full-service restaurant."
La Estancia Argentina is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.