Details have emerged about the second Miami Beach restaurant by Macchialina's Michael Pirolo and Jen Chaefsky.
The restaurant, BaZi, located at the Marlin Hotel, is under construction and slated to open this summer. It will offer progressive interpretations of classic Asian dishes, covering all regions of that vast part of the world. The name, literally "eight characters" in Chinese, refers to the ancient system of astrology that forecasts the life paths of every person.
Pirolo's life path led him to the opening of BaZi. For the chef, best known in Miami for his solid Italian fare, the evolution to Asian cuisine was a natural progression. "We launched the Italian dim sum brunch cart inspired by the similarities between some of the composed dishes within each cuisine; they share common philosophies in the treatment and the respect given to the ingredients. In addition to extensive travels and research, I gained supplemental knowledge early on in my career when working at the [now-closed Stephen Starr restaurant] Striped Bass in Philadelphia."
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Asked to compare the culinary style of BaZi, the chef describes it as "slightly more modern, perhaps whimsical in its execution yet not overly precious. Much like Macchialina, it will offer deep, layered flavors built by time-honored techniques but will be conceived overall with a fresh perspective."
Although the menu has not yet been finalized, Pirolo hints, "You may see dishes inspired by classic offerings such as pad thai, ramen, or fried rice... The landscape in which we are working with creates endless opportunities, but in keeping with our approach to Macchialina, the menu items will not be overly complicated but will be derived from the freshest of ingredients and will be harmonious with one another as guests create their complete meal."
The 100-seat restaurant is part of the hotel's multimillion-dollar renovation and expansion and will feature a multilevel dining room, bar, lounge, and outdoor spaces.