In February, Short Order reported chef Micah Edelstein was working on opening a new restaurant in downtown Miami. She has been documenting the transformation of the place -- called NeMesis Urban Bistro -- on Facebook.
The former Top Chef contestant and her business partner, Harald Oechsner, have been working hard at building out the place for the past three months. They built the bar, drove 800 miles to Waldo, Florida to bring back four church pews that now make up part of the seating at the restaurant, painted designs on the kitchen floor ("I'm going to be there all the time and I want it to be nice," says Edelstein), and upholstered stools and chairs with mismatched batik Oechsner brought back from Indonesia.
When Edelstein left Grass she didn't want much to do with restaurants so she retreated into her catering business. But she didn't stay away for long.
"There's something about restaurants that harbors some sort of draw for me," she said. " I met Harald and I told him I wanted to do something small, that's mine, that I can control, where we can do quality and not quantity."
Oeschner liked they idea and they started looking for spaces, eventually settling on the ground floor of the LegalArt building on 10th Street and North Miami Avenue. Edelstein recognizes the area is a bit of uncharted territory but she's confident she can make it work. "It's cozy in here and we can give people attention. It's not a place where you're just another face. I want you to feel like you're coming to my house for dinner."
The food is what Edelstein calls "eclectic world cuisine" inspired by the many countries she's lived in and traveled to throughout her life.
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"I bring all the things that I found in each country and put it in my portfolio, mix it with something else and regurgitate it in different form or introduce people to my version of it," she says. "A big part of eating is comfort and I have comfort foods from all these countries but I want the comfort to translate."
The restaurant will have a small set menu with changing daily specials as well as beer and wine. Edelstein and Oeschner are just awaiting their final inspection so they're hoping to open in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.