Soho Bay, one of the many South Beach eateries forced to close because of road construction on Fifth Street and West Avenue, is slated to reopen October 27 with a medley of new fall menu items.
The Japanese-inspired restaurant hailing from Brazil opened inside the Bentley Bay in April, marking its first location stateside. After about three months of waterfront sushi dining, the locale was forced to abruptly close in August.
Max Heindl, Soho Bay's general manager, said he can't wait to get back into the restaurant. "I signed up for this business because I love being with guests, employees, and the food," he said. "I love everything about hospitality. The whole team is really excited to get back in and run the restaurant."
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Heindl was unable to find a temporary location since closing in August, but he said more than 60 percent of his original staff will nevertheless return. "Many of them found temporary jobs during this time," he said. "Even though we had this struggle, they were happy enough to come back than find something permanent. It definitely shows we did something right."
Executive chef Ricky Sauri is anxiously awaiting his return to Soho Bay. "I like to be really busy," he said. "I love being in the kitchen, with the staff, side by side cooking and doing everything along with it. That is my passion."
While Sauri hasn't physically been in Soho's kitchen, his head has. He's created seven new dishes, all fall-inspired. "I think all of our creations, especially the new ones, are really different," he said.
Among them are slow-cooked eggplant and Japanese brown fried rice drizzled in a mushroom teriyaki sauce; caviar, yucca blinis, chives, and egg yolk with miso, manchego cream, and yamamomo; yuba veggie dumplings filled with veggies, tofu, and herbs, covered in a tangy sesame sauce with pepper threads, pistachios, and cilantro; and spicy shrimp made with tomatillos, kumquats, cilantro, and jicama, topped with gochujang sauce.
"The great thing about Japanese food is the simplicity," Sauri said. "I try to keep the dishes simple, but then when you taste them, you go, Wow, it really has some nice flavors."
Sauri has been working with local fisherman to get the best of what is in season. It's important to Sauri to adjust the menu as the seasons change.
Both Heindl and Sauri are counting the days until Soho reopens its doors. Heindl said there is a block party in the works to showcase the new street and restaurants affected. But a date and time has not been released.
"I know people are wondering why it had to be done, but the streets will look beautiful in the end," Heindl said. "It makes me want to show off that and the restaurant, saying, we are open and we are back for good."
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