Earlier this month, Corey Bousquet fulfilled a lifelong dream when he opened his first restaurant, the Brick, in Downtown Dadeland.
The farm-to-table restaurant is the first of its kind in the area, opening December 3 inside Kendall's up-and-coming residential and retail development complex. After more than 20 years of working in the restaurant industry, Bousquet says the 3-week-old establishment is the culmination of a vision that's grown since he was 14 years old, when he began working alongside chefs dedicated to collaborating with local farms to source produce and ingredients.
"Growing up in eastern Long Island, I was around a lot of farms and wineries," Bousquet says. "I just fell in love with that whole idea of utilizing local farms and working with the surrounding community to do business, and today that's the ethos behind this restaurant."
The Brick is one of several eateries to have opened in Downtown Dadeland, including pop-up Faith & Pizza, Barley an American Brasserie, BurgerQ, and Nanndi Frozen Cream & Pastry Shop.
In the coming months, a number of tenants will open their doors in Downtown Dadeland, including Ghee Indian Kitchen, owned and operated by chef Niven Patel, as well as an outpost of Michael Schwartz's Harry’s Pizzeria.
The Brick (8955 SW 72nd Pl., Miami) is a 2,670-square-foot, environmentally friendly, sustainable restaurant named for its most striking feature: a massive brick oven where most of the dishes are prepared.
To execute the concept, the native New Yorker collaborated with a big name in the business to help design the menu he envisioned for the space. James Beard Award-winning chef Allen Susser worked alongside Bousquet in both the front and back of the house. Susser is best known for New World cuisine — a fusion of Caribbean, Latin America, and modern American influences with regional ingredients.
The duo worked to create some of the eatery's most unique culinary staples, which include cauliflower mac 'n' cheese, made with roasted cauliflower, Israeli couscous, herbed panko breadcrumbs, and a blend of smoked Gouda and Parmesan ($10); a seared porchetta sandwich stuffed with a variety of spices and topped with a locally sourced fried egg, pickled vegetables, and arugula ($15); pan-seared monkfish and grits topped with a corn, red pepper, and jalapeño succotash ($26); and grass-fed beef rib eye topped with a rosemary-garlic demi-glace and served with crisped Brussels sprouts and red potato and carrot mash ($38).
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In the kitchen, executive chef Evan Broomer, formerly of Fort Lauderdale's Market 17 and Lobster Bar Sea Grille, has created a few hits of his own. Thanks to his extensive knowledge of Southern cuisine, one of the restaurant's most popular appetizers is the chicken biscuit slider: crisp fried chicken thighs paired with fresh-whipped maple aioli and house pickles.
Unlike other restaurants in the complex, the Brick offers a specialized executive menu created for local professionals looking for a quick healthful bite.
“Downtown Dadeland has evolved into a chef-driven culinary center with unique restaurant concepts that all have something different to offer,” says Shane Hillsley, managing director of Duncan Hillsley Capital, owner of Downtown Dadeland. “It’s rare to find this many amazing restaurants located so close to each other but still able to hold their own. The Brick is going to add a whole other level of character to our restaurant lineup.”