There's a new place opening in Coral Gables this week, and it's not another chain. Located in the old Randazzo's space on Giralda Avenue, the Local Craft Food & Drink is the idea of high school friends Jose Mallea and Mauricio Lacayo.
"We wanted somewhere where people can get a good beer and a good meal at a good price point and that is welcoming," Mallea says.
Through mutual friends, Mallea and Lacayo met chef Alberto Cabrera (STK, Karu & Y), who liked the concept and hopped onboard to create the menu and lead the restaurant's kitchen.
You can expect familiar pub food with interesting twists, such as Buffalo-style sweetbreads served with blue cheese and an apple, chayote, and celery slaw, or fish and chips -- fried grouper cheeks served with potato wedges, malt vinegar, and tartar sauce. The bar will carry 24 beers on tap, including Avery Maharaja, Stone IPA, Brooklyn Brewmaster's Reserve, and Cigar City's Maduro Brown Ale. If beer is not your thing, the Local boasts a full bar and will eventually debut a cocktail list.
Other dishes that caught our eye include jerky in a jar -- grass-fed beef with soy and Thai chilies -- a tomato salad with radishes, palm hearts, orange, and a Meyer lemon vinaigrette; fried clams with smoked pimenton aioli; and squid ink meatballs served with romesco sauce and rice crisps. Charcuterie (most of it made in-house) and American cheeses from cheese makers such as Cow Girl Creamery and Rogue Creamery are also featured.
Although the restaurant is working with local food buyers, Cabrera says for him it's more about using products from American farmers and artisans because South Florida is so seasonal. "We're going to be responsible," he says.
The Local will be open for dinner with a limited menu beginning tomorrow. Lunch service is coming soon.
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The Local Craft Food & Drink
150 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables