Hood hangout Wynwood Kitchen & Bar (named our Best New Bar this year) just launched lunch service last week, with a few new tricks by executive chef Miguel Aguilar, who took over the kitchen this past summer. His "daily express lunch specials" are sort of a bento box minus the Japanese fare, offering a little taste of several items off the regular menu ($12 to $16).
You'll get a choice of three mains -- chicken, beef, or vegetarian -- and then pick from the sides, whether it's those pork-saturated Brussels sprouts or chorizo-chunked potatoes with caramelized onions (yes, we play favorites and it almost always involves pork).
We got a sneak peek of a few items that are still in the works; Chef Aguilar promises they will soon appear on the menu. The Wynwood salad has red and yellow beefsteak tomatoes, aged Manchego, diced piquillo peppers, and baby arugula purée (we tried to get him to tell us everything in it, but he glossed over the ingredients, beyond citing "really good olive oil").
Also offered is a rotating slider program. "It's going to be meat of the day at market price. One day it will be chorizo and pork, another it will be turkey with lemon and lime zest, one day it will be a chicken burger" ($7 to $9). Aguilar says he's not making any beef burgers, "because you can get that anywhere."
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Chef Aguliar also gave us a little preview of some of the dinner specials to come. Plans are to "implement more specials throughout the season. Like a tomahawk or porterhouse steak, or a whole grilled fish -- those will be verbals that change all the time." He's supersensitive to pricing, conscious of what people like to spend at WKB when they share. "It'll cost $45, but four people can eat it." He jokes about calling it his "big dish of the day" or the "starving artist dish." We think that name might need a bit of work, though.
They've also created a new happy hour, titled "Beers & Bites," which runs Monday to Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Naturally, the menu features a selection of bite-size items ($2 each) and 30 percent discounts on a full range of artisanal beers as well as "select house brand liquors and wines."
It'll be a scene during Art Basel, where a pop-up shop and plenty of artist-themed drinks will keep crowds coming. Let's hope locals don't get shut out -- that bar is going to be busy.