The husband-and-wife team of Yona and Tunu Puri are opening Tamarina, a new restaurant-bar concept at 600 Brickell Ave., in the former Lippi space.
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Lippi, by the way, was allowed to close "quietly" yesterday, according to a source, after being open just shy of one year. Although the website is still up, the phone lines are down.
The restaurant, which featured Mediterranean-inspired menu by chef Philippe Ruiz (formerly of Palme d'Or at the Biltmore Hotel), was just too much for Miami, according to co-owner Tunu Puri. The owners of Lippi felt that the business model wasn't working and that the space, which seated just over 200 patrons, was too large for a fine-dining restaurant. According to Puri, "We loved it. We were super proud of it, but Miami is not ready."
Puri decided to close Lippi and replace it with an entirely new concept. Puri, along with his wife, Yona, and restaurateur Arjun Waney are opening Tamarina some time in mid-October. Chef Ruiz will not be returning to the new restaurant. Israel Mora has been named head chef of Tamarina.
The restaurant will specialize in "Italian coastal cuisine" in an indoor/outdoor space designed by David d'Almada of Sagrada in London. Dark wood accented with brass and antiques, the space is described as "Italian glamour with a Miami accent."
Described as more female-friendly and romantic, the moderately-priced restaurant will also boast an oyster bar where diners can choose their seafood from large display area. Across the room, a large traditional bar will offer a separate menu featuring crudos, salads, paninas, and house-made pastas. Outside on the patio, guests can enjoy a champagne bar.
Tamarina will be open seven days a week for dinner, with lunch also being served on weekdays.