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Courtesy of Le Zoo

Le Zoo

Courtesy of Le Zoo
Within the luxurious confines of the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, orange flames lick a multifunctional grill designed and built in Texas. Oak and charcoal fuel its plancha, parrilla, and smoker. It's also the source of scalding ash for rescoldo, a process in which vegetables are gently roasted in the fire's refuse. There's also an open pit where cooks string up whole chickens that bob to and fro. It's a method that Argentina's favorite cocinero, Francis Mallmann, often deploys while cooking in remote parts of Argentina or Uruguay's rolling hills. But there's no such rustic outdoor fire pit here. Instead, hulking steaks, whole chickens, and blistering cast-iron pans bearing charred vegetables whip around a crimson and cheetah-print room. And despite the trendy scene, the food is superbly simple. Meat comes adorned with little more than a punch of chimichurri. Sides receive only a splash of olive oil. Simpler is often better, and in this case, it's stunning.

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