What we're going to talk about this week is Ecco Lounge, the brand-new restaurant/lounge put together by Aramis Lorie and Brian Basti (of Poplife and PS14, respectively). It's on the corner of SE Second Avenue and SE First Street, and it's opening in early March.
This project is something they've been working on for two years now, and the place is gorgeous. The food is amazing and delicious and beautiful-looking.
Walking in here, you feel like you're at home. It's very warm-feeling and comfortable, a very cool lounge. The look is very Miami, with a lot of bright colors, but with a touch of Italy in it as well. It's huge, too -- two floors. The upstairs is a club that's going to be open on Friday and Saturday nights, and the downstairs is the restaurant.
The food is Italian -- they actually went to Italy to get the chef, Fabio, to design the menu. He's a world champion pizza-maker. Everyone is given a god-given talent, and making food is this man's god-given talent. Everything you get near that this man touched is outstanding.
A lot of people have tried similar concepts, but this is going to be the place that brings back this part of downtown Miami. Right now it's like there are tumbleweeds going by at night, but people are going to want to be here. The reason I say that is because of the people involved; it's such a labor of love. There are no egos involved here.
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And the prices are based on not breaking your wallet. You and your significant other can go out for a nice meal and have a couple drinks, for about $30, maybe even less than that, to be totally honest. But the food is so delicious that, as inexpensive as it is, you'll feel like you're robbing them.
Disclaimer: I am involved in the project and I will be working here, but the thing about this place is that it's a place I would come to regardless. The food is great, the people are amazing, and the atmosphere is incredible.
Five Albums I'm Listening to This Week: 1) Avail, One Wrench. 2) Bad Brains, Quickness. 3) Pantera, Cowboys from Hell. 4) Evergreen Terrace, Writer's Block. 5) The Police, Synchronicity
Instead of a Quote, I'd Like to Say Thank You: Thanks to Brian Basti and Aramis Lorie and John Hood for being real stand-up guys and putting their necks out there for me and believing in me.