Blackbrick Opens This Week: We Get a First Look

Blackbrick, Richard Hales' new restaurant, brings Chinese cuisine to midtown this week -- just in time for Art Basel.

Chef/owner Richard Hales gave us a tour and a taste of things to come, telling Short Order that he hopes to open the restaurant this Thursday, December 5, with a limited menu for Art Basel. Although the restaurant will have a full liquor license, cocktails will likely not be available in time for the Basel opening.

The former Acme Bakery space is barely recognizable, going from a Kansas-meets-Miami vibe to a kick-ass rock 'n' roll sensibility. Generals Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and Keith Richards watch over the room, which pops with bright red and wicker lighting fixtures.

A mural featuring pop icons takes over the bar, while black-velvet-flocked skulls greet you in the bathroom.

The intimate restaurant makes full use of its 1,780 square feet by seating guests at tables, a bar, and a chef's counter, where diners can watch the action at the open kitchen. There are additional tables outside.

Though the menu has yet to be finalized, Hales wants diners to have a meal and a drink for about $30 to $35 per person. Selections include handmade noodles, classic roast pork, and plenty of vegetarian dishes and feature both classics such as crab Cantonese and salted squid and some more inventive items like cold roast chicken with chili sauce and jellyfish.

Hales, along with chef de cuisine Chok and chef Lui, has taken traditional Chinese food and pumped it up with a little more flavor, adding local produce, such as patty pan squash, to the menu and marinating the meats.

The result are meats that are tender and delicious, like this roast pork, which is sweeter and spicier than the typical Chinese restaurant fare.

Hales is eager to provide a more traditional approach to dining than the fast-casual atmosphere of Sakaya Kitchen. "I'm actually from a fine-dining background. I never even worked at a fast-food restaurant as a kid. The first time I worked at a fast-casual restaurant was at Sakaya Kitchen. I'm looking forward to showing Miami they can have great service along with a great meal at an affordable price."

Blackbrick is scheduled to open Thursday, December 5. Hours of operation will be Monday through Wednesday 11:30 a.m. to midnight, Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

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