September has been a popular month for restaurant openings in Miami Beach. Jeremy Ford's Stubborn Seed debuted in South of Fifth, and Coco Bambu launched on Alton Road. This week, Ofa, a modern Brazilian concept, opened its doors in Sunset Harbour.
Created by Brazilian hospitality vets Felipe Ortiz, Carmen Rodriguez, and Lucas Scudeler, the 2,200-square-foot indoor-outdoor restaurant serves dishes rooted in a range of regions across the South American country, incorporating colorful vegetables, grains, and sauces into many of its items. One example is picadinho, where filet mignon cubes are flavored in a meat sauce and served in a bowl with crisp kale, brown rice, and farofa topped with a fried egg.
A peek at the menu ($3 to $31) reveals a selection of classic Brazilian items, such as pão de queijo, cheese bread served with a creamy spread; fraldinha na grelha, grilled skirt steak with roasted corn and garlic farofa; and arroz de polvo, grilled octopus plated on a rich, velvety rice blend.
Other standouts include bobó de verduras, a Brazilian vegetable dish made with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and red bell peppers and blended with a yuca-and-coconut-milk sauce; salada de grãos, a grain salad made with chickpeas, lentils, barley, tomato confit, and baby greens topped with pesto and cashew aioli; and burrata com ragú de linguiça e cachaça, where burrata and cachaça-marinated linguiça (Brazilian pork sausage) are plated with tomato confit, crisp arugula, and bacon-infused olive oil.
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Brazilian sweets include brigadeiros, traditional chocolate truffles made with milk or dark chocolate and condensed milk; cuca de goiabada com creme gelado de queijo, a warm guava cake drizzled with a cold, creamy cheese sauce; and torta de caipirinha de limão, a deconstructed lime pie topped with cachaça merengue (Brazilian white rum made from sugarcane).
For first-time customers, partner Carmen Rodriguez recommends the bolinho de arroz, rice cakes with a spicy black bean sauce; the burrata com linguiça na cachaça; the picandinho and bobó de verduras; and the cuca de goiabada.
The restaurant offers a selection of caipirinhas made with imported Brazilian cachaças. In the coming weeks, expect the availability of chopp, a popular Brazilian draft lager served just below freezing with a three-inch layer of foam.
Ofa. 1929 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; 305-763-8766; ofarestaurant.com. Dinner Tuesday through Sunday 6 to 11 p.m.