Your mileage may vary on the accuracy of the hype surrounding Chipotle. The massive Colorado-based fast-casual chain has become a behemoth in the past ten years, growing to more than 2,500 locations as of 2018 and spawning a fervent following. Fans are obsessed with its massive burritos, packed with rice and beans and slathered with a plethora of toppings. Critics think the restaurant's suburban take on Mexican food isn't much better than that of Taco Bell.
But now, Miamians can see for themselves whether Chipotle holds up to scrutiny. It was recently revealed the chain plans to open a franchise in the city proper. The space, totaling 2,095 square feet and including an outdoor seating area, will be located at the SLS Lux Brickell.
Joining Chipotle at the mixed-use condo development will be three other restaurant concepts.
Notably, Miami's own Kaori Sushi will move from its location at 1250 S. Miami Ave. in Brickell to a larger space in the development, complete with a private elevator. Chef Walter Martino opened the extravagant fusion restaurant in 2016 after creating the most expensive dish in the world for an Arabian prince and earning the nickname "Million Dollar Chef." The menu at the old location married Japanese and Italian cuisine and offered creative dining experiences such as "sushiotto," lettuce-wrapped maki rolls, and flavor-heightening sprays.
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Bellillo, an Italian restaurant with locations in London, Barcelona, and Napoli, will serve authentic Neapolitan pizza. The European pizza chain touts its use of organic and seasonal products from the Campania region of Italy. The region, where Naples is located, produces what's considered some of the finest olive oils and canned tomatoes in the world. This will be the first U.S. location for Bellillo.
Mexico's Ojo de Agua, which specializes in healthful food such as sandwiches, smoothies, juices, and fresh fruits, sets itself apart from its burrito-slinging neighbor. Established in 2013, the chain has 19 locations throughout Mexico.
All four restaurants will open in early 2020.
SLS Lux Brickell. 801 S. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-859-0202; slshotels.com/lux-brickell.