Danny Grant, Michelin-Starred Chef, to Open 1826 Restaurant in South Beach

1826 Restaurant, a South Beach spot helmed by acclaimed chef Danny Grant, will open its doors on Collins Avenue in early 2014.

The restaurant describes its cuisine as contemporary American -- a category that sounds a lot like other places in town. So how will it set itself apart?

"Contemporary American is a broad canvas to play with," says Grant, a two-Michelin-starred chef who was named among Food & Wine's Best New Chefs in 2012. "But I'm not trying to set us apart. I'm just really excited to be down here and be part of a great food community."

Grant comes to Miami after earning national attention in Chicago, where he cooked at the Waldorf Astoria's RIA until its closure in 2012.

Now the Long Island native is looking forward to working by the ocean. "Being back in the water is very exciting," he says. "We're doing a lot of menu testing -- working on our style and getting to know the fishermen down here."

His training is in classical French cookery, which will function as the base for his dishes. He's developing recipes such as escolar crudo, lightly smoked and served with guanciale and dehydrated olives. He also mentioned a local lobster dish paired with a shellfish emulsion, clams, and chanterelle mushrooms.

It sounds expensive. But Grant says customers will be able to choose from a range of offerings.

"We're looking to provide an experience. You can come in and get a few dishes that range from $8 to $12, and others that get bigger will reach $30 to $40. It's a pretty broad range -- sort of like a create-your-experience thing," he explains.

Mostly, he's excited about contributing to the flourishing dining scene: "I think Miami has been expanding a lot over the past few years. When I got to Chicago, it was a similar thing. It was growing so quickly. We see that Miami is heading there. It's a good fit."

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