Although Samba Brands Management has yet to officially confirm any details, Duck & Waffle, the London restaurant that takes British pub food and elevates it with modern, gourmet twists, is coming to Miami.
When Duck & Waffle opens across the pond in the Magic City, the restaurant will share space with Sushi Samba at Flagler on the River's phase-two project, located at 40 SW North River Dr. The project's developer, the Melo Group, expects to break ground on the project by summer 2015.
The London restaurant, located atop a 40-story skyscraper at 110 Bishopsgate, is one of the city's most difficult restaurants to get into, with guests waiting months to secure a peak dining spot, even though the restaurant is open 24 hours a day. Sushi Samba London, located directly under Duck & Waffle, also commands a long wait for reservations.
See also: London's Duck & Waffle Coming to Miami
I somehow snagged a table at Duck & Waffle during a recent visit to England. The restaurant, which has an unrivaled view of London, is filled with creative food by executive chef Daniel Doherty and a cadre of innovative cocktails by the head of spirit and cocktail development, Richard Woods. Even if you haven't visited London, you have likely tasted Woods' libations, because the talented barman has created cocktails for Sushi Samba and Bocce Bar in Miami.
Once you've finished your ride up a private glass elevator (while taking in the views of the Tower of London, the Thames, and the "Gherkin"), you arrive at a nondescript door, marked simply with a seal.
Open that door and you're in the lounge area, where you're (to turn an English phrase) gobsmacked by the view: a panorama of London.
You'll then notice the bar, located in the center of the room. The bartenders work in that arena, which opens the space up. Cocktailers either sit on comfortable sofas and chairs or perched on high-tops. A standing area is located against a graffiti wall.
Cocktails change with the season. Cold weather calls for the roasted pumpkin and honeyed chestnut bellini and the winter, which has your bartender torching a piece of wood tableside to impart a smoky flavor to the Jack Daniel's and amaro creation (both £14 each).
Fans of the bloody mary will appreciate the snapper, a gin-based bloody made with tomato consommé (£14).
BBQ spiced crispy pig ears are served in a brown bag sealed with wax (£5).
The restaurant's freshly baked breads are a take on warm flatbread. The guanciale and welsh goat cheese bread was large enough for a few people to share (£7).
The Scotch egg, a traditional pub snack, gets updated with the Scotch bhadji, made with spicy Cumberland sausage, cauliflower and lime pickle, and caramelized onion yogurt (£10).
Jerusalem artichoke ravioli is served with charred cauliflower and smoked butter (£18).
Fans of Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill will recognize the bacon-wrapped dates, which are favorites in London as well (£9).
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A seasonal version of baked Alaska features mulled pears, apples, and quince (£9).
One last look at the view before riding the elevator back to street level. Although there's no telling whether the London menu will travel to Miami, it's safe to say we can look forward to original, flavorful dishes complemented by an innovative and interactive bar menu. Until Duck & Waffle opens in the Magic City (there's no announced date yet), you can get a taste of Chef Doherty's culinary skills in your own home with the newly published Duck & Waffle: Recipes and Stories, available at Amazon.