Ebony, Ivory, and Plantain-Crusted Grouper...

...is the answer to: What might you find at a Puerto Rican-owned piano bar/café? Merly Velazquez, niece of the late fashion designer David Fernandez, has partnered with Raymond Klein in opening Miami Arts Café across the street from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (255 NE 14 Street). The Puerto Rican native describes the venue, which debuted last Thursday, as "a nice, cozy place, like a house where friends can come and play the piano, where we can make a 'parranda' for Christmas as we have fun in Puerto Rico, in a bohemian atmosphere."

Executive chef, Amarylis Guindín (who used to work at the Ritz Carlton)

and chef Wallace (from the Delano Hotel) are putting out an array of

tapas and main course dishes such as sweet-and-sour chicken and the

aforementioned grouper (shown in photo) -- plus  a wine list that

includes about a dozen by the glass. Lunch and dinner are served daily,

except Sunday, from 11:00 a.m.. to 9 p.m.

Merly and Raymond aren't finished yet -- next year they plan to open a

16,000 square foot high end nightclub in the same building. Not sure

what they'll be naming it, but may we suggest Karu & Y 2?

--Lee Klein

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