First Bites

El Cielo in Brickell: 16-Course Feast for the Senses (Photos)

Walk into El Cielo and you'll be immediately awed by the stunning decor at this waterfront eatery in Brickell on the River. At its helm is 31-year-old Juan Manuel Barrientos, who at the age of 29 snagged a spot on the coveted list "Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants" for his original location in Medellín, which opened eight years ago. He repeated the feat in 2014, ranking 47th.

Barrientos' sensory experience is made up of 16 courses, all of which have been created and tested to elicit an emotional response in the brain. "It's a gastronomic roller coaster," Barrientos says. Miami New Times was invited for a ride.

See also: Hotly Anticipated El Cielo Is Now Open in Brickell

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Carla Torres found her inner gourmand voice while writing for Miami New Times in 2012. She has also worked with Travel & Leisure and Ocean Drive and today is involved with a tech startup. She balances passions for wine, sweets, yoga, and kayaking.