Washington Charles and his partner Antar Sosa are on the move. After opening the mezcaleria El Grito earlier this year, they are on to their next project.
Lutum is scheduled to debut within the next two weeks at the previous Burger & Beer Joint location in Sunset Harbour, adjacent to El Grito. In Latin, lutum means "dirt and soil," and the restaurant will specialize in seasonal and local products. Lutum is the partners' first sit-down concept, which has always been a dream for Charles.
The kitchen will be helmed by Michael Mayta, who was chef de cuisine at Michelle Bernstein's Cena by Michy and is the co-owner of Illegal Bakery.
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"We are local kids trying to work hard and express what we have learned throughout our careers," Mayta says. "Washington [Charles] is one of the hardest-working people in this industry, and he's also looking to create something dope, so there wasn't any doubt to join him on this project."
The modern American menu will use local fish and ingredients. Dishes are still in the works, but Charles says the fare will be completely different from that at Taquiza and El Grito. Two offerings that can be expected are Floridian fish ($18 to $22) and succotash ($12 to $18). Because Lutum is located close to a handful of fitness destinations, health-conscious eaters will also have options. The cocktail program, which is being finalized, will concentrate on classic beverages driven by seasonality.
Antar and Charles are looking forward to taking over the corner space in a neighborhood that's become a dining and entertainment hub for South Beach locals. "We feel great about this," Charles says. "We want to offer another great dining experience among already amazing restaurants and bars in the area."
Lutum Miami. 1766 Bay Rd., Miami Beach.