Food News

El Tucán Reopens as One Big Miami Dinner Party

Photo by Sebastian Bednarski

click to enlarge
Photo by Sebastian Bednarski
For the past three months, El Tucán in Brickell had kept its doors shut.

The club reopened last week as a restaurant and lounge concept offering an authentic Miami dinner party, instead of live cabaret.

Owner Mathieu Massa, who also runs Marion next door and Bâoli in South Beach, says the idea is to give guests a brand new experience, not just another meal.

"I want El Tucán to feel inclusive and intimate, but also vibrant and electric, like a never-ending party that embodies the energy of Miami,” says Massa, who hails from Cannes in the South of France. "The problem with the old concept is that people would come and see the show once or twice and they wouldn't come back. Also, they didn't have a chance to interact. Now that's what this is all about."

The remodeled 150-seat, two-level eatery embodies a tropical vibe with sofas in feline prints, textured wood, antique mirrors, advanced LED wall displays of lush greenery, and crystal fixtures. On the ground floor, the DJ booth located on the center stage leads the entertainment.

Guests on the second floor can cozy up in chestnut and leopard banquettes to enjoy entertainment that includes aerialists, singers, and dancers. Artist Simon Vargas’ original wall murals depict a whimsical world of wild animals and lush jungles.
click to enlarge
Photo by Sebastian Bednarski
El Tucan's original prix-fixe dinner menu has been also been replaced. The new à la carte list features interpretations of Asian-inspired specialties by chef Gustavo Vertone, whom the restaurant shares with Marion. Starters include satay of Chilean sea bass with ginger miso glaze ($22); wagyu beef sliders with caramelized onions, aged Manchego cheese, and quail egg ($24); tuna pizza with truffle aioli and shaved black truffle ($28.50); and yellowtail crunchy tacos with microcilantro and guacamole ($19.50).

Sushi and sashimi options include crunchy spicy yellowtail with soy paper, chopped hamachi, jalapeño, cilantro wasabi mayo, cucumber, and avocado ($18); hamachi jalapeño with sudachi ponzu ($21); and toro salmon with sesame soy vinaigrette ($22). For main courses, there's hot truffle risotto with acquerello rice, shimeji, shiitake mushrooms, porcini broth, and shaved black truffle ($45); and pineapple teriyaki salmon with ginger rice, cucumber, and tonkatsu ($32).

Desserts include chocolate lava cake with banana ice cream ($14.50) and crispy Fuji apple with pecans and bourbon vanilla ice cream ($17).

Cocktails include the Barb, a mix of Botanist Gin Giffard rhubarb, Fever Tree soda, and sliced strawberry mint sprig; and the Magic Carpet with Plymouth gin, Jasmine Butterfly pea tea pear juice, and simple syrup ($18 each).

On Wednesday nights, El Tucán will host a ladies night called Tipsy Tucán.

El Tucán. 1111 SW First Ave., Miami; 305-535-0065; Open Wednesday through Saturday 7 p.m. to late.
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Juliana Accioly
Contact: Juliana Accioly