First Bites

First Bite of Cha Cha Rooster at Lords South Beach

Today marks the grand opening of Cha Cha Rooster at Lords South Beach at Nash. Now there's a mouthful, huh?

Speaking of full mouths, Cha Cha invited us to preview their menu so we took a few pics for ya last week.

Adora greeted guests at the bar and helped them get acclimated to the glittery gold tiles that covered the walls. Locals eventually realized that this spot was formerly the bar for Mark's restaurant and Lords was once Hotel Nash. Previously, according to the founder Brain Gorman, the hotel was known as Primrose and it housed "half trannies and half old ladies."

To celebrate the aforementioned "old ladies," designers dotted the dining room with black and white photos of "roosters," AKA wild, loose women from the 1920s.

The grilled calamari was our favorite starter. Unlike the traditional presentation with rubbery rings and a lemon wedge, Cha Cha's was served escabeche-style with Niçoise olives.

Dinner options included black grouper in a ginger-lemongrass broth with baby zucchini, squash, and a few perky clams.

The braised short rib is expected to become the restaurant's most popular dish. Here it is served atop a truffled celery root puree with caramelized pearl onions and artichoke confit. A red wine demi-glace adds the finishing touch.

A molten chocolate cake made an appearance with a scoop of rum and Coke ice cream.

This "Midnight Mousse," a fluffy concoction made with goat cheese, fig, and a sherry Port reduction, is not for the faint of palate.

Cha Cha Rooster
1120 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

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Riki Altman