We've been awaiting the opening or Georges-Eric Farge's eponymous new midtown establishment since we wrote about it almost a year ago. Though it was set to open last June, Farge has been holding the curtain for some time, hoping for an opening "that makes it out to seem like it's a restaurant that's been open for years," executive chef Steven Rojas tells us.
Rojas is the youngest chef -- at the age of 27 -- to have earned a Michelin Star in Los Angeles. Now 33 years old, he is taking control of his third kitchen.
With two other locations, George's in the Grove and George's in South Miami, Farge is not only adding another outpost to his franchise but also introducing a whole new concept. Georges Kitchen, located at 3404 N. Miami Ave. in midtown, will be more upscale than its counterparts and offer a menu that includes French comfort food with a modern twist.
Having brought on a Michelin Star-rated chef, especially one like Rojas, whose influence stems from French and Spanish technique, seems like the first step in the right direction to conquering the first upscale French restaurant concept in midtown. Rojas left his post at San Francisco's Chez Papa to open Georges Kitchen and says it's an exciting opportunity to be a part of Miami's growing culinary scene.
"I'm all about supporting local ingredients," Rojas says. "Michael Schwartz was the first to do that here, with others following suit. That's how I grew up. I like that, and it's something I want to try to do. Certain things may not be available 30 miles away, but it's still Florida. It's still local."
The space features an open kitchen with a tile mosaic of Farge's face looking out on the 100-seat dining room. "People will be able to sit down in a living room setting and see the food being cooked in front of them. It's a connection with the restaurant, with the kitchen," the chef says.
A few steps above the dining room, guests can enjoy "the loft," an area overlooking downstairs through an opening partly filled by a beautiful custom-made chandelier. The loft will be a private setting concentrating on mixology but still serving upscale French side dishes.
With Bardot and Gigi just up the street and Bar Louis having recently opened, Georges Kitchen isn't looking to lure away the young hipster crowd that frequents those spots, but rather older, chic eaters and drinkers who will no longer have to head to the Design District for swank fare.
"People in their 30s and 40s want to be able to go out and have a good time without being in a nightclub setting. The Beach is chaotic. Georges will have a DJ and all the same things as a club but without the chaos and with exceptional food," says Sean Saladino, who designed the space to resemble a New York warehouse that's been transformed into an apartment.
Rojas gave Short Order a sneak peek of his menu, which offers appetizers priced at $5 to $14, entrées at $24 to $29, and shared entrées at $38 to $52. Some of the finalized items include Kobe beef short-rib tartare on the bone, diver scallops, grilled pork cheek duo with quince watercress and mustard seed jus, Hudson Valley foie gras crème caramel with red grape verjuice marmalade, and Idiazabal cheese churros with romesco sauce.
There is no set opening date yet, but mid-January is likely. We hope so.