CityPlace Doral has a new, Mediterranean-themed restaurant and late-night venue. Heaven Mykonos, a tapas-style Greek restaurant, opened January 25 on the second floor of the mall.
UMG Hospitality Group, the company behind the restaurant, says Heaven Mykonos will offer a unique, ultra-luxe experience.
"Heaven Mykonos is something that the area was missing," UMG founder Dieuveny Jean Louis tells New Times. "Doral is one of the fastest-growing cities in Florida. I’ve traveled to Mykonos and loved the vibration that’s there, and I wanted to bring that vibe to Miami."
By day, Heaven Mykonos' Greek island-inspired décor and colorful lighting are meant to transport guests to the Mediterranean. By night, the restaurant will gradually transform, hour by hour, into a late-night lounge, courtesy of subtle drops in the lighting level combined with incremental increases in the music volume, leading up to musical performances and celebrity DJ appearances (both in person and virtually). Beginning at 11 p.m., bottle service and a limited dining menu will be offered in the lounge area.
"You may not be able to travel to Greece right now," UMG's chief financial and operating officer David Garretson notes. "However, guests can experience the beautiful scenic stretches and exquisite tastes of Mykonos without even leaving Miami. We wanted to re-create the feeling of being in the Greek Islands."
Over the past decade, the Haitian-born Louis, who immigrated to South Florida when he was ten, has built an array of highly successful Black-owned businesses across Miami.
In 2011, he invested in Miami Subs, and as an executive partner led the effort to rebrand the aging concept by recruiting Miami icons such as Pitbull to help fuel the expansion. The company has since doubled the number of owned and operated locations from 30 to 60, with another 300 under license-contract worldwide.
In 2014, Louis introduced Toast vodka, achieving his goal of creating a premium vodka made with coconut water. In 2019, he diversified his booze portfolio with Toast Distillers, Inc., which offers a range of spirits including rum, gin, tequila, and whiskey (each of which now comes into play in mixing the new restaurant's signature cocktails). Toast, in turn, is produced by the Miami Distilling Company, in which Louis holds an ownership stake.
Louis launched UMG Hospitality Group in 2018. The group opened the Latin-themed restaurant Kuba Cabana on CityPlace Doral's first level last fall.
Miami chef Jorge Mas, who serves as corporate chef for UMG, tells New Times he designed Heaven Mykonos' menu to showcase the best of the Mediterranean in the form of shareable plates.
"Although I am originally from Cuba and the Caribbean cuisine runs through my veins, I’ve always felt identified with the Mediterranean culture. It’s definitely at the top of my list," Mas says.
If he had to pick a single recipe on Heaven’s menu that best exemplifies his connection with Mediterranean cuisine, Mas says, it's the moussaka.
He says he learned to make the eggplant-based casserole while studying at culinary school in Havana City and would cook it for his family on Sundays. At Heaven Mykonos, the chef strays from the traditional layers of potato, eggplant, and ground beef smothered in béchamel sauce and cheese, opting for a lighter version that uses only eggplant and a delicately spiced ground beef in velouté, which is based on stock as opposed to the milk-based béchamel.
The menu at Heaven Mykonos ranges from charcuterie boards, salads, and dips meant to be shared to larger dishes like flatbreads, seafood main plates, pastas, and rice dishes. Signature items include astakomakaronada, a traditional Greek lobster pasta (market price); the house tabbouleh ($14); beef tartare that's smoked at the table and topped with caviar ($16); and the aforementioned moussaka ($25). One section of the menu consists of dishes prepared over charcoal, from a whole roasted branzino ($45) to a 32-ounce, dry-aged cowboy steak ($115).
Sums up UMG's Garretson: "The ability to join us for dinner and then move to the upstairs lounge to enjoy VIP bottle service, brings a fun experience from the island to Doral."
Heaven Mykonos. 8300 NW 36th St., Doral; 305-043-2836; heavenmykonos.com. Open daily from 4 p.m. to midnight.
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