Neighborhood Joints

Popular Food Cart Owners to Join the Upper Buena Vista Revolution With Boia De UPDATED

Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer
Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer Image courtesy of La Pollita
Updated. Boia De will officially open Thursday, June 27.

Since 2017, Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer have kept Edgewater, the Design District, and the surrounding neighborhoods satiated with tacos using house-made tortillas filled with a bounty of Proper Sausages proteins. At the end of this month, they will close their Design District cart, La Pollita, to make way for their forthcoming restaurant, Boia De, located in the Buena Vista neighborhood. The name comes from the Italian phrase "boia de," which loosely translates to "oh my" in English.

La Pollita's final week will offers a bevy of food and drink specials as Giangrandi and Meyer put the finishing touches on the 24-seat eatery they're calling a "new American restaurant with a modern Italian fingerprint." Among the dishes that will be served are baked clams with lemon and the spreadable spicy sausage called 'nduja; bone marrow with roasted garlic and a tomatillo-cilantro salsa verde; and crispy potato skins with burrata, caviar, and hardboiled egg.

If such dishes seem out of character for new American or modern Italian, understanding the overall thrust of the restaurant requires a quick review of the owners' resumés.

Meyer, 32, spent three years working for Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo's Los Angeles restaurants Son of a Gun and Animal, which opened in 2008, before moving to New York City's Eleven Madison Park — Daniel Humm and Will Guidara's three-Michelin-star contemporary American restaurant.

Giangrandi, also 32, started out in the kitchen of Scott Conant’s Scarpetta in New York City. She later moved to the Eleven Madison Park team's NoMad Hotel, where she and Meyer met, followed by Carbone, run by Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone. Both restaurants earned Michelin stars in their first years while Giangrandi was in the kitchen.

The tight space at Boia De is outfitted with a small kitchen that Giangrandi says will produce a concise menu designed for sharing. It will rotate regularly. The concept joins a growing group of restaurants on NE Second Avenue that's extending fine-dining choices north toward Little Haiti.

"It's going to be a neighborhood place where you can come for dinner or just a few great plates and some amazing wines," she says.

The 75-bottle list will be curated by Bianca Sanon, who worked at New York City's Dirty French and Semilla, and offer a variety of low-intervention wines of both Old- and New-World vintages, including a number of well-priced Chilean varietals in a nod to Giangrandi’s roots.

Among the most interesting aspects of this opening is that all of the plates and table accessories will be made by Danielle Kaufmann of Proper Sausages, who for some time has been hand-throwing pottery under the imprint DK Pots. La Mar's Diego Oka has also been handcrafting some dinnerware in recent months.

Boia De. 5205 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-967-8866; Opening Thursday, June 27.  Hours will be Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 11:30 p.m.
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Zachary Fagenson became the New Times Broward-Palm Beach restaurant critic in 2012 before taking up the post for Miami in 2014. He also works as a correspondent for Reuters.
Contact: Zachary Fagenson