Leku, a restaurant offering Basque cuisine at the new Rubell Museum location, has confirmed that it is on track to open at the end of April as planned and that the coronavirus pandemic has not affected its opening timeline.
The hospitality veterans behind the project include Spanish native Alejandro Muguerza of Le Basque Catering in Miami, Andreas Schreiner of Schreiner Hospitality, and Terry Zarikian. The executive chef is 30-year-old Mikel Goikolea, who hails from the Basque region and held the same position at the three-Michelin-star restaurant Azurmendi Pret a Porter in Vizcaya, Spain.
For those who are unfamiliar, the Basque Country is an autonomous community with its own ancient dialect in northern Spain along the Atlantic Coast, close to the French border. The region encompasses the notable resort town of San Sebastian, the architecture and design-forward city of Bilbao, and, for fans of red wine, the province of La Rioja. It is also an area celebrated for its cuisine, boasting nearly 40 Michelin-starred restaurants. With Goikolea at the helm, Leku aims to bring that same caliber of innovative cuisine to Miami.
With a focus on his Basque roots, Goikolea creates dishes using local and seasonal ingredients.
Leku's menu will include starters, ranging in price from $9 to $21, such as Basque lobster salad, vegetable tartare with beets, a traditional Basque leek-and-potato soup called porrusalda, and croquetas with Cinco Jotas ham. Entrées will cost $24 to $36 and include dishes such as sea bass with hollandaise, and beef cheeks slow-roasted in Rioja wine and served with boniato.
A Basque grill will be the focal point of the patio and gardens, where larger, family-style dishes such as milk-fed lamb, organic beef tomahawk chop, whole local fish, and an array of vegetables will be offered at market price. Sides will cost $9 each, and desserts will cost $11. There will also be a special lunch menu that includes an appetizer, main, and a small dessert for $29.
Construction of the restaurant has already been completed, and its location in the up-and-coming Allapattah makes it the first fine-dining spot to open in an area many observers are calling the next Wynwood.
The Rubell Museum, which moved from its longtime Wynwood location, reopened this past December in a completely transformed space that was once six industrial buildings. It's now a public resource that includes a 53,000-square-foot gallery space, a restaurant, a bookstore, and other creative spaces for the arts.
Leku. 1100 NW 23rd St., Miami; lekumiami.com. Opening late April 2020.