Eliesteban Mena and Oscar Rodriguez say the 2,300-square-foot restaurant has been designed to transport guests to 1940s Cuba while channeling Hemingway's home outside Havana. Cozy yet opulent, the eatery is adorned with crystal chandeliers, marble accents, and wood finishes.
The name "Sala’o" comes from Hemingway's classic novel The Old Man and the Sea, which he wrote while in Cuba. Hemingway lived on the island for more than.20 years, which inspired Mena and Rodriguez to create an eatery that pays homage to the writer.
For their Cuban bar and pescadería, Mena and Rodriguez searched for a chef who could fuse Caribbean seafood flavors with modern, homestyle cooking. They found Cuban chef Jorge Mas.
"We want our dishes to bring memories," Mena says. "The menu is inspired by a small fishing village in Cojímar, Cuba, where Ernest Hemingway used to keep his boat."
Living up to its name, the pescadería will offer a raw bar featuring fresh fish delivered daily from the Florida Keys. Offerings include familiar dishes such as oysters and ceviche, along with traditional items like the salpicón de mar, a seafood salad with onions, peppers, and capers; and the swordfish escabeche, a dish of pickled fried fish flavored with
The menu also offers appetizers, salads, rice dishes, and a dozen seafood and meat entrées. Don't miss the harina con cangrejo — a Cuban cornmeal stew prepared
A 30-foot bar will specialize in classic Cuban cocktails and seat 15. Guests here can enjoy the restaurant's live Cuban-inspired modern music on an elevated wooden stage.
Sala’o Cuban Bar & Pescadería. 1642 SW Eighth St., Miami; salaorestaurant.com. Opening Monday, May 27.