Mad Men has returned for the first part of its last season, and if you've been watching, you know that a great amount of wheeling and dealing takes place in restaurants.
That's not just fiction. Many business transactions take place in the restaurants of major cities, with the idea being that people are more apt to relax over some bourbon and a meal. Although the three-martini lunch has gone the way of the carrier pigeon (a shame, really), the power lunch is alive and well -- and thriving in Miami.
Worth Magazine, the "definitive wealth management and lifestyle magazine for high net worth readers," released its annual list of the top ten power lunch restaurants in the United States, citing spots that are "the most ideal eateries for talking business and eating well."
MC Kitchen made number ten for being a place where "Miami's designers, models, and lawyers favor this sleek but welcoming meeting place with delectable yet healthy eating options."
This is a coup for both MC Kitchen and Miami in general, because the other nine spots chosen are located in major financial and political hubs such as New York, D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago. So what makes a restaurant an ideal hub for masters of the universe to control the fate of the world? We'd say a blend of sophisticated décor, beautiful food, and a convenient location.
To get an expert's view, we asked MC Kitchen's Dena Marino what makes her Design District restaurant a power lunch spot and what's the best thing to order to seal the big deal.
New Times: When you opened MC Kitchen, did you have a power lunch spot in mind?
Dena Marino: Definitely. It is one of the reasons we chose the Design District as our home. Craig Robins, our landlord, is a power player, after all.
What makes MC Kitchen a power lunch spot?
Lots of things. We provide a warm and comfortable atmosphere with professional service that's unobtrusive.
Other cities on the Worth list are NYC, Chicago, Boston, Fort Worth. Do you think Miami has come into its own as a business capital?
Miami is not only a business capital but also an international business hub. Power players come here from all over the world.
The magazine says MC Kitchen is the place for models, designers, and lawyers to lunch. Is that true? Who is the most "powerful" person to have come into MC Kitchen?
Yes. It would be hard to choose. We have many on a daily basis.
Have you ever overheard any huge transactions or power plays?
Yes, but we would never tell. That is why people trust us and feel comfortable doing business here.
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If I were to woo a client at MC Kitchen, what should I order?
Surprise them with a delicious but nontraditional pairing of pan-seared jumbo scallops with Florida mango, carnival cauliflower, hearts of palm, arugula, and black truffle butter ($24), paired with a bottle of Sean Thackery "Pleiades XXIII" Old Vine Red Wine. Make sure to finish with an affogato, which is espresso-drowned caramel gelato with house-made biscotti ($8), to keep you going the rest of the day.