Mexico City's Zeru Opens in Miami with Mediterranean-Basque Cuisine

Rendering of Zeru Miami’s dining room
Rendering of Zeru Miami’s dining room Zeru Miami photo
Zeru has chosen Miami as its first international outpost. The Mexico City-based restaurant is bringing its signature Mediterranean-Basque cuisine to Brickell.

"The food is simple but so unbelievably delicious," Philippe Moullet, former global managing director for Zuma who is in charge of the Zeru Miami project, tells New Times. "The guests look at something and go, 'How did that taste so good? How did they do that?'"

The Zeru Group debuted its first restaurant in the southern part of Mexico City in 2009. Since then, the restaurant has been recognized with an innovation gastronomy award by Gentleman Mexico magazine.  Zeru Miami will have a 200-seating indoor/outdoor space with a contemporary design along with a 20-seat bar on the ground floor of the Hotel AKA Brickell.

To Moullet, it just made sense for the first U.S. location of Zeru to be in Miami because of the cultural diversity and its transformation into such a powerful city.

The restaurant will merge its philosophy, “Many close and long time friendships are made around the table,” and cuisine to the Miami culture and demographics to offer guests a unique moment. 

"We will maintain Zeru’s essence and its signature interpretation of Basque and Mediterranean food, but we’ll also welcome the excellent ingredients and products that Miami has to offer and, in some ways, adapt to the local gastronomic culture," says chef Israel Aretxiga.

Aretxiga explains that Zeru bases its cuisine on the centenary roasters of Getaria, Orio, and San Sebastián in the Basque Country, a technique he calls "as ancestral as the origin of gastronomy, with inspiration from the variety of products from the Mediterranean coast of Spain."
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Socarrat or mellow rice saffron with seafood
Zeru Miami photo
The Miami menu will focus heavily on seafood and healthier and lighter options. Some highlights are the socarrat (mellow rice saffron) with seafood, grilled fresh clams with grilled lemon and espelette miso, and the mojo octopus.

For your first visit, Aretxiga suggests a list of must-tries from the menu: "The fish filet roasted Getaria-style and the rice socarrats are Zeru’s most well-known signature dishes," he says. Other items Aretxiga suggests are the crystal pan with bonito del norte and anchovies and the pulpo with canary mojo.

The restaurant will start its business with only dinner hours, aiming to soon be open for brunch and lunch too. But for now, Moullet wants to focus on bringing memorable food to each guest.

"What we're aiming to do is just to bring a high-quality culinary destination," he says.

Zeru. 1395 Brickell Ave., Miami; 786-809-1786; Daily 6 p.m. to midnight.
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