Michael Shikany to Launch Restaurant and Cooking Classes in Wynwood

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Michael Shikany's resumé lists a rare combination of experiences. The chef, who graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York, completed stints at fine-dining restaurants such as Le Bernardin, Gramercy Tavern, and Babbo in Manhattan. In South Florida, he worked as a general manager at SushiSamba and Ortanique on the Mile. He is a sommelier and has served as a restaurant consultant. In short, Shikany is familiar with both the front and back of the house.

The multitalented chef will debut a "culinary creative environment" in Wynwood this summer, probably in July or August. Located at 251 NW 25th St., the 4,000-square-foot restaurant/event space/cooking school will be named Shikany.

"I decided to come to Wynwood because it's an up-and-coming area with a lot going on. It's urban, kind of like the Village in New York," Shikany says. "And the Beach is done in terms of cuisine. It's just all these large, imported hotel restaurants."

Wynwood's potential became even more evident as he looked at properties. When he saw his current space, it was originally priced at $12 per square foot. "Now it's already at $22 per square foot," he says.

The restaurant will be a small-plates concept and will be opened four nights a week, Thursday through Sunday. At Shikany, the chef will prepare tasting menus centered on global cuisine. Certain nights might include food-and-microbrew pairings. Others might focus on Lebanese or Italian fare.

Prices per seat will range from $60 to $175, which isn't cheap, but fees will vary depending upon the number of courses proffered. Dinners might include up to 20 plates. A tapas bar will also be open daily.

As for the cooking school component, Shikany hopes to fill a gap in Miami's culinary scene. "There aren't any places in the area to go for series of cooking classes like these," he says. Like the restaurant menu, topics will rotate and range from Indian to Southeast Asian cuisine. Courses will be priced between $50 and $125.

The chef believes his multifaceted space will reflect the ascent of Miami's epicurean scene. "There's a new feel for food. Nothing is like what is happening now," he says. "Shikany will reflect global cuisine -- and no big plates."

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