Cocktails & Spirits

Drink and Dine in Gianni Versace's Former Kitchen at Onyx Bar Inside Casa Casuarina

Maine lobster cocktail
Maine lobster cocktail Courtesy of Onyx Bar
If the closest you've been to Gianni Versace's former Ocean Drive mansion, now Villa Casa Casuarina, is taking a selfie in front of the Medusa statues guarding the gates, head to the property's Onyx Bar.

The bar is the easiest way to cross this historic destination off your bucket list. The boutique hotel’s lounge has debuted a food menu, so you can now drink and dine in what was once Versace’s kitchen.

The menu is crafted by Gianni's at the Villa executive chef Thomas Stewart and offers Italian- and Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as Spanish octopus ($22); burrata with eggplant, tomatoes, and balsamic ($24); jumbo shrimp or Maine lobster cocktail ($22); cheese and charcuterie ($33); and tuna tartare ($22). A favorite item is the black truffle arancini ($12).

"By offering options in the spirit of Gianni's, we not only create a more special experience, but we also invite people to lounge in different areas of the mansion to see this one-of-a-kind venue from different perspectives,” Stewart says.

The chef says he decided to develop the bar menu as a way to enhance guests’ experience beyond cocktails. Still, those libations are not to be missed. Go for the infamous 24-karat golden margarita festooned with real gold flakes. The bar also serves a premium selection of wines, bourbon, and Scotch.

Offering seating at the bar and a wraparound couch along the wall, the intimate, dimly lit lounge retains the neoclassical character of the legendary fashion designer’s former home. But it wouldn’t be right to contain yourself to only the bar.

Be sure to stroll past the antique fountain in the open-air courtyard, and admire the portraiture, sculptures, and mosaics that abound until you reach the stunning mosaic swimming pool out in the garden as you savor your gilded cocktail.

Onyx Bar at the Villa Casa Casuarina. 1116 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 786-485-2200; Tuesday through Sunday 6 p.m. to midnight.
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Lyssa Goldberg