Sometimes a restaurant's vibe is as crucial to its concept as the food. Such is the case with Orilla Bar & Grill, which opened this month inside Urbanica the Euclid Hotel in Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood. The eatery offers global cuisine in a stylish, laid-back setting that complements its surroundings.
At Orilla (pronounced oh-REE-ya), Argentine chef Fernando Trocca offers a sprawling international menu. It lopes from his native Argentina to Mexico to Lebanon — countries where he's worked during his three-decade culinary career.
"We brought the same vision we used for the Orilla location we opened last year in Buenos Aires," says Trocca, who has worked with the Urbanica group for the past two years. "Our menu is seasonal and unique in many ways but also straightforward, but most of all, Orilla is a fun place to be and share a drink. We want locals to want to visit multiple times a week."
Trocca, who has run the restaurant Sucre in Argentina's capital for two decades and operates the seasonal hot spot Mostrador Santa Teresita in Punta del Este, says his creations are also deeply inspired by his Italian grandmother, who taught him how to cook. "Argentina doesn't have South American roots that are strong like the rest of the continent. It is much more European in its culture and cuisine."
With 80 seats, Orilla's 2,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor dining room is open yet feels intimate. Specials from the charcoal grill, such as prime rib ($75) and short rib ($65), anchor the menu. It's divided into four sections, beginning with tapas-style appetizers such as tostada Mexicana with roasted veggies, avocado, and charred hot chile sauce ($7) and grilled corn served with pomegranate seeds and labneh ($7).
The next section of the globe-trotting menu lists medium-size dishes of grilled pork sausage with white Peruvian beans and sautéed spinach ($12); a rendition of burrata that's given a kick with roasted scallions and salsa verde ($14); and a signature charred eggplant, cooked with mixed herbs, croutons, lemon, and the Middle Eastern spice mixture za'atar ($12).
The open kitchen also churns out mains of flat-iron steak ($24) and traditional chicken Milanese ($19) that can be paired with sides of mashed potatoes ($5), roasted Brussel sprouts with black garlic ($6), and roasted carrots with fennel seeds and orange zest ($6). The family-style black rice is prepared with squid and bits of bacon and placed in the oven for a crisp texture ($24).
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Brooklyn-based pastry chef Chula Galvez complements the savory menu with desserts unique in flavors and textures, such as a pavlova with açaí, mango, papaya, hibiscus, and activated charcoal topped with the Middle Eastern yogurt labneh ($12). The vegan banoffee pie packs coconut dulce de leche, fresh banana, and yogurt in a nut crust ($12), and oven-roasted pineapples are served with lemon sorbet and meringue brûlée ($12).
Orilla's wine list sails through Italy, France, Spain, Argentina, and Uruguay. The bar serves cocktails created by mixologist Inés de los Santos. The fall menu includes concoctions such as Into the Woods, a blend of Grey Goose vodka, the Italian herbal liqueur Strega, eucalyptus, Sicilian lemon, and dry cider ($14). Order a pitcher of white sangria, made with Las Perdices Torrontes wine, lemon verbena, and passionfruit ($16), to share.
Brunch and lunch service are slated to launch next year.
Orilla Bar & Grill. 426 Euclid Ave., Miami Beach; 305-397-8806; iorilla.restaurant. Dinner Monday through Saturday 5 to 11 p.m.