Pérez Art Museum's Verde Creates Colorful Weekend Brunch

Verde, Pérez Art Museum Miami's waterfront restaurant, is more than just an easy go-to for a convenient mid-exhibit bite. Executive chef Kaytlin Brakefield, who joined the eatery more than a year and a half ago, carefully crafted a menu that's delicious and vibrant in both taste and appearance, making weekend brunch alluring for locals, tourists, and foodies alike. 

She says weekends at the museum-based restaurant are busy and most diners make reservations to guarantee a spot.  

"We've developed a huge brunch following," she says. "We really do fill up immediately. People don't generally think about it and they'll just walk in, but we have so many reservations that sometimes waits can go up to an hour."
Verde's appeal to many cult brunchgoers is simple: A clear-cut menu, a beautiful setting, and a peaceful vibe are often hard to come by in the 305, making this eatery a triple threat.

"It's simple," she says. "You have the water, the breeze, the museum, and the restaurant." 

The menu is small but offers a mix of classic breakfast and lunch favorites, along with a few variations to keep diners interested. It's broken up into five sections, featuring pizzas, sandwiches, salads, a range of small plates, and straightforward breakfast plates. 
Those looking for a traditional brunch experience should focus on the egg and sweet bread plates. Choose from two Benedicts — classic ($15) and lobster ($22) — each topped with a light and creamy hollandaise sauce and served alongside leafy greens and crisp breakfast potatoes. For something similar but a bit more filling, consider the Gruyère omelet ($14), with just the right amount of tangy cheese to make each bite a blend of fluffy and thick.
Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy the pancakes ($12). Three feathery-light flapjakcs come neatly stacked and topped with seasonal fruit like strawberries or blueberries, maple butter, a nut crumble, and a light sprinkle of powdered sugar. 
Brunchers with a hankering for lunch can choose from a variety of salads ($12 to $14), which combine ingredients such as kale, avocado, charred corn, lime vinaigrette, and feta yogurt. Or try one of four pizzas on the menu. The squash blossoms variety ($14) is a bestseller. It's made with colorful ingredients, including zucchini, goat cheese, and tomato sugo, making the pie appear more like a piece of art in the museum rather than a tasty lunchtime bite. 
Diners with a hefty appetite should consider dishes off the menu's large-plates section. From cheeseburgers ($15) to mussels ($18), an array of choices is available. For the indecisive, consider the grilled chicken club ($15), made with smoked bacon, avocado, and rosemary aioli.
Don't miss Brakefield's dessert menu, which she recently debuted. It features an assortment of freshly baked pastries, including brown=butter sugar doughnuts and a Key lime pie in a small mason jar. 

Brunch runs Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the museum is not required to dine. Reservations are encouraged. For more information, call 786-345-5697.

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