Pinch Kitchen Is a Welcome Addition to Biscayne Boulevard

Though Little Haiti and the MiMo District are two of Miami's fastest-growing areas, the stretch of Biscayne Boulevard from NE 79th Street to 125th Street has lagged behind in attracting independent shops and restaurants — until now. The part of Biscayne that serves as the main thoroughfare for middle-class havens like Miami Shores, El Portal, and Shorecrest is beginning to thrive, with Cake and Biscayne Home Brew leading the way and Brooklyn's Paulie Gee's set to move in.

A welcome addition to the neighborhood is Pinch Kitchen, which takes over the Biscayne Diner space at 8601 Biscayne Blvd.

The small restaurant is the work of chefs/partners John Gallo and Rene Reyes, two Pubbelly Restaurant Group alumni who worked together at Barceloneta in Miami Beach and South Miami, as well as L'Echon Brasserie. Friends for more than a decade, the duo decided to venture forth into their own project, announcing their plans to open Pinch, a "freestyle American eatery."

The restaurant, which officially opens tomorrow, November 6, is already abuzz with local residents who are attracted to the warm lighting and chalkboard on the street inviting people to try the new spot.

Although the partners admit the restaurant was put together on a shoestring budget, the result is a homey space decorated with potted herbs and vintage photos. The diner's counter has been transformed into a small bar where guests can enjoy a craft beer or glass of wine curated by beverage director and general manager Alex Coello and watch Reyes and Gallo in the kitchen.

The one-page menu, which will change according to seasonal ingredients, is concise but with enough variety for everyone at the table. Plates are meant to be shared, with portion sizes certainly generous enough for two.

A beet plate ($9) features roasted beets and confit cherry tomatoes over chocolate with toasted hazelnuts. Pickled Fresno peppers provide the needed acid to balance the sweetness of the root vegetable and sauce.

Unfortunately, the kitchen ran out of mussels, but an order of Maine scallops ($18) was perfectly seared. Two plump, oversize scallops were served over a parsnip velouté and a swish of squid ink. 

Fresh Florida wahoo sashimi ($21) is allowed to shine on its own merits with just a touch of kalamansi and radish to make the flesh pop. Pomegranate seeds and coriander flower give the dish some lovely color.

A Dutch chicken is halved, roasted, and served with a wonderfully garlicky Swiss chard. For $18, it's a feast for one hungry person, but there's certainly enough meat for two to be sated

Pinch Kitchen is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11:20 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Happy hour is Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.

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