When John Gallo and Rene Reyes decided to open PInch Miami, it was the culmination of a dream ten years in the making.
The partners, who expect to open the "new, freestyle American eatery" in early October at the former Biscayne Diner space (8601 Biscayne Blvd.), have worked in the same kitchens for about a decade. Gallo explains. "Rene and I started working together about ten years ago. We both worked at Barceloneta in Miami Beach and we both were on the opening team at Barceloneta in South Miami."
The duo parted ways for a while when Rene moved to New York to work at Michael White's high-end Italian seafood house, Marea. But they were soon reunited at L'Echon Brasserie, Gallo says. "Rene came back down to Miami. We're great friends. We have a great relationship."
Gallo and Reyes then decided to open their own place. The pair, by the way, have high praise for their former Pubbelly mentors. "They gave us a lot of opportunities to be the best we could be."
The menu will consist of about a dozen and a half core menu items, along with daily specials. The menu will be casual and approachable, encompassing much of the different culinary styles both chefs have been trained in. "We've worked with Asian, Italian, and tapas flavors, and all that will come into play at some point.. That's why we call it freestyle."
The duo will source ingredients locally. "We're looking to join the Little River chefs' CSA. And we'll have about four local craft beers on tap, with a larger selection of bottles." Meals will be moderately priced, with main entrees ranging between $20-30. Dishes, for the most part, are designed to eaten family-style.
The partners are also in the middle of transforming the space from a diner to a more homey atmosphere — without a lot of capital. "We're on a shoestring budget, although we're trying to go one better than the Ikea route," quips Gallo.
Gallo and Reyes expect Pinch Miami to open by October 10, "We're keeping our fingers crossed on that one," and will serve dinner only for the first two weeks or so. After that, the restaurant will serve lunch, brunch, and will offer a daily happy hour.