Rust quietly opened at Wynwood Block a couple of months ago. The 120-seat eatery with a courtyard in the back specializes in small plates with international influences. Owners Juan Ignacio Fraschini and Julio Wolman want Rust to be approachable but still exciting in terms of its menu and ambiance.
The restaurant's executive chef, Diego Medina, was the sous-chef at Cantina La Veinte in Brickell before he was hired to run the kitchen at Rust. The Cordon Bleu-trained toque was born in Buenos Aires and raised in Miami. He began his career at the age of 15, when he worked at the iconic News Café on Ocean Drive, and went on to work in many local kitchens, including Sam Gorenstein's My Ceviche. Medina describes his cuisine as "classical with a modern twist."
Rust's vibe is very Wynwood, and the decor features a mix of worn metals, wood, cork, and brick textures. It's an inviting space with a charming outdoor dining area. The eatery is open all day and serves lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. At the moment, only beer and wine are available, but expect a full bar and happy hour soon.
The menu is an eclectic mix with a little something for everyone. There are salads, flatbreads, tartines, and seafood and meat entrées. The most expensive item is the $19 pan-seared salmon, served over smoked creamed potatoes with asparagus, an avocado emulsion, and a ginger-orange sauce. It's one of the house's specialities, along with the Rust burger ($16), featuring provolone cheese, caramelized onion, bacon, egg, and mustard aioli. New Times was invited for a taste, and the burger was decidedly topnotch.
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Another speciality are the Uruguayan sausage croquettes ($9), which were cooked to perfection on a recent visit. Chef Medina is also known for his grilled octopus ($19) and Milanesa Napolitana ($17), which consists of breaded chicken breast topped with a homemade tomato-basil sauce and melted mozzarella. Prices are more than fair, especially when considering the generous size of the portions, even the small plates. Wynwood has many great restaurants, but Rust is a new hidden gem worth trying.
2621 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-576-6811; rustwynwood.com. Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to midnight, Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight.