Neighborhood Joints

Spend Sunday Night at the Vagabond With a Family-Style Meal

Sunday night dinner at the Vagabond Restaurant & Bar is untraditional. Think gourmet dishes, served family-style, inside a sleek and retro MiMo hotspot. Yes, this is way better than dinner at mom's.

A Family Affair, a new meal series launched at the eatery on 73rd and Biscayne, is executive chef Alex Chang's twist on a Sunday night family-type meal.

Each week the restaurant will showcase a different culinary theme with a four-course prix-fixe menu priced at $32 per person. Unlike typical fare served at the Vagabond, like pan-seared beef heart and sweetbread milanesa, Chang is focused on straightforward dishes served family style, using fresh, local, and uncomplicated ingredients. 

Chang's inspiration stems from his college days at the University of Southern California, where he held weekly dinners for friends. Though he said it was meant to be a homestyle-alternative to high-priced, Cali-style food, it turned into a three-course, gourmet-style experience with dozens of friends and foodies on an email waiting list. What was meant for about 12 people grew to upwards of 60 a seating. His experience was later documented in the 2013 documentary Paladar, which described Chang and his roommates' illegal restaurant business. 

According to Chang, Vagabond's rendition of his college-dinner debaucheries won't be nearly as crazy. His focus is simple: To give locals a place to enjoy an epicurean, family-style meal in a communal-seating setting. 

When Vagabond's series kicked off on October 18, Chang felt a mix of excitement and apprehension. To this day, thinking about his college-family meal series evokes anxiety, which is why he's adamant on keeping Vagabond's version intimate. 

For the kick-off, Chang crafted a steakhouse-centric menu, including warm parker house rolls, chicories, and blue cheese salad, boneless short ribs with bĂ©arnaise, Vagabond's signature french fries, creamed escarole, and sweet shortbread with fresh strawberries to finish. Everything but the shortbread were served family style, which is how most plates during his Sunday night meal series will be served. 

This week's theme is Italian. The menu includes chicken marsala, spaghetti aglio e oilo, roasted baby broccoli, Calabrian chili, pecorino, and yogurt panna cotta with amaretto for dessert. Eggplant Parmesan will also be served. As of now, it will continue only through November 1, but there's a good chance it'll extend beyond. 

Walk-ins are welcomed, but reservations are preferred. For reservations, please call 786-409-5635.

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Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor, with her work appearing in print and digital titles worldwide.
Contact: Clarissa Buch