Locally Sourced

Sustain Restaurant & Bar Opens This Saturday

Sustain, in Midtown Miami, opens its doors to the public this Saturday, December 18. The concept of the restaurant is: sustainable, seasonal, and simple. The focus on sustainability is supposed to encompass both the food and the physical space.

Executive Chef Alejandro Piñero is a Miami native, who previously worked under Michelle Bernstein at The Strand, served as sous chef at Casa Tua, and chef de cuisine at Fratelli Lyon.; Piñero wants to incorporate as many regionally sourced ingredients as he can, including produce from North and West Florida. Paradise Farms, Seriously Organic, Teena's Pride, and PT Fish are some of the sources he mentioned he'll be working with. He also plans to follow the recommendations of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch.

Piñero is passionate about the beef he'll be getting from 4 Arrows Ranch

(farm) and Florida Fresh Beef (processor): "It's a completely

sustainable farm. 4 Arrows doesn't have milk cows and farmer Lee Windham

goes to the supermarket for staples. Other than that, she grows all her own vegetables. All of the feed for the animals comes from the

farm. That farm is where I'll be getting a lot of my proteins, like

beef, lamb, and pork. If it's grown sustainably in the region [not just

in South Florida], it still makes sense for me to use it. I'd like to

not ship in stuff from Europe, but for example, if I want salmon, I'll

buy a Loch Duart from Scotland."

On the menu, a 50-Mile Salad will feature wood oven-roasted beets, pickled onions, Paradise Farms brassica, and feta from Hani's Mediterranean Organics.

A Florida lobster salad will be composed of lobster, avocado, and hearts of

palm. Starters include house made soft pretzels with whole grain

mustard and orange blossom honey; pigs in a blanket; and crispy sweet

breads. I eagerly anticipate the house made charcuterie board with

pork rillettes, country paté, Benton's smoked country ham, pickled

vegetables, and house made mustard.

Pizzas, Italian sausage,

and baked farm eggs will all be cooked in the wood oven.  Some of the main

dishes are grilled quail with Brussels sprouts and cipolini onions;

wreckfish with cannellini beans, escarole, chorizo, and local clams;

and porchetta.

When we spoke, Piñero was psyched

about "using the whole animal--cooking the offal, finding ways to use odd cuts

of meat. There will be more to offer than just strip steak. Obviously

I'll serve the strip steak but my idea is to purchase, let's say, half a

steer. I'll need to make sausages and hamburgers. I'll use other parts

of the steer for sandwiches and pastrami. With the hogs, one dish we'll

do is porchetta, which is a Tuscan dish. You take the whole pig, bone

it out, season it with garlic, sage, thyme, rosemary, and slow roast it

until the skin gets nice and crispy. We'll do a scaled down version of

that. And of course, we'll also make the rillettes and patés. We're

making our hot dogs in house, too."

Sustain will be open for

dinner Monday-Thursday 5 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to

midnight, and Sunday 5 to 10 p.m. They plan to offer lunch service

soon. It's located at 3252 NE 1st Avenue in Midtown Miami.

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Trina Sargalski