Swanky bars and restaurants inside luxury hotels are an integral part of Miami's fabric, but a new outpost opening this summer on Ocean Drive plans to make history by bringing back the old heat to South Beach's iconic strip.
A massive, 132-room hotel complex, the Celino is the $110 million brainchild of Ricardo Tabet of real estate and development investment firm Optimum Group. When completed, it will encompass three original art deco buildings, a five-story atrium space, two large oceanfront pool decks, and two fine-dining concepts, Pubblica Italiana and Dalia.
Tabet entered into a partnership with Ink Entertainment, the hospitality company behind Byblos at the Royal Palm South Beach, and together they will operate the food and beverage program at the two restaurants.
"We have all we need to communicate a new beginning on Ocean Drive and make it part of the local community again," says Charles Khabouth, founder and CEO of Ink. "We've kept Byblos running for four years, despite coming into a location that had failed multiple times. Despite a rough start, we were successful because we kept our commitment to a diverse, unique menu and consistent service. Miami is a fast-moving city and has the foodie clientele, but still, you have to deliver."
Executive chef Patrick Ochs, who crafted the menus for the two new restaurants after working at Scott Conant's Scarpetta and Tom Collichio's
"Ocean Drive is still a fun, happy, exciting place, and the right combination of fine dining and hospitality can make it the new hot spot again," he says.
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With a Mediterranean- and seafood-centric menu, Dalia will feature a courtyard with seating for 150 people. Inside, an open kitchen, an illuminated display of fresh oysters, and a wood-fired oven will anchor the eatery, which will showcase cuisine influenced by the coastal regions of Greece, Turkey, and Lebanon. Expect dishes such as snapper ceviche, labneh with pomegranate, falafel fritters with pickled red cabbage, and wagyu moussaka with eggplant, tomato, and feta béchamel.
In addition to a world-wine list, Pubblica Italiana will offer familiar flavors stylishly dressed in dishes like braised short rib cavatelli in a red wine reduction, local yellowtail snapper with caponata, and fried zucchini with whipped ricotta, lemon, mint, and truffle honey.
The boutique hotel will also house a glamorous and sophisticated indoor/outdoor horseshoe cocktail bar. Celino’s interpretation of “Floradita” and Cuban modernism, it will open onto the hotel’s vibrant courtyard area, seamlessly integrate with the lobby, and flow into Dalia.
The Celino South Beach Hotel. 640 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; thecelinohotel.com. Opening slated for summer 2019.