After two years of planning and building, the Citadel, an impressive multi-use space that incorporates a food hall, shopping, entertainment, and office space, is set to open its first phase — the food hall and bar — tomorrow, February 16. In the coming weeks, the Citadel will introduce pop-up shops by local merchants and live entertainment. A rooftop bar will open thereafter.
Unlike some other Miami food halls, the Citadel's space has an industrial-meets-rustic-inn vibe complete with keyhole doors, natural wood, greenery, and exposed pipes. Those aspects make this food hall the most inviting when it comes to decor.
The bar takes up the north wall of the food hall, while most of the dessert and snack concepts occupy the east side. Diners can choose from communal tables, high bars, and smaller seating arrangements.
At a media preview last evening, the Citadel's vendors presented bits of their menus. Among the standouts was Taquiza, whose chef Steve Santana presented the winning dish of the evening: a squash blossom encased in a Parmesan-crusted tortilla.
Other noteworthy bites were Richard Hales' crispy chicken, a bit spicy on the outside and impossibly moist on the inside; Festival
Sweeter offerings to look out for include Bachour's gorgeous pastries and Vice City Bean's coffees.
Here's the entire roster of concepts at the food hall:
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- 33 Kitchen. The Coconut Grove favorite closed about a year ago, and owners Leslie Ames and Sebastian Fernandez vowed to return with more projects. Now they're back with Peruvian fare at 33 Kitchen and a new burger concept.
- Ash! Pizza Parlor. The owners of Stanzione 87 are behind this wood-fired Neapolitan pizza concept.
- Bachour. Award-winning pastry chef Antonio Bachour offers two spots selling his gorgeous pastries and gourmet chocolates.
- Bianco Gelato. This is the fifth location for this concept, which makes gelato daily using organic ingredients.
- Manjay. Chef Jouvens Jean serves traditional Caribbean cuisine.
- IL Nuts. Yossef Roasting Co. offers handcrafted and roasted Israeli nuts and seeds.
’nCheese. Mauro Bortignon's charcuterie spot offers imported cheese, Italian salumi, and a to-go charcuterie cone.
Palma Juice Co. Grab-and-go juices, salads, and soups are the
- Palmar. This outpost of the Wynwood restaurant serves chef Raymond Li's takes on Chinese cuisine.
- Rare Burger. 33 Kitchen's Leslie Ames and Sebastian Fernandez present a new burger concept featuring premium meats and vegetarian selections.
- Sakaya Kitchen/Society BBQ. Chef Richard Hales (Sakaya Kitchen, Blackbrick, Bird & Bone) is planning a Texas barbecue concept featuring meats smoked with wood for hours and then carved to order. In the interim, his Sakaya Kitchen will serve some favorite dishes.
- Taquiza. Chef Steve Santana takes his traditional Mexican taqueria to the Citadel.
- Vice City Bean. This second location of the local coffeehouse offers caffeine fixes and pastries.
To celebrate its opening weekend, the Citadel offers this schedule of events, parties, and specials:
- Saturday, February 16, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.: Workshops by the dance ensemble Konpa on the Rise, live jams by Cortadito and local DJs, more than 15 artisanal vendors, kids' activities, and other diversions.
- Sunday, February 17: Brunch drink specials and local DJs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Monday, February 18: Presidents' Day drink specials from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Citadel. 8300 NE Second Ave., Miami; thecitadelmiami.com. Opens February 16.