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The Federal, Set to Open This Month, Reveals Menu Highlights

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​Take note, Pious Pig Restaurant Group patrons! Aniece Meinhold, Cesar Zapata, and Alejandro Ortiz have officially announced the opening of the Federal Food Drink & Provisions in mid-January. That means food, beer, and a good time are all soon to come for the location at NE 51st Street and Biscayne Boulevard.

The modern American tavern seeks to become a neighborhood meeting point where the residents of Morningside, Bay Point, the Design District, and beyond can congregate and enjoy their favorite comfort food, albeit with an updated edge.

Chef Zapata has created a menu designed to be shared (but let's be honest -- stinginess with food is what we do best!). The menu sections are subdivided based on size and types -- for example, Bits, Potted Stuffs, Ham 'n Cheese, Small Shares, Pot Pies, Big'uns, & Then Some, and Sweetums.

Smaller plates include tummy-grumble inducing crispy tripe dusted with barbecue powder and maple syrup dipping sauce; Buffalo pig wings with blue-cheese mousse, pickled carrots and celery; and biscuits and gravy crowned with crisp sweetbreads and served with peas, carrots, and country gravy. For seafood lovers, there will also be nightly selections of raw shellfish, including freshly shucked oysters and clams on the half-shell with bourbon maple mignonette. The selections above are but a mere taste of the entire menu at "the Fed," as it will lovingly be called. 

Along with spearheading the stylistic parts of the restaurant, Ortiz had a hand (or two) in the desserts. Originally trained as a chef at the Culinary Institute of America, Ortiz brings his passion for pastry to the forefront at the Fed. The Sweetums' protagonists include sinful sticky buns, fresh fruit cobblers, and creamy puddings. Options will change frequently based on availability and seasonality.

Enough food, though. Time to get our booze on! The beverage program will be manned by Meinhold, and in keeping with the American menu, the beverage selection will also have a patriotic slant. There will be a wine list of 60 selections -- half domestic and half international classics -- while the beer program will be a rotating selection of about 25 domestic craft brews, with six of them on draft. Sherries and vermouths will serve as aperitifs and the basis for creative cocktails of your liking.

There is no doubt this frontier land of an eating space will become a frequent go-to for area natives. With Chef Zapata as the self-proclaimed "stove master and pig whisperer," Ortiz as the "schemer and Renaissance man," and Meinhold as "bar wench and pot stirrer," one can be sure to have a knee-slappin' good time at the restaurateurs' newest food baby.

Oh, and in efforts to keep up with the frontier-land tavern motif, don't forget your plaid flannels!

Open for dinner from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 5 to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Plans to open for lunch and weekend bunch are underway.

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