Update: New Times has learned that the exact name of the new iteration of Vagabond will be Vagabond Kitchen & Bar. The restaurant will open July 6.
Changes are happening at the Vagabond Restaurant & Bar.
Vagabond Hotel's Avra Jain has confirmed that July 3, the fashionable MiMo hotel's eatery will close and reopen 48 hours later. Vagabond Kitchen & Bar will open July 6 with a new approach to food.
Also, Wunderkind chef Alex Chang will leave the restaurant. According to Jain, the rising star is leaving on good terms. "He's young, and there are things he wants to do in order to grow as a chef. He wants to travel more. Alex's food is casual fine dining, and as such, it requires him to be there." She points out that Chang could always be found on the line, insisting that everything, including the restaurant's vinegars, be made by him.
Jain says she's thrilled the Vagabond Restaurant & Bar was the setting in which Miami was introduced to Chang. "His leaving is going to leave a hole in the Miami food scene. He challenged us with a lot of flavors, and he had great impact."
With Chang at the helm, Vagabond Restaurant & Bar was recently named Miami's Best New Restaurant.
Chang is still at the Vagabond and is assisting with the transition. In fact, some of his dishes will likely stay on at Vagabond Kitchen, and Jain says most of the staff will remain. "I'm happy about that because Alex put together a great team of people who enjoy working together." Chef Roberto Dubois will take over Vagabond Kitchen & Bar's kitchen.
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Partners Julien Géliot and Fabien Chalard are spearheading Vagabond Kitchen, featuring a menu of "Americana with a French twist." The duo opened Plethore & Balthazar at the Hilton Bentley in Miami Beach in September 2015. The original Plethore & Balthazar is located in Lyon, France.
In addition, the cocktail menu and wine list will be freshened up, and an extended bar menu will be offered. Vagabond Kitchen will serve dinner and Saturday and Sunday brunch.
The Vagabond owner says this transition is a positive one for the neighborhood. "I'm actually very excited. Julien and Fabien are very passionate about this project," Jain says. "We all want this to be a place where people feel welcome."
Vagabond Kitchen & Bar will be open for dinner Tuesday - Thursday from 6 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday from 6 p.m. to midnight. Brunch will be served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.