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Wayku Will Showcase New Andean Fare in Wynwood

Wayku will serve Novo-Andean fare in Wynwood.EXPAND
Wayku will serve Novo-Andean fare in Wynwood.
Photo by Brinson Renda
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Wayku Restaurant & Bar, whose kitchen fuses contemporary Latin-American and Andean fare, is set to open in January 2021 in Wynwood.

The restaurant is a partnership between Argentinian restaurateur Diego D’Alvia (Rex and La Morocha in Buenos Aires), and chef Matteo Gritti.

Born in Milan, Gritti opened his first restaurant in Buenos Aires at age 23 after living in France and Australia. His career trajectory also includes work at fine-dining restaurants in Italy, pop-up concepts, and work as a restaurant consultant.

Miami is the perfect place to introduce his nomadic-inspired cuisine, says the 27-year-old Gritti, citing a long-term goal of opening additional locations in Los Angeles and Punta del Este, Uruguay, in the next eight years.

“We designed Wayku as a nomadic concept in the sense that, while we are paying homage to the Andean culture, which is the spine of South America, we also want to have our guests travel all over the continent through food,” he explains. “With Miami being a gateway to Latin America, we expect a good reception in terms of what we will be offering.”

By augmenting ancient culinary traditions with modern sensibilities regarding presentation and technique, Gritti says, Wayku will elevate the traditional Andean diet of meat, potatoes, maize, carrots, and spices. The result: a borderless experience that "moves and breathes with the cycles of nature” via the use of diverse seasonal ingredients.

“We shake up the palate with lots of colors, flavors, and spices,” Gritti says. “There will be a lot of vegetarian dishes presented in fun ways and with respect for the ingredients.”

Divided into categories named after Quechuan words, Wayku’s menu includes appetizers such as hamachi tiradito with melon and yellow pepper, crispy onions, and tobiko from its Wayra Pacha (air) section. Another signature starter is "Ode to Carrots," made with caramelized carrots, carrot hummus, carrot greens, and chimichurri, listed under the Pacha Mama (earth) portion of the menu.

Main courses are found under Mikuna (food), with entrées like octopus on black aubergine with potatoes and beetroot; and bone-in short rib on mashed peas, served with beet sprouts and wasabi.

Desserts like a "Pink Volcano" cake, which gets its hue from pink coco beans, an avocado cheesecake, and mango sticky rice will be offered under Khuyay (love).

The décor of the 2,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar in Wynwood will combine stone, wood, warm colors, and greenery. A mural will depict a condor, a puma, and a serpent — the three sacred animals that make up the Inca trilogy representing Heaven, Earth, and the world of the dead. The outdoor patio will showcase a totem.

Gritti, who's also a DJ, says the experience will be complemented with a playlist of tunes inspired by South America's diverse cultures and natural elements.

Gritti and D’Avila enlisted Buenos Aires bartender and TV and radio personality Mona Gallosi to develop Wayku’s cocktail menu. Inspired by the Andean culture and complemented with European and Asian influences, Gallosi  reinterprets classics like an old fashioned, for which she mixes American whiskey with mushroom honey and bitters.

Once it debuts in January, Wayku will be open daily for dinner service.

Wayku Restaurant & Bar. 73 NW 26th St., Miami; waykurestaurants.com. Open for dinner from 4:30 p.m. to midnight. Slated to open January 2021.

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