Haven, an intimate, contemporary food lounge by hospitality designer and tech-savvy entrepreneur Mike Boles and Executive Chef Todd Erickson, has established itself as an emerging fixture in Miami Beach’s culinary and nightlife landscape since its opening in May 2011. Erickson’s diverse global small plates menu has won over professional and novice food critics alike, propelling Haven to recognition by Restaurant Management as one of the nation’s “20 Hottest Restaurants” and the number one spot on Miami New Times’ “Top 5 Gastropubs” list, among other accolades. Located at 1237 Lincoln Road in South Beach, Haven also boasts an extensive menu of hand-crafted cocktails designed by award-winning mixologists, cutting-edge design, state-of-the-art sight and sound installations, and a roster of musical talent to organically escalate tempos into the early hours seven days a week.
Executive chef Todd Erickson, whose cooking style reflects his passion for travel and regional cuisine, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and boasts more than 10 years of kitchen experience. Throughout his career, Erickson has amassed recognition from the Dallas Observer as the “Best Chef Under 30” and a “Number One Young Gun Chef” by D Magazine. Since opening Haven, he has earned 3 out of 4 stars and a “top chef” nod from The Miami Herald critic Victoria Pesce Elliott, a 2012 Zest Award nomination from Johnson & Wales Universtiy, and the title of “Hottest Chef Miami” by Eater.
Erickson’s locally inspired menu includes Sweet Frites sweet potato fries, spiced brown sugar and lemon cayenne aioli ($8); Crackle-Pop Sushi, spicy tuna and pickled daikon rolled in seared and crisped rice and painted with yuzu-shichimi aioli ($14); Rock Shrimp crisped with coconut panko and wasabi-sour peach marmalade for dipping ($12); “Duck Duck” Quail Slider, in-house ground duck burger topped with quail egg, foie gras butter and served with parsley-shallot salad ($11); Jerk Chicken skewered chicken thigh, pineapple, red bell and scotch bonnet honey ($10)); and Swedish Meatballs skewered between roasted crimini mushrooms and served over cucumber salad and a splash of lingonberry gastrique ($10). The sweets menu revolves around desserts created using molecular gastronomy techniques, such as sub-zero Nitro Ice Cream – Miami New Times winner “Best of Miami 2011: Top 100” – which varies daily with fruity, nutty and candy mix-ins ($12) .
Haven’s white Siberian onyx bar is helmed by lead mixologist Isaac Grillo – who currently holds the Miami title of “SVEDKA Summer Mixologist 2011” – and a team of skilled bartenders that sling up nitrogen-infused libations nightly. Unique options include the Disco Fizz, ugni blanc flower liqueur and strawberry limoncello ($17); the eleVate, vodka stirred with green chili over lychee and pear sorbet topped with prosecco ($15); and the Pressure Drop, tequila infused with passion-citrus “dots” and a dash of cracked pepper ($17). Classic libations include The haVen, aged rum with Filthy Cherry maraschino-cherry mix and sugarcane garnished with orange peel ($15); and the feVer, tequila blended with pineapple, lime, sage and acacia honey ($15).
Haven’s culinary prowess is complemented by a rich ambiance established through attention to detail and tech-forward design. Custom design touches within the 120-person venue include a black beach pebble water wall entryway, an open kitchen and chef’s counter that offer front-row seats to the inventive food preparation, recycled black leather banquettes, chef-designed glass plate ware, 110-feet of panoramic screen walls – capable of streaming a continuous digital image, ranging from breathtaking scenic views to abstract video art, to corporate branding for special events – 35-speaker high fidelity audio system and a 20-seat sidewalk café for open-air dining.
Haven is the first South Florida venture by Boles, who plans to expand the concept to other cities domestically and abroad. The Georgia native previously helped revitalize Atlanta’s West Side by creating hip, modern nightlife venues such as the multi-use, high-tech Compound and Luckie Food Lounge, both regarded as Atlanta’s favorite celebrity hangouts.