Phuc Yea!, pronounced [fook – yey’], will be one of Miami’s first “pop-up” restaurants, presenting a modern interpretation of traditional Vietnamese cuisine that highlights dishes from the southern region of Vietnam, emphasizes high quality ingredients, and employs high-end technique.
A “pop-up” is a temporary, alternative restaurant concept that involves taking over an existing establishment during its off hours and transforming it into a completely different entity for a predetermined period of time. Albeit temporary, Phuc Yea! intends on being a notable, casual ethnic dining destination serving the young professionals of downtown Miami, the residents of the Brickell area and the enthusiastic, ever growing foodie community from beyond.
The inspiration of Anièce Meinhold, Cesar Zapata and Daniel Treiman, Phuc Yea! is a progressive rendition of Southeast Asian cuisine. Phuc Yea! will separate itself from other Vietnamese and Asian-inspired restaurants by offering regionally traditional items that Americans have yet to experience as conventional Vietnamese fare. Vietnamese cuisine is a wonderful hybrid of Chinese, French, Indian, Khmer and Thai, making it a cusine that is flavorful, complex and dynamic and creating a food culture that is greatly admired for the freshness of its ingredients and healthfulness. Phuc Yea! will emphasize these key points and wow diners with vivacious flavors of fresh herbs, tart citrus, the savory complexity of nuoc mam (fish sauce) and hearty, flavorful protein preparations. Additionally, Phuc Yea! will be preparing items such as patés, terrines and sausages from scratch, offering adventurous diners snout to tail fare as well as integrating various modern and avant-garde culinary techniques into a cuisine that is otherwise rather simplistic.
In the spirit of conviviality, the menu will be comprised of mostly small plates, intended for sharing, and will feature a focused selection of 12 - 15 items that rotate on a weekly basis. The categories are broken down into “1 – một,” “2 – hai” and “3 – ba”, representing the size of the plates in that section.
The “1 – một” section includes a selection of fresh and fried “rolls” wrapped in moistened rice paper with various fillings, such as “Cha Gio” (imperial rolls, pork, crab, shrimp, glass noodles, $6) and “Bo Bia” (pork sausage, dried shrimp, jicama, herbs, $6) as well as other street food inspirations and various versions of the ubiquitous “Banh Mi” sandwich.
“2 – hai” will focus on appetizers meant for sharing such as “Ca Com Chien Don” (“fish ‘n chips,” crispy smelts, jalapenos, lemon aioli, $12), “Heo Xao Chua Ngot” (sweet ‘n sour chicharrones, crispy pork belly, pineapples, pickled onions, red bell peppers, $9), “Suon Heo Rim” (Vietnamese caramelized riblets, $8.5), “Goi Du Du” (green papaya salad, roasted pork, cherry tomatoes, roasted peanuts, shrimp chips, $10) and “So Hap Xa” (spicy steamed mussels, lemon grass, beer, herb butter, chiles, crusty bread, $10.5) Daily specials will also make their rounds including items such as “Indochine Pork Rillettes,” “Salt ‘n Pepper Squid,” and “Crispy Fish Salad.”
The “3 – ba” section offers larger dishes inspired by the lettuce wrap. Expertly roasted proteins like “5 Spice Pork Belly,” “Crispy Duck Confit,” and “BBQ Brisket” star all wrapped up in vibrantly fresh herbs, homemade pickles and crisp greens. “Mama’s Wonton Soup” will also make an appearance on the menu. The soup comes with egg noodles, char sui pork, shrimp balls and baby bok choy. Menu items will be affordably priced with “một” and “hai” items ranging from $5 - $18 and “ba” items ranging from $11 - $28.
Phuc Yea!’s creative bullet train consists of partners Anièce Meinhold, Cesar Zapata and Daniel Treiman. Head Chef Zapata (32) studied at the Art Institute in Houston and has spent the last decade sharpening his skills at the Four Seasons Hotel, the Setai, Karu & Y (Executive Sous Chef), Fratelli Lyon (Kitchen Manager) and has most recently garnered a bit of notoriety for his “haute stoner food” at The Blue Piano (partner). Treiman (26), also a chef, studied at Manhattan’s Institute of Culinary Education. He continued his culinary refinement at two of the nation’s top restaurants, Danny Meyer’s Eleven Madison Park and David Chang’s Momofuku Ssam Bar. Furthermore, he is a food writer currently contributing to numerous local and national publications.
Ready to delight diners with her toothy smile, extra fish sauce and Riesling in hand, Meinhold (31) specializes in front-of-house operations, service and beverage programs. Her last ten years has been spent managing some of the city’s top establishments, consulting and curating some of the most progressive wine programs in town; she, too, has written for a myriad of publications. The beverage program at Phuc Yea! will draw upon Meinhold’s German heritage and focus on Teutonic varietals like Riesling, Gruener Veltliner and Spaetburgunder along with a tight craft beer selection and homemade non-alcoholic beverages.
Additionally, Meinhold (German-Vietnorrican), Zapata (Gringo-lombian) and Treiman (Floridian Jew-Yorker) possess a unique combination of ethnicities along with a heavy schmear of NYC swagger. Having been raised and influenced by the Big Apple, the trio is Miami’s culinary version of “The Young and the Rebellious.” Phuc Yea! reflects a mash-up of their personalities and cultures along with a hit of Japanese anime and a couple doses of 80s hair band and 90s hip hop sure to bring an edge that is unlike any other Miami restaurant
The word “Phuc” has a number of definitions in Vietnamese. Between “lucky,” “prosperity,” “happiness,” and “fortune,” all of the words seemed appropriate in defining the Phuc Yea! Cru’s goals as well as their current state of mind. What do you say? Phuc Yea!
Phuc Yea! will be housed in the current Crown Bistro, located at 19 SE 2nd Avenue in the northwest corridor of the Ingraham Building, from early September until November 2011. Scheduled to open on Thursday, September 8, Phuc Yea! will be open for dinner only from 5:30 pm until 10:30pm, Tuesday through Saturday, and will be CLOSED Sunday – Monday. Street parking is plentiful during the evening hours in downtown. For questions or inquiries, please contact Aniece Meinhold directly at email@example.com or 305.494.0609.