Breakout the tequila and cue the mariachis; South Floridians are going to have extra reason to celebrate on Thursday, May 5, 2011 when successful Palm Beach-based restaurateur Carmine Giardini, owner/operator of Carmine’s Restaurant Group, opens the doors of his newest creation – Cinco Cantina & Tequila Bar. Featuring a beautiful bar and an expansive menu, created and executed by Chef John Belleme and his talented kitchen staff, the restaurant, located in the upscale Village of Merrick Park’s beautiful plaza, is slated to open to the public on none other than Cinco de Mayo.
Seating 366 throughout a spacious dining room, bar, outdoor patio and two private rooms, Cinco will surely appeal to the trendsetters, foodies and scene-makers that flock to the designer boutiques that fill the Spanish-style al fresco shopping center. Bringing the spirit of Cinco de Mayo to Miami 365 days a year, Cinco will feature a rustic and festive ambiance with colorful and traditional Mexican design elements.
Serving at lunch and dinner daily, the menu is large, featuring something for everyone and priced-to-please. The list of options promises to appeal to diners who love authentic Mexican dishes as well as those seeking more eclectic fare. The Tequila bar, which is positioned to become one of Coral Gable’s hottest new watering holes, will serve an array of traditional and signature cocktails during its nightly Happy Hour.
The menu begins with an assortment of starters ranging in price from $6 to $16 including made-to-order guacamole, to a cazuela de queso fundido to shrimp empanadas and fresh ceviches as well as oysters on the half shell. Mainplate salads ($11-$16) will include a bountiful chopped Mexican cobb salad, crispy aji salad, skirt steak salad with a warm chipotle lime vinaigrette, a shrimp a la plancha salad, with chayote, vine ripe tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro and queso fresco and a refreshing green chile chicken Ceasar salad with grilled adobo chicken, avocado, tomato, and garlic croutons.
Composed house specialties and traditional plates starting at $11include lacquered chicken in classic red mole with white rice, sweet plantains and jicama & watercress slaw; pescado Veracruzana – yellowtail snapper with tomatoes, green olives, pickled jalapenos and coconut rice tamale; a 14 oz. ancho-rubbed pork rib chop with roasted corn & avocado salsa; chipotle-glazed baby back ribs with Mexico City-style “street corn”; roasted vegetable enchiladas with creamy tomatillo sauce and chiles rellenos with roasted tomato sauce.
Also featured on the menu are tortas (Mexican griddle baked sandwiches, $9 & $10) including the Miami-inspired Cubana with smoked pork loin, nueske bacon, black beans, Chihuahua cheese, chipotle mustard and avocado; and the carne asada brava with caramelized onions, black beans, pickled jalapenos, chipotle mustard and Chihuahua cheese. Rounding out the savory options will be an array of soups ($5-$6), tacos ($13-$22) and tamales ($9-$12). A full menu of house-made desserts is still in development.
To execute the menu at Cinco, Giardini has brought in Miami native John Belleme, a well-respected local talent who first came to prominence during his days with the esteemed Unique Restaurant Group. The restaurant marks Belleme’s reemergence into the Miami market since joining the Carmine’s Restaurant Group at Umi Fishbar and Grill in Palm Beach in October 2010. Rooted in authentic Mexican cuisine, the menu will have a contemporary spin, compliments of Belleme and his talented culinary staff. "I’ve always had a deep respect for, and appreciation of Mexican cuisine," says Belleme, who quietly worked behind-the-scenes on several Mexican concepts over the course of his career. “I’m thrilled to finally have a chance to cook this type of food and work with the great ingredients and multi-layered flavors that Mexican cuisine has to offer. The menu will playfully pay homage to authentic Mexican cuisine and have something for everyone.”
Cinco Cantina & Tequila Bar, located at 4251 Salzedo Street, Suite 1325 in Coral Gables at The Village of Merrick Park, is slated to open Thursday, May 5, 2011. Lunch and dinner served daily from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. Telephone: (786) 439-1730. www.cincomiami.com
Since 1973, when Vittorito, Italy-born Carmine Giardini established Carmine’s Meat Market in Pembroke Pines, the Giardini name has been synonymous with fine wine and food in South Florida. Since opening his first restaurant, La Trattoria, more than 19 years ago in Palm Beach Gardens under the banner of Carmine’s Restaurant Group, Giardini has expanded his empire and his brand, establishing himself as one of the region’s most successful restaurateurs. The secret to his success? A dedication to service and giving his customers – whether they’re dining at one of his restaurants or shopping at Carmine Gourmet Market – the perfect balance between quality and affordability. Current Carmine’s Restaurant Group holdings include
Carmine’s Gourmet Market (Palm Beach Gardens), Carmine’s La Trattoria (Palm Beach Gardens), CG Burgers and Coal Fired Pizza (Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens), and Umi Fishbar & Grill (Palm Beach Gardens). Today, Giardini has more than 600 employees and has won various accolades including a nod from the Palm Beach Post for “Best Italian” (La Trattoria) and “#1 Sushi” in Palm Beach (Umi). In May 2011, Carmine’s Restaurant Group will mark Giardini’s expansion into Miami Dade County with the opening of Cinco Cantina and Tequila Bar in The Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables and CG Burgers in Kendall; both slated to open early-May 2011. Next on tap: CG Burgers in Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables and La Trattoria locations in Kendall and Pembroke Pines.