It’s hard to miss Mia, the bold, beautiful new restaurant and lounge that has staked its claim on downtown dining at the corner of Flagler Street and Biscayne Boulevard. Encompassing 9,000 square feet inside of dining, dancing and lounge space, and 5,000 feet outdoors, the complex includes a lively al fresco bar and terrace seating, a two story lounge and dining room with soaring ceilings, multiple intimate private dining options, and comfortable lounge seating. The opulent and colorful venue, open since July 2009, accommodates 200 for dinner and up to 800 for cocktails and events. At Mia, all guests are invited to taste, indulge and experience the diverse flavors of Miami, with an innovative menu created by executive chef Gerdy Rodriguez.
“There isn’t really any way to categorize Mia’s menu, other than that its my interpretation of the flavors of Miami,“ offers Rodriguez, an accomplished chef who has overseen culinary operations at some of Miami’s finest dining destinations including Café Sambal at the Mandarin Oriental, Mundo, and 1 Bleu at The Regent Bal Harbour. Chef Gerdy continues, “When I designed the menu, I wanted to offer diners a chance to experience what I see as Miami’s global cuisine – this is one of the most diverse cities on Earth – and Mia (short for Miami) celebrates that diversity in its cuisine.”
Indeed, the Mia menu is rich with choices, spanning the globe with a focus on Spanish, Japanese, and Latin American cuisine; with an emphasis on high quality ingredients, including sustainable seafood, and organic and local ingredients, at price points that encourage exploration. From tasty snacks ($5 - $10) including croquetas oozing with manchego and Serrano ham, and tasty goat cheese crostinis flavored with roasted garlic, thyme and organic honey; to small plates ($6 - $14) such as perfectly cooked diver scallops, delicately flavored with vanilla oil and served with crispy fennel atop a potato puree; tender braised short rib served with tomato compote and horseradish crème fraiche or the whimsical “breakfast” – confit pork belly, served with crispy egg yolk, bacon bits and potato puree – the menu presents one delicious option after another.
Ceviches, tiraditos and sushi rolls ($10 - $20) all start with the freshest available seafood. Florida grouper tiradito, served with a lemony Kalamata olive tapenade; a delightful salmon tiradito simply served with jalapeno, citrus and white corn, and a classic ahi tuna ceviche marinated with citrus-soy, spicy siracha, nori and chunks of avocado are a wake up call to slumbering taste buds. Innovative and delicious rolls from the aptly named Crunch roll: hamachi, unagi, cucumber, and wasabi tobiko topped with crunchy spiced tenkasu and drizzled with eel sauce, to the namesake Mia roll – lobster topped with spicy tuna, crispy plantain, scallions and avocado crema exemplify what Mia’s menu is about – perfectly executed cuisine that captures the essence of Miami in an environment that’s all about fun and sharing.
Mia also offers a number of generous entrée style plates, suitable for sharing ($12-$35) including a beef tenderloin in a red wine reduction served with blue cheese emulsion and three textures of potato; seafood parrillada – a savory mélange of scallops, salmon, tuna, shrimp, and calamari served in a shallot-habanero vinaigrette; and day boat catch – fresh fish of the day, simply prepared with shallots, capers, lemon and extra virgin olive oil, offered with baby vegetables.
Desserts ($9) are an indulgent must – from hot mini donuts served with espresso-cortadito foam to an irresistible chocolate terrine flecked with lavender-candied bacon bits to Rodriguez’s signature edible cocktails ($10) – drinks created using nitrogen that must be consumed with a spoon such as the Cosmopolitan – a vodka gelee, orange sorbet, cranberry foam and candied orange zest concoction and the Cuba Libre, a new take on the classic cocktail with a dark rum gelee, coca cola granizado, lime espuma and Pop Rocks candy.
Mindful of their location in the heart of downtown Miami’s business community Mia also does a brisk lunch business. The menu encompasses a selection of salads, tasty sandwiches and pizzettes, entrees and a daily executive lunch special that includes a small salad, entrée special of the day and glass of wine for $14.95. The LED-lit festive outdoor bar offers happy hour drink specials daily from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with gratis bites from the kitchen regularly delivered to enthusiastic patrons.
“There’s no such thing as a typical Mia guest,” notes director of operations Landy F. Labadie. “We’re blessed in that we have the versatility to be many things to many people – a great place for an after work drink with friends – an accessible location for a business lunch meeting or a wonderful option for a culinary experience that offers high quality food in a fun-filled and relaxing setting.”
With interiors designed by Isaac Valdes, Mia features comfortable table and banquette seating indoors with vibrant orange, pink and purple cushions and classic patio dining on its lushly landscaped outdoor terrace. With a state of the art sound system and up to the minute audio/visual equipment including the interactive I-Bar, and the country’s first interactive 16 foot I-Wall, flexible seating arrangements and multiple private spaces, Mia is also an ideal location for special events and private functions.
Mia is located at 20 Biscayne Boulevard. For reservations, call 305-642-0032 or go to www.miabiscayne.com