Of course, it all began on a trip to Siena, Italy. Top Chef: Season 5 Fan Favorite, Fabio Viviani, returned to his native country with Lucas Stoioff and David Rekhson, partners of the Chicago based hospitality company, DineAmic Group. The team instantly fell in love with the vintage, edgy, open-kitchen style of a local restaurant and over this meal, the inspiration for Siena Tavern was born. A year later, the extremely successful Siena Tavern Chicago was created. The trio is now proud to announce the Fall 2014 opening of its second U.S. location at 404 Washington Avenue, in the 10,000 square-foot space formerly occupied by China Grill.
Siena Tavern will bring the sophistication and charisma of Viviani’s cuisine, as well as the energy of a bustling bar, to the cornerstone of Miami Beach’s South of Fifth dining scene. Combining Fabio Viviani’s crowd-pleasing made-from-scratch menu, with DineAmic’s success in the hospitality sphere, Siena Tavern will offer diners an experience that is simultaneously comfortable, vibrant and social.
The restaurant’s facets appeal to both diners and nightlife patrons, balancing a comfortable dining room with an upbeat tavern. Guests feel comfortable choosing Siena Tavern for cocktails and small bites of crudo at the bar; or for a full night celebrating a special occasion with dinner and drinks. Lucas Stoioff, DineAmic Group founder and partner says, “We wanted to create an Italian restaurant that combines the rustic and casual attitude of Italian culture with a level of refinement & quality that both Miami locals and visitors will appreciate.”
“Miami is the ideal market for Siena Tavern’s expansion to South Florida,” adds David Rekhson. “The culinary scene in Miami is reaching new heights, and we are excited to be bringing our brand of upscale farm-to-plate dining to a city that appreciates fine food.”
Florence-born Chef Viviani will present a menu that incorporates locally sourced produce and seafood, as well as Siena Tavern signature dishes. Palette expectations include the Wagyu Beef Meatball, house-made Gnocchi with Truffle Cream and Crispy Pancetta, Tuscan Kale Caesar Salad, balsamic-drizzled Hamachi Crudo spiked with jalapeno, and the addictive Coccoli – crispy dough rolls filled with stracchino cheese and prosciutto de parma, then topped with pesto and truffle honey.
“Simple cooking with a personal twist that allows the food to speak for itself is my personal philosophy,” explains Viviani. Siena Tavern will feature a Crudo Bar as well as an open pizza oven for the restaurant’s famous thin-crust pizzas.
Having earned the titles of “Best New Restaurant” by Chicago Magazine and “Top Celebrity Hangout” by the Chicago Tribune, the original Siena Tavern is a triumph of concept and execution. DineAmic Group’s new venture in Miami will embrace the same level of professionalism and prowess, blending Italian elegance and Miami’s electrifying energy -- truly “La Bella Vita.”
A few appetizers include Coccoli (crispy puffs of fried dough accompanied by prosciutto, stracchino, and drizzles of truffle honey), and a gigantic Kobe Meatball (roasted tomato sauce, bellwether ricotta, shaved basil).
Viviani’s menu also includes a handful of “homemade pastas” including Viviani’s Gnocchi (truffle cream, fried egg, crispy pancetta), Baked Lasagna (Bellwether farm ricotta cheese, meat sauce, parmesan, his mother’s recipe), and Squid Ink Linguini (grilled lobster tail, spicy lobster cream sauce, shaved green onion).
On the lighter side, Siena Tavern offers bites from the Crudo Bar, raw fish accompanied by flavor-packed toppings including Ahi Tuna (fennel & peppercorn crust, pickled Tuscan kale, garlic chips, habanero oil, Skuna bay salmon (salsa verde, crispy leek), and Hamachi (spicy balsamic, jalapeno, truffle honey, crispy shallots). A selection of pizzas being churned out by the Woodstone Oven at the Pizza and Crudo Bar include but are not limited to Truffle Mushroom (oyster, shitaki, maitake, mozzarella, shaved winter truffle), Burrata (burrata, marinated eggplant, zucchini), and Pizza Margerita (mozzarella, tomato & basil from the bar).
Viviani’s signature dessert is his Bomboloni, Italian hole-less donuts made from mashed potatoes and served with injection bottles filled with decadent dipping sauces (whiskey-caramel, chocolate hazelnut, raspberry chianti).
A custom cocktail program is also in the works for Siena Tavern. In keeping with the menu’s approachable but sophisticated style, hand crafted & custom cocktails will add modern, Italian flavors to classic drinks. Guests will find the offerings balanced and complementary to the cuisine, but simple enough to recreate at home. One of the cocktails will be a twist on Limoncello, combining lemon-berry merit age-infused vodka with lemon juice, lemon cordial, bourbon smoked syrup and bourbon barrel-aged blood orange bitters.
The décor reflects a hybrid of a rustic Italian market, a fine dining restaurant and a modern, industrial tavern, bridging old world comfort and hospitality with a contemporary menu and design.
Housed in an historic Art Deco building in the heart of South Beach, Siena Tavern is poised to blend right in to the Miami élan. Color, original art, lighter tones and a generous outdoor dining space were added to the mix to boost the energy level and welcome Miamians.
Dining tables take on a cool, grey ash stain mingling with reclaimed walnut community tables. Black booths give way to rich grey leather. Edison bulbs are encased in hand blown glass globes in shades of smoke and sky. In the bar, as a nod to Miami’s world-renowned art fair- Art Basel, guests will find an original work of graffiti art which imbues the space with color, energy and whimsy. Crystal and steel chandelier lighting, aqua upholstery accents and brilliant colored tropical foliage add the glamour inspired by the fashion design industry of Miami.
The restaurant features various dining areas which gives guests a multitude of dining options. An oval bar with a laser cut and back lit metal bar die greets customers at the entry. The Crudo Bar, where guest can dine, showcases a penny tile encrusted pizza oven and quick service access. One of the private dining areas will open to the spectacular outdoor terrace on Washington Ave providing truly the best of both indoor & outdoor dining experiences. This extensive outdoor terrace will house several dining options as well. Guests can dine under a sprawling olive tree, in an Art Deco rotunda or under a cozy pergola. Italian string lights, grey teak tables, and an abundance of foliage will elevate the restaurant's dining experience.