January 09, 2015

Vagabond Restaurant & Bar

Highly-Anticipated MiMo Eatery Brings Fresh Flair to Miami¹s Burgeoning Food Scene


The Miami Modern Historical District (MiMo) is about to get a fresh taste of American, Latin and Asian flavor. Vagabond Restaurant & Bar, the vision of global restaurateur and art curator Alvaro Perez Miranda, is the newest addition to the much-buzzed about Vagabond Hotel, the stylish renovation project by famed developer Avra Jain. Located at 7301 Biscayne Blvd., the restaurant will open on January 12, 2015, inviting patrons to indulge in a unique ³casual fine dining² experience that blends the best in food, art and hospitality. To complete his vision of creating an experience fit for the modern-day vagabond, Perez Miranda tapped exciting young chef Alex Chang as Executive Chef and 27-year-old Chris Wang as General Manager to partner in the concept.

Perez Miranda brings 30 years of experience spanning the globe from Venezuela to Italy to Tokyo to Los Angeles to New York City.  He has opened nearly 80 restaurants, most of which are still in operation today. With a knack for discovering talent, Perez Miranda is confident that he has assembled a dream team for the Vagabond Restaurant & Bar, his first venture in Miami.  ³I am first and foremost, a curator.  For me, this ambitious project required me to curate a team that could complement my skills as a conceptualizer and floor conductor.  Chris Wang brings with him natural leadership skills, business savvy and financial innovation from his days in private equity in New York City.  To have a partner of his caliber is a true luxury for a restaurateur like me.  As for Chef Alex, I believe I have found one of the most promising rising stars of the culinary world that I have seen in my 30 years of industry experience.  This is a true dream team.

Taking the helm of the kitchen, Chef Alex Chang is an accomplished self-taught talent, with previous positions at world-renowned restaurants including Animal in Los Angeles, Michelin-starred Pujol in Mexico City, Les Creations de Narisawa in Tokyo and In De Wulf in Belgium. The 25-year-old¹s cooking will reflect the flavors of the contemporary vagabond and allow patrons to taste an international and new style of fine dining in a relaxed setting. With eclectic signature dishes like the Chapulines (Grasshoppers sourced from Oaxaca, Mexico and sautéed with marcona almonds and Szechuan peppercorn) and the Iberico skirt steak (beautiful marbled pork from Spain served with a decadent xato sauce, charred scallion and mojo canario) and classics like the Vagabond Burger (a no-frills dry-aged beef burger served on a potato bun with American cheese, pickles, remoulade and fries), diners can expect a culinary adventure unlike any other in Miami.

Seeking distinct flavor and new tastes, Chef Alex has taken meticulous time in creating the menu, meeting local farmers and educating himself on the best of what is available in the region.  ³South Florida has such a diverse mix of fresh ingredients with everything from key limes to fresh black grouper available at my disposal.  It¹s been such a fun experience creating this menu because I¹ve been able to take what I¹ve learned from kitchens in North America, Asia and Europe and meld those flavors with those of South Florida.²

Understated elegance pervades the entire space, while hospitality and service are priority at The Vagabond Restaurant & Bar. The vibe provides an inviting and high-energy experience, which extends itself out into the bustle of Biscayne Blvd. where anyone driving past will want to participate. The modern aesthetic and interior, designed by Perez Miranda, is reminiscent of an art gallery. One wall showcases a stimulating mix of portraits of local ³contemporary vagabonds² shot by Miami artist Guillermo de Yavorsky. Another wall features an impressive signature piece by Steven McIver entitled ³Brodgar N.6 Gold.² Perez Miranda also oversaw a refurbishment of the original Vagabond Motel sign completed by local artist Diego Guzman, which serves as the nostalgic backdrop for the bar. ³My vision for the aesthetic was simple: honoring the revival of the Vagabond by infusing it with young, edgy and unique art.²

The bars, a centerpiece of the space, features classic cocktails with modern twists, like the Bourbon Milk Punch (Rittenhouse Rye infused with vanilla and cinnamon, lemon, orange, clarified milk) and the East of the Tracks (Tequilla Ocho Reposado, Smoked Pineapple, Ancho Reyes). The wine cellar features carefully selected, small production wines. The cocktail menu and wine lists were carefully curated by Beverage Director Jack Colombo and Chef Alex to complement the food menu.

At the Vagabond Restaurant & Bar, guests will feel like travelers stumbling upon an oasis of newfound flavor experiences.

The Vagabond Restaurant & Bar will be open to the public at 7301 Biscayne Blvd. in the Miami Modern Historical District on January 12, 2015, with a full dinner menu. Hours of operation: 6PM-11PM Sunday - Thursday and 6PM-12AM Friday & Saturday.

About Vagabond Restaurant: Located at the famed Vagabond Hotel in the Miami Modern (MiMo) historical district, the Vagabond Restaurant & Bar is the first collaboration between Restaurateur Alvaro Perez Miranda, Executive Chef Alex Chang and Financier Chris Wang. The restaurant will feature a global menu anchored in American, Latin and Asian influences. The menu is a coalescence of Executive Chef Alex Chang¹s worldly experiences over the last few years, having had stints at such renowned restaurants as Animal in Los Angeles and Michelin-starred Pujol in Polanco, Mexico, Les Creations de Narisawa in Tokyo and In De Wulf in Heuvelland, Belgium. The concept for the restaurant is ³casual fine dining² and was created to cater to the ³contemporary vagabond,² a modern-day adventurer with a penchant for global food, drink and art.  The mantra of casual fine dining pervades everything in the restaurant from the understated elegance in Chef Chang¹s culinary creations to the floor service helmed by Perez Miranda and Wang, which will be a warm, high-energy vibe with the goal of treating every patron as a VIP.

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