Chef Jacques Van Staden to re-launch downtown Miami dining destination

Chef Jacques Van Staden is no stranger to larger-than-life dining concepts or haute cuisine. After all, the South African born chef was the former executive chef of famed Las Vegas’ Alizé at the Top of the Palms, during which time it earned a Michelin star, and has worked with such iconic toques as Michel Richard, Jean-Louis Palladin and Gray Kunz. Now, Van Staden is bringing his keen eye for detail and globally-inspired cooking style to Miami as chef/owner of the revitalized and reimagined Chophouse Miami Bistro & Lounge.

Located at 300 South Biscayne Boulevard in the heart of downtown Miami, Chophouse – which originally opened under different management in 2010 – will unveil its new look and menu by Thanksgiving 2011. The restaurant remains open for business while Van Staden and his team oversee new menu development and restaurant renovations.

“I loved the location and thought the Chophouse space had such potential,” says Van Staden, a James Beard Award nominee. “When the opportunity arose for me to take it over and remake it as my own I couldn’t resist.” And who better than his own brother, Pieter Van Staden, a talented chef in his own right, to come aboard and assist the burgeoning restaurateur.

Embracing the “something for everyone” approach that continues to serve Van Staden well as vice president and master chef of culinary operations for Celebrity Cruises, guests can expect a moderately priced menu of globally-inspired small plates, spectacular sushi, flatbreads, chop block specials – a Chophouse version of a bento box – fresh fish and premium cuts of meat. Dishes currently in development include a succulent Tuscan seafood sausage with white beans, basil, pimentos and saffron bruschetta; tamarind glazed pork belly with papaya salad topped with toasted peanuts and drizzled with a yellow curry vinaigrette; goat cheese panna cotta & red beet jam; signature “tacushi;” black truffle potato salad topped with quail egg, Nueske bacon and crisp watercress and a perfectly grilled 20 oz. Porterhouse steak, among others.

The restaurant’s interiors are currently being renovated and when it’s complete, Chophouse Miami Bistro & Lounge, seating 140 in the dining room and 60 outside on the cigar-friendly patio, will feature a gorgeous sushi bar, casually-elegant dining room and an interactive wine tasting area in the lounge. Adjacent to the lounge is a vibrant bar boasting a menu of hand-crafted cocktails and premium spirits such as whiskey, rum and vodka. Available for events and business meetings, a private dining room, dubbed The Club Room, accommodates 50 guests.

With such exciting changes underway, Chophouse Miami Bistro & Lounge is positioned to be a favorite dining and cocktail spot for downtown Miami’s business crowd, local foodies, and those seeking a great meal at an affordable price.

Beginning in November, Chophouse Miami located at 300 South Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami, will serve lunch Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. An a la carte brunch will be served every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and a buffet-style brunch will be on offer every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A nightly Happy Hour is held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and a late-night Happy Hour from 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Valet and municipal parking are available. Telephone: (305) 938-9000.

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Twitter: @ChopHouseMiami