APERIA RACA TO OPEN FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014

Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli Does Tapas His Way in Miami’s Mimo District

Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli and business partner Alex Casanova, the talented young duo behind Coral Gables’ foodie favorite Eating House, launch their latest concept, Taperia Raca, a casual and fun Spanish tapas restaurant and wine bar, Friday, March 28 at 7010 Biscayne Boulevard, in the heart of Miami’s MiMo District on the Biscayne Corridor.

Boasting a menu of classic and modern Spanish flavors with the whimsical flair for which Rapicavoli is so well known, along with an atmosphere that melds casual Spanish taperia and hip, urban eatery, the restaurant is the ultimate collaboration of owners Rapicavoli and Casanova, and is aptly represented in its name: Taperia, Spanish slang for “tapas restaurant” and Raca, a combination of the first two letters of the owners’ last names. Helping Rapicavoli split his time is Chef de Cuisine Ryan Harrison, previously of Preservation in Sunny Isles and Rapicavoli’s right-hand at the former pop-up Drinking Room, who will head the kitchen at the restaurant.

“Alex and I have wanted to do Spanish ever since the quick side trip we took to Barcelona after Terra Madre a few years back,” says Rapicavoli. “We’re stoked about the location and even happier to have Ryan behind the line.

Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, the soulful menu of shareable small plates remains the same throughout the day with Platos Frios/Cold Dishes ($5-21) such as zesty Aceitunas Aliniadas- marinated Spanish olives, with orange, lemon and garlic; rich Pate de Higado- chicken liver mousse, Pedro Ximenez, almonds and fig preserves; Pulpo a la Vinagreta- poached octopus, lemon, onion, olive oil and herbs; and Boquerones- white anchovies, roasted lemon, Florida citrus and herbs. Not to be missed are the Charcuterie and Cheese Plates served with grilled bread, olive oil, daily preserves and smoked honey. Platos Calientes/Hot Dishes ($6-16) include spicy Patatas Bravas- fried, baked potatoes, garlic aioli and smoked tomato; Empanadas de Bacalao- savory dough pastries stuffed with salt cod, pickled garlic and potato; Alitas de Pato – duck wings with sweet/sour fig and pimenton salt; and Cachetes de Cerdo – tender pork cheek with mushrooms, potatoes and truffle. Desserts ($6-9) include twists on classics such as Roasted Banana Crema Catalana; and Torrejas with Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Off-the-menu chef’s specials will also be available during lunch and dinner.

Sunday Brunch ($5-19) builds upon the existing menu and, as with Eating House, gets a little more fun with items including Tortilla Chanchito with organic eggs, chorizo, Serrano ham, bacon and Manchego; Croquetas de Jamon- smoked and roasted ham, béchamel, and quince jam; Patatas Contentas – fried baked potatoes, black truffle and bacon; Huevos Rotos – fried eggs, aioli, charred tomato, potato and Serrano ham; Torrejas Café con Leche- Cuban bread French toast, Panther Coffee, cream and sugar; and Panqueques de Maiz y Durazno- cornmeal peach pancakes with peach syrup.

The Drinks Menu is a carefully curated list of beers, white and red wines by the bottle and glass, along with wine and beer cocktails such as Sangria; Calimocho- a combination of red wine and Coca-Cola; and the refreshing Clara- a combination of draft beer and Sprite.

A trip to laidback Spain, the cozy restaurant seats 16 inside and offers an expansive outdoor garden seating 40. Inspired by the laidback atmosphere of the Corridor, area vintage stores and quirky architectural motifs, Rapicavoli and Casanova put art and music at the center of the experience with brick lined walls, cardboard bullheads and a custom made mural to the tune of Spanish reggae music.

Taperia Raca, located at 7010 Biscayne Boulevard in the MiMo District is open Tuesday – Thursday, from 11:00AM – 10:00PM; Friday & Saturday, from 11:00AM – 11:00PM; and Sunday brunch from 11:00AM – 4:00PM. Metered street parking available and Karma carwash available for parking after 8 p.m. Taperia Raca accepts reservations via CityEats. Telephone: 305.751.8756. Website: www.taperiaraca.com. Twitter/Instagram: @Taperia_Raca.