Last Fall, Chicago’s popular Siena Tavern opened its doors on Miami Beach in the iconic China Grill building. At the helm of the restaurant is the ever-charming Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani, who sat down with Chat Chow TV to talk all about Siena Tavern Miami location and its menu.
Viviani has been working in kitchens since he was 11 years old in his native Italy. By the time he was 28 he was the owner of five different restaurants when he decided to sell them all and come to America. Since then he has opened several successful restaurants throughout the country and has become a well-recognized and well-liked chef.
When Viviani and his partners decided bring the Siena Tavern concept to Miami, the restaurant team partnered up with local vendors like Bar Lab and Wynwood Brewing to help create the bar program. As for the menu, Viviani tells Chat Chow that he enlists his friends, family and co-workers to help narrow down the menu from 300 dishes to 35 “cravers.”
As for what deems a dish as a “craver” he notes, “we like to have the ‘wow’ kind of dishes, because if I can’t get the reaction where you want to come back for more there is some more work to do on it.”
Some of the most popular “cravers” on the menu are the house-made pastas, octopus, pizza and a meatball that’s so beloved it has it’s own Twitter account.
Curious how Viviani feels about taking over the legendary space? Or why dining is different in Miami versus Chicago? Find out those things and more in the video above.
Taquiza has become the go-to spot for authentic tacos and late night eats on Miami Beach. Started by Eating House and Freehand Miami alum Steve Santana, it serves up tacos on house-made masa that has everyone buzzing. Chat Chow TV sat down with Santana to find out more about them and the concept behind them.
The fast casual restaurant, located on the first floor of the Eva Hotel, is a no-frills taqueria serving up seven different types of tacos to a standing-room only crowd. Santana emphasizes that everything in Taquiza is homemade right down to its masa corn tortillas, which uses corn grown in small heirloom farms. Other popular menu times include the guacamole with hand torn chips, dry rubbed beef jerky, and its take on the popular ice cream treat the choco taco.
But Santana hasn’t always been a chef — he actually began his career doing digital work, but always had a passion for food. After helping coordinate one of the first-ever Cobaya dinners, he met chef Jeremiah Bullfrog and began assisting him on his food truck. His passion grew from there and before long he left the digital world and became a chef full time.
Curious how Santana learned how to master the masa tortilla? Or what tacos are his favorite on the menu? Find out all that and more in video above.
Oyster bars have been showing up all over Miami as of late, but the clear leader of the pack is Downtown Miami’s Mignonette. Started by Blue Collar’s Danny Serfer and restaurant blogger and lawyer Ryan Roman, Mignonette channels a classic oyster bar in a laid-back modern setting.
Those who are familiar with Serfer and Roman know their “bromace” is one born of the digital age. Serfer followed Roman’s blog while in New York City and the two eventually connected over Twitter. Soon after, Roman started coming into Blue Collar and a friendship was formed. A few years later they decided to take their relationship to the next level — no, not that level — and opened Mignonette together in the summer of 2014.
While oysters are very much the star at Mignonette, with the day’s varieties displayed predominately on a board in the middle of the restaurant, the restaurant also carries plenty of fresh Florida seafood prepared every which way along with a veggie board made famous at Blue Collar. But if you aren’t a seafood fan, no need to fret, they made it a point to add non-seafood items to the menu like the prime rib and turkey dinner for those more carnivore inclined.
Want to find out how Roman inadvertently blew Serfer off? Or how they came up with their catch phrase #fuckingfancy? Find out all that and more in the video above.
Chopped judge, TV personality and the man behind plenty of the country's top restaurants, Scott Conant, is back in South Florida with his newest concept, Corsair, inside Aventura’s Turnberry Isle Hotel. Chat Chow TV sat down with the charming chef to learn more about Corsair, its inspiration and what rituals he has for his restaurants.
The welcoming restaurant located close to the property’s massive golf course plays off its maritime-inspired name with a warm palate and interior tones designed by popular designer Meyer Davis.
“It’s a celebration of sorts of this area,” Conant adds about the design.
The restaurant serves a blend of Mediterranean and local flavors to create its unique spins on dishes like a deconstructed lasagna, polenta waffles and porcini braised veal. For the beverage program he enlisted California’s Rob Floyd who has set up bar programs for the SLS in Hollywood and several of Conant’s restaurants.
As for his other popular restaurant on Miami Beach, Scarpetta, that has produced some of Miami’s top chefs including Macchialina’s Mike Pirolo and Top Chef’s Nina Compton, he says they are all good friends still and enjoy getting in the kitchen together.
“It’s nice to know we can bring the band back together and play some cover songs,” Conant says with a slight laugh.
Want to know what Conant’s favorite indulgence is? Or what ritual he has at every restaurant of his? Watch the video above to find out.