Hot time, summer in the city indeed, but not so much for some Miami restaurants which may not live to see another Miami Spice menu. But when one kitchen closes, another one inevitably opens so it’s not all doom and gloom. What follows are the latest murmurs from the slow churning restaurant rumor mill:
• 1500 Degrees at the Eden Roc is experiencing a mass exodus of sorts, with sous chef, lead line cook and, most devastating of all if true, executive chef Paula DaSilva, all either out or on their way out. DaSilva hasn’t replied to our probings. Update: We hate to say we told you so but. . .
• Altamare may be on life support. The once heralded Lincoln Road seafood fave, we hear, has been struggling ever since the departure of executive chef Simon Stojanovic.
• Insiders insist that Kris Wessel is pretty much out of Florida Cookery. We contacted him several months ago when the rumor first surfaced and he denied it. A restaurant rep recently admitted “I heard the same thing,” yet couldn’t confirm. A restaurant staffer says he hasn’t seen the chef in ages. Stay tuned. We heard from Wessel again, who told us adamantly, “I am very much with Florida Cookery,” adding that “I have been on the property each and every week for the past year, pre-launch, launch, and the past 7 months of operations . . . I’m here.” Official statement from the hotel says “Kris Wessel is Chef and Partner of Florida Cookery. The rumors are unfounded.”
• Josh Woodward, realizing he has bigger fish to fry (or, rather, bigger fish to not fry), is not opening any sort of restaurant in the old Kim’s space. The deal fell through. Or something.
•The strangely named Ocean Drive restaurant Barock, not related to the President of the United States, is closed. So is the Italian or French Rivieran or whatever it was restaurant located at the bottom of Story nightclub.
•The Flat is flatlining and up for sale. “Pricing yourself at $20 per drink like your competition is not wise,” says our mole. “$20 at SLS is one thing, $20 at The Flat, another.”
• And, saving the best for last, albeit vaguely so, a big name top chef is in the throes of signing paperwork to bring part of a restaurant empire down to Miami. Where, when, and all that is all under wraps, but be sure we will let you know as soon as the ink dries.