The who: SBE hospitality group opened a third outpost (in addition to Los Angeles and Las Vegas) of its Cleo restaurant, in the Redbury hotel in South Beach. Danny Elmaleh, whose father is Moroccan, is the corporate chef.
The space: The former Lorenzo space on the ground floor of the hotel has been warmed up with shelves stocked with tagine pots and dim lighting via Moroccan lanterns. The scene buzzes with Redbury guests and locals looking for flaming cheese. At a certain point in the evening the waiters get everyone’s attention by breaking plates in an “Opa!” kind of way.
The dishes: A mix from different countries around the Mediterranean. The menu is epic and prices are low (for South Beach) with dips and small plates $7-$12, and larger meats and tagines $12-$16.
Start with the mezzes: hummus, cucumber and yogurt, harissa-spiced carrots, chicken liver mousse, lamb kefta, or phyllo-wrapped spanikopita. All dips come with warm laffa bread made in the wood-burning oven. The kibbeh nayyeh is lamb tartare with mint, bulgur wheat and labneh, while the brussels sprouts are flash-fried and tossed with capers, parsley, almonds and red wine vinaigrette. Miami-only menu items include ceviche, wagyu tongue kebabs and potato latkes. For dessert: Greek yogurt gelato with blood-orange granita, and sticky toffee pudding.
The Bottom Line: A contemporary Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant with reasonable prices and a hip vibe.