Put down your artificially flavored pumpkin spice for some all natural, all seasons Miami restaurant gossip. First up is a doozy, too. Despite its 4-star review last week, rumor had it that the St. Regis Bal Harbour’s J&G Grill was not long for Miami’s culinary world. Word on the inside was that the St. Reege is eyeing a replacement for the restaurant which, says our source, “ownership and guests of the hotel don’t feel is the right offering.” But how ’bout that stellar review last week?
“Doesn’t matter,” says our spy. “They’re doing a search around the country to find a new operator. It’s already in the works and they will keep J&G until a new person has a permit in hand, so realistically we’re talking about 7 months.” Even if J&G packs up and heads out of the swanky Bal Harbour stay, it’s not Jean Georges Vongerichten’s Miami curtain call as he’s opening another restaurant in the Marriott’s trendy sibling, the Miami Beach EDITION hotel, debuting in November.
“JG opening in the Edition adds salt to the St. Regis wound,” says the spy. This wouldn’t be the chef’s first time leaving a hotel, either, having closed his Bank restaurant in a downtown Houston hotel back in 2007.
We contacted Alex Hettinger, a rep for the St. Reege who shot down that rumor pretty quicky but broke some news at the same time, saying ” I can confirm that J&G Grill is operating successfully and has no plans to leave the resort. As you may be aware, the restaurant just received a 4-star rating from the Miami Herald and thrilled with this accomplishment. Perhaps you may have heard that our Chef de Cuisine may be leaving as he will be opening his own restaurant in Brickell. We are so excited for him but so sad to see him go!” Er, we did?
We contacted chef de cuisine Bradley Kilgore, who at first was quick to clarify that they were talking about pastry chef Antonio Bachour, who we knew was heading to Brickell to open his own bakery. Whew. But not so fast. When we went back to the PR rep, we were told, “Chef Antonio will be involved with a bakery in Brickell, but he is not leaving the resort, he will remain the Executive Pastry chef there. As for Brad, yes, he will be opening his own restaurant and will be leaving J&G Grill.”
After denying a few times, Kilgore finally fessed up and said, “You can say I’m leaving, but the details are wrong.” Those details also do not include Kilgore heading to the JG restaurant at the Edition. Stay tuned for more developments.
Moving on from that revelation is that 2-Michelin starred and 2012 Food & Wine’s Best New Chef Danny Grant is heading out of 1826 Restaurant & Lounge but will remain somewhere in Miami. A rep for the resto tells us they have no comment at this time.
As for the suddenly shuttered–er, sold–Taperia Raca, our deep dish tells us “They were shown the door by a very nice landlord after failing to perform and are looking for a new tenant. They’re nice guys, just not operators.” A rep for Taperia Raca says “No, not at all. They know how to run a business; just look at Eating House! They honestly received a great offer to sell and were growing tired of the repeated theft in the area, so they jumped at the opportunity.”
Finally, we are hearing that Mauro Colagreco, chef at France’s Mirazur, number 11 on the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, may be looking for a kitchen in Miami. Colagreco, an Argentine, is the first ever non French chef named “revelation of the year” in the Gault Millau guide. If this rumor proves to be true, that, too, will be a revelation in itself.