The Who: Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio opens his first Florida restaurant at the eco-friendly and equally swanky 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach. Executive chef Michael Fiorello, formerly director of culinary operations for Iron Chef and James Beard Award-winner Jose Garces’ Garces Group, heads the kitchen.
Will Tom be there? Perhaps, but not regularly.
The Space: What used to be STK’s black-mirrored scene is now a serene loft-like space that is outfitted with terrariums and flowers, whitewashed woods, white ceramics and a massive open kitchen festooned with greenery and produce.
The Dishes: “Mediterranean-inspired, rooted in local ingredients” is what we were told. The menu, though, seems more Middle Eastern and Latin, with Italian, of course. Prices are par for the posh course: Starters average $11-$20 and mains $18-$36.
Raw bar selections like oysters and seafood towers lead into small plates, including smoked sable with baby kale and caraway emulsion and a “live scallop” ceviche with gooseberries and sumac. Fava-bean flatbread with ricotta, pea tendrils and parmesan will give the avocado pizza at Matador a run for its money for best vegetable pie, while buccatini with sea urchin and peekytoe crab will please umami lovers. Mains include lubina bass with escarole; octopus in a fiery mix of black chile, celery and cilantro; and lamb chops sourced from Washington State, served with harissa yogurt and eggplant caponata.
For desserts, expect tropical flavors like coconut panna cotta with papaya, and sorbets and gelatos in guava-mint, coffee and lime.
The Bottom Line: You probably won’t see Colicchio, but that shouldn’t stop you from checking out the clean, farm-sourced dishes at his latest spot.