Soho House, the members-only British club with outposts from Berlin to New York City, arrived in Miami Beach in early October with the kind of slow, cool burn we haven’t seen since Casa Tua debuted nearly a decade ago. To say it is the hottest spot in town is like saying that Damien Hirst (known for suspending dead animals in formaldehyde) is a provocative artist. Only hotel guests and club members are allowed on the upper floors, but happily, Cecconi’s, the Italian restaurant on the first floor, is open to the public.
The executive chef is Sergio Sigala, the Brescia native who opened the aforementioned Casa Tua. His confidence and skill are reflected in nearly every dish, and the quality of the ingredients matches his talent. Inspired by Harry’s Bar in Venice, the menu may seem heavy for the tropics with its bean soups, cheesy raviolis and baked meatballs, but locally sourced salads and a bright carpaccio of fennel- and citrus-flecked snapper provide balance.
Ambience: Miami architect Allan Shulman and Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki have carved a gorgeously patinaed and irresistibly appealing space from the faded Deco gem that was the Sovereign Hotel. The overstuffed chintz and velvet chairs, dark woods, aqua and white tiles and custom rugs all look as though they’ve been there forever. The drawing-room portion of the dining area with mismatched chairs and low tables is anchored by a rather grand piano where someone was playing Billy Joel tunes one night. The real magic is in a tropical garden furnished with cushy, ice-blue upholstered chairs and banquettes alongside a burnished oak bar. Glass-jar lanterns and pin lights laced among the silver buttonwood trees cast a glow that makes everyone look good.
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