There's a new chef in charge at Route 9. After finding out that his wife, chef and partner Paola was pregnant, owner Jeremy Goldberg was on the hunt for someone to oversee things in the kitchen. Enter Chris Paciolla, whom Goldberg met when he was managing Johnny V on Las Olas, where Paciolla was the lead line cook.
"A few years after I left, we brought him on at Escopazzo as [chef/owner] Giancarla's sous chef. From there, he took a job with a Miami family who owned what was regarded as the best restaurant in St. Thomas, USVI, Coco Blue," Goldberg says. "He had been the executive chef down there until we found out Paola was pregnant. We decided to bring Chris back to Miami to run the kitchen for Route 9."
Paciolla takes over the kitchen on July 12. "He is changing about 70% of the menu, the rest will stay as is," Goldberg says. One of Paciolla's new appetizers is Mofongo topped with a roasted tomato braised oxtail and pork, and toasted cumin guacamole.
As for the Goldbergs, they're bracing for parenthood of a baby and two restaurants.
"We are going to run the floor, beverage program, administrative/accounting, and everything else that comes with running a small business. We will still be very involved in the kitchens, but it was time to bring on people who specialize in that.," Goldberg says.
"Both Paola and I specialize in restaurant openings, operations, and management. While we are both CIA alumni, none of our goals ever included being a chef, but rather knowing how to oversee them. When it came time to opening Route 9, our need to keep overhead as low as possible necessitated one of us actually working the kitchen. Paola stepped up, went into an overwhelming position, and kicked ass. Now, she is excited to focus on having a baby and getting back to what she loves...wine and taking care of customers."