As Route 9 & Exit 1 owners Jeremy and Paola Goldberg brace for the next big delivery--a baby--they have been hard at work makings sure their other babies are in good hands, hands that belong to people like Azul sous-chef Bradley Kilgore and his pastry chef wife Soraya, who have officially bought into the two restaurants. Says Goldberg, "They will be overseeing all culinary operations at the two spaces and further ventures." Soraya recently left The Setai for Route 9, so it may come as no surprise that her husband will be joining in, but not until the end of the month.
"We've been down a year and a half from Chicago," Kilgore told us, " And working at Azul has been great, but Azul is a 12-year-old restaurant. Then my wife went to work for Jeremy at Route 9, the opportunity came up and I took it." Though he's leaving Azul at the end of the month, don't expect to see Kilgore's menu surface until the beginning of November.
As for the differences between Exit 1 and Route 9, Kilgore says, "Route 9 is going to be a lot of versions of things we really want to see and want to eat in a comfortoabe bistro stetting; Exit 1 will be more of a refined destination restaurant that Key Biscayne doesnt have."
Exit 1, he adds, "is going to feature American cuisine with a little twist--modern interpretations of classic dishes with artistic plating." Among those dishes: lobster and chorizo crema with coconut hush puppies and harissa air; an interpretation of bagel and lox featuring house smoked salmon crusted in an everything bagel with boursin panna cotta; miso cured local grouper with roasted lemongrass broth, crispy seaweed and whipped ponzu; and smoked horseradish short rib with taleggio grits, mustard greens and peanuts. Kilgore says that later on, he will start adding tasting menus and throwing special dinners. "I'm excited about getting into that space," Kilgore says.
Over at the bistro-y Route 9, Kilgore says that while it's definitely not a tapas restaurant, he wants people to be able to order several different things. Among those things: a Benedict burger--braised bacon, egg, smoked tomato Béarnaise and arugula on a prezel bun; escargot with duck confit and herb spoon bread; and something he's thinking will be a signature dish: chorizo Fig Newton featuring house made chorizo with goat cheese, cream cheese and fig wrapped in a puff pastry with sherry vinegar reduction.
As for the pastries, Soraya is going to bring her "killer" local goat cheese cake to Exit 1 and a butterscotch sticky bun to Route 9. "We're going to see a lot of chocolate on the menu," she tells us, "But nothing is set in stone. I like taking classical techniques of desserts and making them my own, sticking to American-style cuisine, especially for Route 9, where desserts will be hearty, good strong bold flavors. Dessertr at Exit 1 will be delicate with more flavors and components."
Says Brad, "I'm equally excited about both." As for the future venues that Goldberg has alluded to, for now, the Kilgores are wisely just focusing on these two.
Photo by The Chowfather