This ‘Top Chef’ couple is bringing Southern food to South Miami

Chefs Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis will open a third location of their restaurant Root & Bone in South Miami.Handout

South Miami is about to get another taste of Southern fare.

Chef couple Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis will open a third location of their restaurant Root & Bone at the site of the short-lived American Harvest off of U.S.-1, 5958 South Dixie Highway, South Miami.

The couple hopes to open the restaurant, which revamps a space less than a year old, before they leave to Australia on Jan. 3 to be married and honeymoon.

As for the food, expect the things for which McInnis and Booth are known: McInnis’ comfort food like fried chicken, meatloaf, mac and cheese, shrimp and grits (the Bone) paired with Booth’s focus on fresh vegetable dishes (the Root).

This combination brought the couple rave reviews when the original opened in New York and Eater called it “Manhattan’s best new fried chicken.” No surprise since McInnis helped open Yardbird and perfected the fried chicken recipe there. They later opened a location inside the Shelborne South Beach hotel.

Root & Bone will join a long-time South Miami favorite for Southern fare just blocks away, Whisk, of which McInnis says he’s a big fan.

“There aren’t a lot of other restaurants like Root & Bone in the area, so we thought it would be good recipe for us,” McInnis said.

The couple hopes to bring some life a new corner of South Miami that hasn’t had any early luck. Hank & Harry’s and American Harvest both closed within the year.

Grove Bay is a partner with Booth and McInnis at their successful, new South Beach restaurant Stiltsville Fish Bar and decided to bring in the proven restaurant couplets take over American Harvest.

“It’s a beautiful space. At night when it’s lit up and full of people … it’ll be a very comfortable space,” McInnis said.

Root & Bone’s expansion reflects a surge forward for the Booth and McInnis. They recently settled a lawsuit with their original partner and landlord at their New York location with “no money exchanging hands at all,” McInnis said. That has allowed the couple to grow Root & Bone and to plan for a yet-unnamed restaurant in Indianapolis, as well as several projects in New York.

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