Graspa Group is pleased to announce the much-anticipated opening of its newest concept, Esotico Miami. The tropical, tiki-themed restaurant and bar will open to the public serving dinner on Thursday, August 15, 2019. Conceptualized by Graspa Group partner Daniele Dalla Pola (DDP), Esotico Miami is located in downtown Miami at 1600 NE 1st Avenue on the ground floor of the sleek Canvas Condominium Complex in the heart of the Arts and Entertainment District. The restaurant will be a draw for foodies seeking a taste of exotic bites as well as some of the most creative and potent drinks in town.
“Esotico Miami will be an enticing must-see destination, for locals and visitors alike,” says Graspa Group Owner Graziano Sbroggio. “Our location is in close proximity to the Design District, Wynwood, downtown, and Brickell, as well as renowned events like Miami Art Week.”
DDP – considered one of the world’s best tropical mixologists – has created an immersive and innovativeexperience for guests. The eclectic drinks menu reflects DDP’s international influences with vibrant, delicious and dynamic concoctions. A cocktail globetrotter, DDP has travelled the world learning the craft of libations inspired by remote locales. Esotico Miami’s “tropical chow” menu perfectly complements the drinks with an array of culinary options.
The Dinner menu is comprised of authentic tiki-with-a-twist offerings featuring a variety of fresh seafood, meat-centric dishes, and seasonal vegetables. Executive Chef at the helm, Roberto Dubois, is also known as “Chef Koa” (his Hawaiian name). Chef Koa’s impressive résumé includes positions at Juvia, Makoto, and Azul. Pupu Platters/Starters ($12-$22) feature items like Black Truffle Dumplings with pork and shrimp; a smoky Octopus Hot Dog served with mezcal cucumber relish and spicy sriracha mayo atop a brioche bun;Shaved Ice Leche de Dragon made with fruit de mer, lime juice, coconut, cherry tomatoes, green onion, mint, cilantro, is topped with shaved pisco watermelon gazpacho ice; and Kimoko Fish Cake – a classic Floridian fish cake will be served with spicy mango chutney.
Tropical Chow entrees ($18-MP) offer a taste of the islands with dishes like St. Tropez – steak tartare made with filet mignon and egg yolk (with an option to upgrade by adding Kaluga hybrid caviar or Urbani Italian black truffle); Tahitian Poisson – whole red snapper roasted in banana leaf and served with papas moradas;Chicken Curry made with mild Madras curry alongside yellow coconut rice; Hawaii Five-O – a Hawaiian style pineapple fried rice with shrimp, crab meat, and vegetables; and The Black Kraken – black squid ink risotto with braised octopus. Poke or Buddha Bowls ($15-$24) are a great option for pescatarians and vegetarians with ingredients like tuna, salmon, and even a vegan poke made with watermelon. The Ahi Pacific is similar to a traditional poke with tuna, fresh ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, green onion, sesame seed, coconut rice, avocado, cucumber, edamame, radish, and carrot.
The comprehensive cocktail menu contains an assortment of original creations influenced by tiki-cocktail history. The expansive offerings include signature drinks, limited edition mugs, large-format social cocktails for sharing, and sections dedicated to Negronis, rum flights, gin and tonics, mocktails, and beer. Among Esotico Miami’s unique offerings is DDP’s Nu Mai Tai ($15/$23 with souvenir glass) with Bacardi Carta Negra Rum, Yellow Snake Rum, Trois Rivieres Ambre Rum, orange liqueur, passion fruit and a very secret ingredient for a compelling twist.
Says DDP of his inspiration for the drink, “Some say the marvelous, magical Mai Tai was invented in the 1930s by Don the Beachcomber. Others say it was invented in the 1940s by Trader Vic. Both are heroes in my book. My version of the Mai Tai is a tribute and a ‘thank you’ to these two tiki cocktail trailblazers.”
Other tropical creations like the Club Bali ($15) are an homage to tiki with Cachaça Yaguara and Banks 5 Island Rum. DDP’s version of The Zombie ($18/$26 with souvenir glass) is made the authentic way – using the original recipe created in 1930 by Don the Beachcomber – with Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum, Bacardi Carta Oro Rum, Yellow Snake Jamaican Rum, Dan’s Falernum, Don’s Mix #2, grenadine syrup, fresh lime juice, Pernod and Angostura bitters. Kama’iana will transport any rum lover to paradise – it’s served in a young coconut with Diplomatico Planas Rum, Trois Rivieres Rum, tropical fruits, and secret flavors.Missionary’s Downfall will cast a refreshing spell with Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum, Alamea Peach Brandy, Re’al Blue Agave Nectar, fresh pineapple, and a hint of mint.
Limited Edition Tiki Mugs ($60-$95) are the perfect takeaway souvenir to commemorate the tropical trip to Esotico Miami. Designed by DDP himself, the artfully kitschy mugs pay tribute to Hawaiian inspirations like the King Ta Moko – named after Elvis – with gin, passion fruit, fresh citrus, and ginger orgeat syrup.Tangaroa’s Butt – named after the mythological “God of the Sea” – is a powerful concoction with Gracias a Dios Mezcal, Wray & Nephew White Overproof and Mount Gay Black Barrel Rums.
Volcanos & Social Cocktails serving 2-8 people ($45-$170) are great for festive gatherings. Grab a straw and share the punch of the day with the mysterious Treasure Chest; the explosive Mauna Kea Volcano Bowl containing Bacardi Carta Oro Rum, Probitas Barbados Rum, and Yellow Snake Jamaican Rum; or the Tiki Cannibal Bowl with Lemon Hart Demerara 151 Rum, Diplomatico Planas and Bacardi Cuatro Rums, and Esotico’s secret mix.
The stylish and contemporary 3,400 square-foot space will seat 157; 92 indoors and 65 on the outdoor patio. The wallpaper depicting a tropical landscape was custom-made for the space, offset by a black and white checkerboard floor and exposed ceiling. Lush greenery completes the décor along with original accents like Polynesian sculptures, a hand-crafted Hawaiian surfboard, and muted lighting for a subtle ambiance. The backlit bar features a bamboo footrest and a retractable partition that can be lowered from the ceiling to create an exclusive VIP area for private parties.
Esotico Miami, located at 1600 NE 1st Avenue in downtown Miami, opens to the public on Thursday, August 15, 2019. Open Monday-Saturday from 5PM-2AM (Dinner menu available until midnight; late-night menu available from midnight-2AM); Happy Hour and other fun programming will launch at a later date; Closed Sundays. Metered and municipal parking is available. Telephone: (305) 800-TIKI;www.esoticomiami.com.