Leku emerges as Miami’s restaurant of choice.
Leku’s tomato cracker
They say some things are worth the wait. After a delayed opening and a summer pop-up at the Rubell Museum this summer, Leku, the Basque-inspired restaurant from partners Alejandro Muguerza of Le Basque, Andreas Schreiner of Schreiner Hospitality, chef Mikel Goikolea and restaurateur Terry Zarikian, is officially open and has become Miami’s most buzzed-about eatery, with the kind of return clientele other establishments would kill for.
“I’ve already been seven times,” says marketing executive and well-known foodie Manny Machado. “It’s that good.”
The restaurant’s terrace dining area.
The look of the restaurant was conceptualized by Muguerza, who opted for elements such as cast-iron tables, midcentury-modern-style chairs and other French bistro touches in the dining room. Behind the bar, a massive mural by Allison Zuckerman titled “Eternal Recurrence” is impossible to miss. The eclectic menu, co-developed by Goikolea and chef de cuisine Aitor Garate along with the aforementioned partners, was created to echo the caliber of creativity that the Rubells’ collection of artworks is known for. The key words here are “full-flavored, fresh and seasonal,” with selections that include beet tartare with emulsion of herbs and olive oil, croquetas with Cinco Jotas Iberian ham and whole branzino roasted made in a Josper oven with bilbaiana sauce. A grill for wood-fired dishes is also part of the equation.
“We opted for tried-and-true iconic dishes,” says Goikolea. “Our goal is to instill the pleasures of eating, the same way it was instilled by our families in the Basque Country. That’s the kind of joy people need now more than ever.” 1100 NW 23rd St., Miami, 786.464.0615
The Madame in Rouge by Swizzle’s Danilo Bozovic
Anyone who’s been to his Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery (1120 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 347.977.6428) knows mixologist Danilo Bozovic understands spirits through and through. His latest, Madame in Rouge, is a Parisian bistro-inspired aperitif with complementing notes of citrus and floral flavors that fit Miami to a T. Here, he shares the recipe.
1 oz. Bacardi Reserva Ocho rum
1 oz. St-Germain elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz. pomegranate juice
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 oz. Champagne
1/2 oz. simple syrup
DIRECTIONS: Pour all ingredients except the Champagne into a shaker and shake vigorously. Pour Champagne into a chilled coupe glass and then double strain the liquid in the shaker into it. Garnish with lemon slices. –CP
Photography by: photos courtesy of the venues