“I cook them a la planxa because it doesn’t change the flavor,” Gonzalez said.
The velvety sauces are served separately. There are five choices. The traditional Romesco is a red pepper based dip. And the Aioli is a white paste with a garlic taste. The French influence is seen in the bordelaise which has red wine, the creamy aux poivre with reduced cognac and the beurre noisette with lemon, brown butter and parsley.
The desserts feel home cooked and are served on tiny casseroles or glass jars. The luscious crema catalana or Catalan cream is like the French crème brûlée and the British burnt cream, but it is chilled instead of baked. And you can’t forget the wine. The restaurant has a 15-seat communal table set in a cozy room with bottles from foreign wineries.
“We offer more than 50 labels from Spain,” co-owner Manuel Suarez-Inclan Jr. said. “We also have some eclectic choices like a German pinot noir and Lebanese wines. We want you to experience something new every time you come.”
The menu will adapt as they get to know their clientele and like in restaurants in Madrid they will offer a “menu del dia,” a daily special. Dinner will be served from 5 p.m. to midnight starting the first week of December, and they will be closed on Monday. In January, lunch will start at noon and brunch will be served on Sunday.
The three majority owners – Gonzalez, 34, Suarez-Inclan Jr., 35, and Rezai, 27 – won’t be taking any siestas. They have been working hard on their South Miami venture since they joined forces with a few investors in late September and got some help from the successful Pubbelly trio of restaurateurs — Andreas Schreiner, Sergio Navarro, and Jose Mendin.
“It was a happy coincidence. We have all known each other for years,” said Rezai, who like Schreiner and Suarez-Inclan was a former food and beverage manager at the Four Seasons in Brickell. Rezai and Suarez-Inclan studied in Les Roches Marbella International School of Hotel Management in Spain.
The owners said they have done their best to balance quality and affordability, so unless the meal includes the irresistible $23 jarra de sangria, a chopped fruit wine punch, the cost for dinner is about $40 per person including wine and liquor, and for lunch is about $25. Cocktails range from $10 to $15, beers from $5 to $7 and wine by the glass from $6 to $12.
“We are focusing more on the tapas side of it, and we have a fantastic gin and tonics menu,” Rezai said. “The bar concept is perfect. It’s going to be fun.”