Restaurant News & Reviews

Attention hipsters: This Midtown favorite is opening a restaurant in Brooklyn

Timon Balloo founded Sugarcane in Midtown Miami in 2010.
Timon Balloo founded Sugarcane in Midtown Miami in 2010. Handout

Forget importing food culture. Miami’s Sugarcane is ready to export.

Chef Timon Balloo will open another one of his Sugarcane restaurants in Brooklyn this summer. It’s a full-scale restaurant full-court press, after opening a Sugarcane outpost in November in Las Vegas’ Restaurant Row at The Venetian hotel, alongside Mario Batali, Thomas Keller and Emeril Lagasse.

For seven years, Balloo’s Sugarcane (a 2011 James Beard Award semifinalist) has been speaking fluently in the flavors of everything from the Caribbean to the South Pacific — a diverse and fused menu of small, delicious plates that speaks to Miami. Now Balloo thinks his Midtown spot, which earned another three stars (Very Good) in a Miami Herald re-review, can speak to the hipsters in New York.

“It’s my chance to ask, ‘Is my food all that?’ ” Balloo said. “I’m happy it’s allowing me to have a national name and share my flavors around the country.”

And it’ll be on a huge stage. The 11,000 square-foot, 300-seat restaurant will open in the Dumbo district, with a waterfront view of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges in the 150-year-old Empire Stores building at 55 Water Street.

The space is a former Civil War-era warehouse that is being transformed to include Sugarcane’s 2,000 square-foot outdoor patio, bordering Brooklyn Bridge Park, with a view of the East River and downtown Manhattan.

Balloo, born of Chinese-Indian roots in Trinidad, raised in San Francisco, and trained under Michelle Bernstein at Azul, will spend time overseeing all three restaurants as their executive chef for SBM, which also owns SushiSamba.

Carlos Frías: 305-376-4624, @Carlos_Frias