Food & Drink

Michelle Bernstein previews food for new Miami International Airport lounge

Michelle Bernstein: The Miami chef’s fried chicken, fresh salads and other creations will be on the menu at the new American Express Centurion Lounge in Miami International Airport.
Michelle Bernstein: The Miami chef’s fried chicken, fresh salads and other creations will be on the menu at the new American Express Centurion Lounge in Miami International Airport. Miami Herald staff

Miami chef-restaurateur Michelle Bernstein said she didn’t have to look far to come up with the menu for the new American Express Centurion Lounge, opening early next month at Miami International Airport.

“The dishes are a little bit of Crumb on Parchment, a little of the old Michy’s, a little of Seagrape — and a lot of me,” Bernstein said, referring to her South Florida restaurants.

She previewed some of those menu items this week at her new Cena (6927 Biscayne Blvd.) in Miami, which opened this month in the former Michy’s.

Bernstein’s buttermilk-brined fried chicken and Greek-style local watermelon salad will be available at MIA’s Centurion, located in the North Terminal that services American Airlines and Qatar Airways. She said she leaned toward lighter items, like a green goddess salad and a vanilla panna cotta dessert, to “make sure people are comfortable as they board their flights.”

Miami International will be the fifth U.S. airport with a Centurion Lounge, following Las Vegas, San Francisco, Dallas-Forth Worth and New York-LaGuardia. The high-end clubs are accessible to American Express cardholders for $50 a day and free for those with AmEx Platinum cards, which carry annual fees of about $450.

All of the lounges feature complimentary food from big-name chefs, including Scott Conant (Las Vegas) and Dean Fearing (Dallas), as well as cocktails from Jim Meehan of New York’s PDT. The 8,000-square-foot Miami space will be ring-shaped, with tarmac views and, in a nod to South Florida’s coastal vibe, a floor-to-ceiling textural wall that resembles a wave.

Evan S. Benn is Miami Herald food editor. On Twitter and Instagram: @EvanBenn.

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