Chef Massimo Bottura tries Cuban pastries
Another day, another food hall opening in Miami. This time it’s the long-awaited The Citadel in the Little River neighborhood.
The Citadel, which opens Feb. 16 to the public, calls itself a shopping and entertainment destination, but right now eating is the main attraction. The building will also be home to the offices of Entercom Communications.
There’s also a rooftop bar, which will be used as event space and, you know, as a bar. Eventually, you’ll be able to use an app to order your food and have it brought upstairs to you for a slight surcharge because being lazy is a thing.
But right now, you can eat in the cavernous downstairs space, which has its own bar. We think you’ll be able to handle this in the meantime.
Across the hall from the dining area is Finery, The Citadel’s maker-driven retail space. For its grand opening this weekend, more than 15 vendors will participate in a pop-up marketplace, with more permanent retailers to come in the coming months.
So what to eat? The vendors at the food hall are Palmar (Chinese); Taquiza (Mexican street food); Ash! Pizza Parlor; Rare Burger; Manjay (Caribbean); Il Nuts; 33 Kitchen (Peruvian); Bachour (pastries and gourmet chocolates); Society BBQ (now Sakaya Kitchen, but a change is coming); meet ‘n cheese (Charcuterie); Bianca Gelato (gelato); Vice City Bean: and Palma Juice Company.
We didn’t have a chance to try everything on every menu because 1. Palma Juice Company isn’t open yet, and 2. if Bachour was handing out samples we totally missed it. We are sad about this. But we tried something from all the available vendors, and here’s what stood out.
The jerk chicken at Manjay
Spicy and smoky with just the right amount of heat, these chicken bites are so good they’re life-affirming.
Anything at Palmar
You know the name Palmar: Its Wynwood cousin made Bon Appetit’s list of the top 50 new restaurants in the country. Here’s a chance to see if you agree. We had a sweet and sour eggplant dish that was so perfectly flavored we’re still trying to figure out how it was done. The delicately flavored corn off the cob dish we tried was pretty spectacular, too.
The tacos and puffy chips at Taquiza
The tacos at this haven for Mexican street food are the draw, and rightly so. But we are now obsessed with the rich, slightly puffy tortilla chips here, which are more bread than chip. Your low carb diet is dead. Say goodbye.
The white truffle pizza at Ash
Look, you can get pepperoni or even the Nancy Sinatra, a white pizza with shallots and garlic. But the white truffle pizza is the stuff dreams are made of. White truffle, people! We may never look at a pepperoni again.
Any of the specialty cocktails from the bar
The special cocktails were delicious, but so were the bartenders’ versions of old favorites, like the Miami Shores Mule.
We’ll be back. Will you?
Address: 8300 NE Second Ave., Miami
Opens: Feb. 16