Chef Spike Mendelsohn — former Top Chef contestant, current Washington, D.C., restaurateur and food-policy activist — is opening the doors Nov. 1 to his first Florida restaurant: Sunny’s at The Hall South Beach, a new hotel opening this week at 1500 Collins Ave.
Mendelsohn and chef de cuisine Michael Colletti crafted a menu of “food we like to eat when we get back from surfing, right off the beach,” Mendelsohn tells Miami.com.
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And what are right-off-the-beach eats? Mendelsohn gave a sneak preview of his all-day menu at Sunny’s, which is split between Low Tide (appetizers) and High Tide (entrees). Sunny’s also will offer breakfast and late-night dining, as well as room service to hotel guests:
• Jamnesia Jerk Chicken Wings ($13): pineapple, ginger, jerk, house “gold” sauce.
• Myrtos Beach Lifeguard Bread ($9): saltwater, crushed tomatoes, Greek feta and oregano on Zak the Baker bread.
• Head High Poke Bowl ($15): soy-marinated tuna, Maui onion, sea beans, puffed rice.
• Buffalo Frog Legs ($15): buttermilk ranch, Anson Mills grits, pickled carrots and celery.
• Higgins Beach Lobster Rolls ($19): lobster, celery, cayenne, mayo, hot dog bun.
• Bali Beach Chicken in a Bag ($19): curry chicken, jasmine rice, spicy greens, mango.
• Oahu Pork Luau ($23): tamarind char-siu pork, purple sweet potato, grilled pineapple slaw.
• Red Snapper Misto ($24): Florida snapper, shrimp, squid, lemon, salsa verde.
Mendelsohn and Colletti, who first worked together at New York’s renowned Le Cirque, brought down from D.C. their friend and juice master Steve Mekoski to run Sunny’s extensive juice bar. Mekoski’s squeezed-to-order concoctions, like the Loco Mojito (cucumber, mint, lime, sugarcane, chia), go for $9 for 12 ounces, $10 for 16 ounces.
With Sunny’s up and running, Mendelsohn says he expects to spend about a third of every month in South Beach. When you see him, ask him about his and Colletti’s late-night games of No-Shame Charades — their go-to stress relief after long hours of menu planning and recipe testing.