Mignonette Uptown, Talde among spate of Miami restaurant closings

Miami restaurants took a big hit in the last few months.

A recent Chicago Tribune article declared 2017 one of the city’s worst dining years after a slew of high-profile restaurants closed. And while Miami hardly faced a foodie bloodbath as it did in 2015 when 20 high-profile restaurants closed, it lost several big names leading into the New Year.

Late last month, chef Danny Serfer faced the reality that his downtown Miami oyster spot, Mignonette, didn’t quite find its audience in North Miami at a second location. Despite revamping the Gourmet Diner to host Mignonette Uptown, it simply didn’t get enough business, located between Bal Harbour and Aventura.

“It was every bit as good as our other restaurants. Unfortunately, not enough people were coming in,” said Serfer, whose Blue Collar in the MiMo district turns six this year.

Downtown burger and beer spot 180 Degrees at the DRB suddenly closed to start the year. And the latest casualty seems to be Talde at The Confidante, another “Top Chef” import, this time by Dale Talde, who is being sued by his business partners in his Brooklyn restaurant, Atlantic Social, according to Eater New York. They claim  ‘sabotage,’ as he promoted his other restaurants.  Talde has not replied for a comment.
“We have been grateful to work with chef Dale Talde and share his Asian-American fusion menu with our guests and the Miami Beach community,” Confidante general manager Keith Butz wrote to the Miami Herald. “We plan to move in a new culinary direction with the restaurant….”
In July, “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio closed his Beachcraft restaurant at the 1 Hotel South Beach and wouldn’t comment at the about time why it failed. Today the space is called Habitat, run by Pubbelly poobah Jose Mendin, but no longer featuring ahead-of-his-time molecular gastronomist,  Ángel Palacios.

This was supposed to mark Palacios’ return to South Florida. He was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2003 for  his ultra-expensive restaurant and high-concept restaurant, La Broche, which priced out Miami diners. But his representatives in Miami said he had “unforeseen circumstances with his businesses” in Spain and left the restaurant after two months.

In September, Daniel Boulud announced the closing of his downtown db Bistro Moderne, but stopped short of declaring the whole thing completely dead and replaced it with Boulud Sud instead. Daniel Boulud himself was at the restaurant this week to rechristen it.

Just before Art Basel, it was quietly announced that “Top Chef” couple Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth had closed their Sarsaparilla Club at the Shelborne, replacing it with a  pop up of their NYC-based restaurant, Root & Bone. McInnis said he hopes the restaurant, which he plans will open through March, will find a following and remain. It would be the couple’s second spot on Miami Beach, following Stiltsville Fish Bar.