Food

Octopus hot dogs and more than 200 kinds of rum: The tiki bar goes upscale in Miami

One of the rum-based cocktails you can try at Esotico Miami when it opens.
One of the rum-based cocktails you can try at Esotico Miami when it opens.

Esotico Miami is bringing tiki culture to downtown. And by “tiki culture,” we mean rum. More than 200 kinds of rum, in fact.

But rum isn’t the only reason to be intrigued by the opening of Esotico Miami (although it’s a good one). Led by the Graspa Group, Esotico Miami is also a restaurant, one that blends a modern tropical vibe with a chic setting. It’s got Miami ties, too: Daniele Dalla Pola, a longtime Graspa Group partner, helped to launch Segafredo on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.

When it opens in July on the main floor of the Canvas Condominium complex in downtown Miami, the 3,400-square-foot Esotico Miami will “offer delicious food, creative cocktails, attentive service, a sense of fun and great ambiance,” said Graspa owner Graziano Sbroggio in a press release. “The concept has been in the works for years. We’re proud and excited to finally unveil it to Miami and the world.”

We’re ready for it. Especially as the cocktail menu includes 230 types of rum, including Pola’s own label, Alamea. The ultimate goal is to feature 365 types of rum. Dreams do come true.

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Hawaiian fried rice served in a pineapple is one of Esotico’s specialties.


The cocktails, rumored to be potent, include what Esotico calls Treasure Chest offerings (meaning drinks meant to be shared with up to 10 people). There will also be cocktails on draft, including two versions of a Zombie; banana daiquiris from a machine and a “sexy colada” from Pola made with Bacardi Carta Ora Rum, Re’al Cream of Coconut, pineapple juice, coconut water and ginger. And don’t worry - if rum isn’t your thing, Esotico Miami will also have a wine list plus a Negroni machine.

Foodwise, we’re talking tropical favorites - “tropical chow,” in Esotico speak - such as Pupu Platters with truffled dim sum, ceviche and octopus hot dogs. There’s also Hawaiian-style fried rice served in a pineapple and The Black Kraken, squid ink risotto with octopus.

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Release the Black Kraken at Esotico Miami.

The restaurant will seat 157, and diners have the option of eating on the patio or indoors, where patrons can hear live music every night.

Esotico Miami

Where: 1600 NE First Ave., Miami

Opening: Late July 2019

Miami Herald Food Editor, Carlos Frias, takes a tour of the Youth Fair's 5 most unique foods on the 2019 menu. The Dilly Dilly Corn Dog, and the Twisted Spicy Corn are just a couple of the treats culinary dare devils will want to try.

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