This chef was raised on LaSpada’s and Pub subs. Now he’s opening a sub shop downtown

Vinaigrette is the new sub shop by Mignonette and Blue Collar chef-owner Danny Serfer.
Vinaigrette is the new sub shop by Mignonette and Blue Collar chef-owner Danny Serfer. Handout

Danny Serfer cooks some of Miami’s best fine-dining cuisine, but all it really takes to make his belly happy — at any time of day — is a cold Italian sub.

Pillowy bread with a seeded crust. Thinly sliced cold cuts piled high. Crispy, fresh lettuce. And a killer vinaigrette. Just thinking about it makes his mouth water on the other end of the telephone.

So he’s trying his hand at making them for Miami.

Serfer, who co-owns two of the city’s best-loved restaurants in Blue Collar in the MiMo district and Mignonette in Edgewater, is opening a new sub shop in downtown, Vinaigrette. It opens June 26 in the historic Alfred I. duPont building.

“They’re just so satisfying for me,” he said. “I love the cold cuts, the mayo, the vinaigrette. It’s just as satisfying as anything I could cook in a kitchen.”

Vinaigrette Combo_PC_Bill Wisser.jpg
Vinaigrette’s signature sub is the Vinaigrette Combo: prosciutto, mortadella, Calabrian salami, soppressata, truffled Pecorina cheese with a house vinaigrette. Bill Wisser Handout

Like both his other restaurants, Vinaigrette started with a food he loves to eat.

The first time he remembers tasting a sub was a bitten leftover from LaSpada’s in Plantation that his mother hastily packed in his lunch “and when I ate it, I enjoyed it way more than I should have,” he joked. The first place he drove after getting his drivers license was to a LaSpada’s sub shop. And his favorite lunchtime escape when he worked in Boca Raton was the beloved V&S subs.

“I would crush LaSpada’s sub all the time. And I love Publix subs. In college, that was my jam. I’ve got nothing but love for them,” he said.

For Vinaigrette, he putting together the best ingredients he can find for hot and cold subs, with vegetarian options.

Hoagie rolls for Vinaigrette’s 8-inch and foot-long subs are baked by North Miami Beach’s La Parisienne. His roast beef (cooked sous vide) is made in house daily and sliced to order. Cold cuts like an 18-month aged prosciutto, mortadella, soppressata and Calabrian salami are imported or made by artisan shops. As are cheeses like imported Pecorino Romano.

The secret, though, is in the sauce. Serfer said he’s perfected his favorite vinaigrette, an emulsion of oil and vinegar with spices and Calabrian pepper, that is the highlight of any of his subs.

“It’s so great on them. it really brings out the flavor of anything else you put in them,” he said.

The sub shop will open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and also will cater to downtown and Brickell starting in July.

Vinaigrette_Fresh Mozzarella_PC_Bill Wisser (2).jpg
Heirloom tomatoes, locally made mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinegar make up one of Vinaigrette’s vegetarian options. Bill Wisser Handout

Read Next

Vinaigrette sub shop

159 E. Flagler St., downtown

Miami Herald food editor Carlos Frías won the 2018 James Beard award for excellence in covering the food industry. A Miami native, he’s also the author of “Take Me With You: A Secret Search for Family in a Forbidden Cuba.”