Food

This Kendall Indian chef couldn’t wait for his new pasta restaurant. So he opened a pop up

Pasta such as buccatini will be made from scratch at Erba, Niven Patel’s new restaurant opening Oct. 1 in Downtown Dadeland.
Pasta such as buccatini will be made from scratch at Erba, Niven Patel’s new restaurant opening Oct. 1 in Downtown Dadeland. Handout

Niven Patel was so eager to open his new pasta-focused restaurant that he wasn’t willing to wait for construction to finish.

So Patel has announced he’s opening Erba Oct. 1 in a temporary space next to his notable Ghee Indian Kitchen, for which he was named a James Beard award semifinalist in 2018. Erba has begun taking reservations on OpenTable.

“The space came open, and we’re just itching to cook, honestly,” said Patel, who signed six-month lease on the former Harry’s Pizzeria Downtown Dadeland location.

Patel erba flatbread
Housemade focaccia with Calabrian Chiles and rosemary at the upcoming Erba

Patel is calling this an pop-up, but don’t expect a pared-back menu. Patel said diners will see 80-90 percent of Erba’s full menu in this 50-seat restaurant. Diners who snag one of four seats at a separate chef’s table will be able to taste one-off dishes that Patel’s executive chef at Erba, Tim Piazza, will be trying out for the permanent restaurant.

“It’s a whole different dining experience,” he said.

Patel Piazza
Chef Niven Patel, right, will oversee Erba with the help of his new chef de cuisine, Tim Piazza.

Expect everything made from scratch, from pastas to roasted vegetables that come from Patel’s pair of farms in Homestead, Rancho Patel at his home, and Blue Horizon, a partnership with husband-wife farmers he notably put on his company’s payroll. The former pizza ovens will roast whole fish, chicken and focaccia flatbreads.

“We just want to cook food we want to eat: approachable, affordable and quality driven at the same time,” he said.

Patel said the permanent location for Erba is still several months away, as they deal with construction and permit delays.

The Erba pop up will open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner only.

Erba

Details: 8975 SW 72nd Pl., Kendall. Reservations at OpenTable or by calling 305-395-6365

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