Miami

Why Pastis Opening in Miami Is Such a Big Deal

Wynwood gets its own version of the iconic NYC-born bistro.

Pastis (New York)
Pastis (New York)
Pastis (New York)

Yet another New York City transplant is opening in Miami, but this one in particular stands out. Pastis is coming to us from famed restaurateurs Keith McNally and Stephen Starr, and its New York City original has popped up in movies, TV shows, and celebrity sighting rags since it opened in 1999. And now, lucky us-it’s coming to Wynwood. Read on to see why Pastis has so many people talking, and why you, too, should be excited it’s coming here soon.

Photo by Louise Palmberg
Photo by Louise Palmberg
Photo by Louise Palmberg

What is Pastis and why is everyone so excited?

Pastis is a French bistro-style restaurant that opened in New York’s Meatpacking district back in 1999. Almost immediately, it became a place to see and be seen, hosting everything from Sarah Jessica Parker’s baby shower to Liv Tyler’s wedding. Like restaurateur Keith McNally’s many other restaurants, it leaned heavily on French bistro fare like steak frites and seafood tours.

Pastis became famous among Gen-Xers and early millennials when it was featured during the final season of Sex and the City, when Carrie has a date interrupted by a woman lamenting, “Ten thousand restaurants in New York, and everyone’s at Pastis.” The word “iconic” gets thrown around almost as carelessly as “irregardless,” but in the case of Pastis, it’s actually true.

In 2014 it closed down to make room for a Restoration Hardware. But five years later, Pastis was reborn, this time with the assistance of famed restaurateur Stephen Starr.

Pastis (New York)
Pastis (New York)
Pastis (New York)

Who is this Stephen Starr person?

Stephen Starr is a restaurateur who a lot of people credit with creating the modern dining scene in Philadelphia. Among his most notable is¬†Parc, a French cafe which looks a lot like¬†Le Zoo in Bal Harbour. That’s because Le Zoo is, also, a Stephen Starr restaurant, and it was, in fact, modeled after Parc. Starr is similarly behind¬†El Vez and¬†Steak 954 in Lauderdale Beach, as well as sushi stalwart¬†Makoto. And formerly helmed¬†Verde at the Perez art Museum and the now-defunct Continental in South Beach.

His success in the French bistro realm may well be why original Pastis owner Keith McNally tapped him for Pastis’s 2019 comeback, and why he’s also leading the team bringing the restaurant to South Florida.

Pastis (New York)
Pastis (New York)
Pastis (New York)

What’s on the menu?

Classic French bistro fare-think tuna tartare, ni√ßoise salads, steak sandwiches, steak frites, and croque monsieur and madame sandwiches. Part of what made Pastis so alluring was that it was an un-fancy restaurant full of fancy people. So, theoretically, you or I could afford a table right next to Bono. If Bono didn’t buy up the five tables around him to make sure nobody sat by him.

Pastis (New York)
Pastis (New York)
Pastis (New York)

What’s this place going to look like?

According to early reports, the restaurant will be 8,000 square feet of French bistro brilliance, at 380 NW 26th Street. That’s right across the street from where Iron Chef Morimoto just opened¬†Momosan. It’ll be full of wood planks, dark banquettes (similar, according to Esquire, to the ones people used as makeshift motel rooms during Pastis’s heyday), and a curved zinc bar featuring a subway tile backdrop. There’ll be a mosaic-tile floor, too, and vintage mirrors throughout. Sounds a lot like Le Zoo, sans the long drive to Bal Harbour.

Le Zoo
Le Zoo
Le Zoo

Why is it coming to Wynwood?

In a press release, Starr said, “For the last few years, I’ve had my eye on Wynwood. I’ve witnessed the vibrant and artistic neighbourhood transform into a booming cultural hub with an incredible dining scene. People want great food, energy, and a great location; Pastis Miami will be a perfect addition to the community.” Nice to hear, but also nothing anyone who’s been to Wynwood in the past five years wouldn’t also say.

But when¬†talking to Page Six, Starr elaborated a little more. “It is nice to go somewhere where people are going out and so many people are outside,” he told the tabloid. “During the COVID disaster, it was Miami and in part [our restaurants in] Washington DC that kept our company going…so God bless Miami.” You’re welcome, Mr. Starr!

Sounds awesome! How do I make a reservation?

While the prospect of celebrity-adjacent French food might sound alluring, Pastis Miami won’t be opening until the summer of 2022. Which, if you know anything about Miami restaurant openings, probably means sometime around New Years 2023. Still, it gives us yet another hotspot we can look forward to welcoming in a couple of years. And perhaps a ballyhooed New York transplant that really is worth the wait.

Matt Meltzer is a contributing writer for Thrillist. Follow him on Instagram @meltrez1.

Miami

Bad Bunny and David Grutman's Sexy AF Miami Steakhouse is Finally Here

The rapper does whatever he wants.

Photo by Michael Stavaridis
Photo by Michael Stavaridis
Photo by Michael Stavaridis

David Grutman is back at it again, and this time the hospitality guru is bringing a new partner into the fold-award-winning recording artist, Bad Bunny. Located in Miami’s trendy Brickell neighbourhood, GekkŇć, which translates to “moonlight” is a Japanese-inspired steakhouse that will serve fancy cuts of Wagyu alongside a bevy of sushi offerings. In true Groot Hospitality form, this isn’t your basic steakhouse, it’s also got a lounge that very well may play the sounds of Bad Bunny and the like into the wee hours of the night.

“GekkŇć is the result of so many of my obsessions in food,” says David Grutman, Founder of Groot Hospitality. “It’s a steakhouse inspired by Japanese cuisine. There are delicious, innovative sushi rolls. There’s a lounge. I knew I wanted to do something that combined these worlds, and once I started speaking with Bunny, I knew he’d be a great partner. GekkŇć is about having an incredible meal while having an equally incredible night.”

Photo by WORLD RED EYE
Photo by WORLD RED EYE
Photo by WORLD RED EYE

To celebrate the opening of GekkŇć (not so coincidentally the same weekend Bad Bunny has two shows scheduled in South Florida), the crew hosted a massive grand opening party that attracted dozens of A-list celebrities and friends of both Grutman and Bad Bunny. Upon arrival, in his white Bugatti, mobs of fans who spent the entire evening swarming the restaurant began chanting “Benito! Benito!” as he exited his car in an all black suit paired with black sunglasses.

The night went something like this. A-list artists of every genre came out to celebrate. Future and Lil Wayne were seen on a couch in deep conversation and catching up with Mack Maine. Bad Bunny and Karol G were spotted running from table to table together, while DJ Khaled was seen embracing Bad Bunny and congratulating him on such a beautiful new restaurant. Timbaland and Andy Garcia were spotted hanging out for a long period, while Sophie Turner and her husband, Joe Jonas, hung with Victoria and David Beckham. Amidst that hundreds of average joes mixed and mingled while attempting to make their way to the bar so they could get a peek at some of the restaurant’s cocktails and sushi bites. It was quite a scene.

Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis
Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis
Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis

Okay, so back to the restaurant. GekkŇć was designed by New York City-based architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group, and is made up of three different rooms with seats for up to 185 diners. It’s centred around sultry jewel-toned decor with plush and stylistic elements like a custom gold and red dip-dyed rope installation, graphic wall coverings, and velvet drapery.

Now you might be wondering about the food, because that’s really why we’re going to a restaurant, right? GekkŇć’s menu begins with shared plates where diners will find things like a signature Japanese milk bread, “Lava and Ice” Kumamoto Oysters, lobster dumplings, and a wedge salad. When it comes to raw plates there’s sushi and sashimi classics as well as an opulent 24k Otoro, that’s exactly what it sounds like-deliciously tender fatty tuna covered in a layer of 24k gold leaf.

Photo by Libby Vision
Photo by Libby Vision
Photo by Libby Vision

Then there’s the steaks which include a Tomahawk cut, an olive-fed filet mignon from Kagawa, Japan, and a snow beef strip from Hokkaido, Japan. Specialty preparations include Wagyu skirt steak and a bone-in ribeye. And because Grutman is always sure his restaurants cater to the tastes of everyone, there’s even some plant-based chicken options and more.

“Sitting down with friends to enjoy a good meal is one of the moments I value the most,” says Bad Bunny. “I am thrilled that now I will have a hand in creating this experience for others.”

GekkŇć opens tonight at 8 SE 8th Street in Brickell. The dining room and lounge serve customers from 6 to 11 pm Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and 6 pm to 12 am Friday and Saturday. Valet parking is available for $20 or you can attempt to find a street parking on Brickell. Visit gekko.com for reservations.

Get the latest from Thrillist Australia delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.

Amber Love Bond is a contributor for Thrillist.

Related

Our Best Stories, Delivered Daily
The best decision you'll make all day.