Miami’s sizzling-hot Argentine grill
As its name suggests, Los Fuegos at the new Faena Miami Beach Hotel is all about fire (or fuego).
Helmed by James Beard Award winner chef Francis Mallmann — highly regarded for his dramatic open-fire cooking technique and contemporary Argentine menu — Los Fuegos serves an authentic South American dining experience, rooted in the traditional asado, or outdoor barbecue. Complete with an outdoor fire kitchen, the 188-seat hot spot marks Mallmann’s only North American restaurant.
Located outside the Veranda space, Los Fuegos sits in Faena Hotel Miami Beach’s courtyard surrounding the Tree of Life, the focal point of the space. Lights hang from the massive tree and illuminate the dining area. Juan Gatti (who did the graphic art for most of Pedro Almodóvar’s films and also served as art director for Vogue Italia) designed the space’s many tiles, which bear hand-painted motifs of sea life, while the stunning columns are encrusted with corals and shells. The vibrant furniture is custom gold-leafed bamboo with red cushions and white piping.
Arguably one of the world’s top reigning grill masters, Mallmann customized the outdoor fire kitchen to bring out the flavors and aromas that can only be achieved in grilling. Set right in the hotel’s courtyard, the kitchen comes with a custom-made wood oven, a grand-scale grill known as the “piano,” planchas (metal griddles) and even an area dedicated solely to cooking in ashes.
Fish and meat hang from special hooks at the Argentine restaurant. Mallmann designed special cooking utensils, too, exclusively for the kitchen made from materials ranging from copper, wood and iron to porcelain, marble and stainless steel.
Mallmann’s contemporary take on traditional recipes from his native Argentina make for authentic yet sophisticated savory dishes. Expect to feast on grilled and roasted meats cooked to succulent perfection. There are plenty of local fresh seafood options and vegetables as well — fired up, of course.
Standouts include wood-oven empanadas, skirt steak or prime rib-eye a la Parrilla served with chimichurri sauce, as well as handmade potato gnocchi. The menu also includes dishes to share, such as a 48-ounce “hanging” tomahawk steak served with chimichurri and criolla sauce, whole Mediterranean branzino with fennel, lemon, herb-lemon dressing and “hanging” chicken with grape and vinegar sauce.
Beginning in spring 2016, the restaurant will host a weekly asado, an outdoor party featuring whole animals, including both meat and seafood.
The rustic and theatrical plating and design make the meal all the more delectable and memorable. It’s all complemented by an exceptional selection of Argentine wines and craft cocktails.
The Miami restaurant has an extensive drinks menu with signature cocktails as well as a range of South American and international wines. The Faena Hotel Miami Beach beverage program is a tapestry of different ingredients, exotic flavors and classic techniques, spearheaded by beverage director Zarko Stankovik in a collaboration with Mayur Subbarao and Mark Kinzer. Much of their inspiration was drawn from early- to mid-19th-century classic cocktails.
Los Fuegos’ wine list also includes a selection of Faena Wines. Alan Faena, working with the renowned Marcelo Pelleriti (the first winemaker from Argentina to receive a perfect 100-point score by Robert Parker), brings to life a collection of wines that capture the essence of Argentina’s best vineyards and traditions.