Monday, December 8, 2008



From Ocean to Table, Area 31 Delivers Destination Dining to Downtown Miami

MIAMI, FL (December 3, 2008) -- Area 31, the breathtaking new restaurant on the 16th floor of the Epic Hotel, will deliver guests a dramatic menu of fresh, premium seafood prepared with a Mediterranean influence when it opens December 15, 2008. The restaurant will feature seafood from its namesake region Fishing Area 31, the ecologically sound marine waters of the Western Central Atlantic including the entire Florida coast, Central America and northern South America, with its menu created by rising star John Critchley. Critchley hails from Boston where he worked extensively with world-renowned Chef Ken Oringer. The menu will be complemented with a wine list expertly assembled by Master Sommelier Emily Wines along with an innovative cocktail list from Master Mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout.

Critchley will transport his passion for the ocean directly to the table by creating a menu with international appeal featuring pristine seafood sourced predominantly from Fishing Area 31.

Area 31’s menu will be divided into several sections highlighting the diverse nature of the restaurant. The Crudo menu will offer an exquisite selection of raw fish including Stone Crab, Yellowfin Tuna and Key West Pink Shrimp. The Grilled Fish selections include Spanish Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper, Royal Red Shrimp Corvina, Cuttlefish, Wahoo and Mahi Mahi paired with daily made sauces such as Pepperoni (roasted pepper, basil, olive oil), Salmoriglio (olive oil, lemon, fresh herbs) and Salsa Verde (shallots, garlic, capers). The Primi Piatti menu will offer fresh pastas including Chittara, Cavatelli and Gnocchi, while a delectable assortment of entrées on the Secondi Piatti menu will include Sautéed Red Snapper, Salt-crusted Dorade, Wood-grilled Spiny Lobster and Grilled Leg of Lamb. Entrees can be paired with accompaniments served a la carte from the Contorni menu including English Pea Risotto, White Corn Polenta and Lemon Swiss Chard.

Dining at Area 31 will extend onto the outdoor terrace and pool deck with breathtaking views of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. Surrounding the two glass mosaic infinity pools, contemporary metal daybeds will invite guests to lounge in style while ample chaises, ottomans and benches will comfortably seat small and large groups. The private cabanas and casitas will offer special menus serving luxurious afternoon aperitifs, Champagnes, chocolates and truffles, fruits and cheeses and light lunches. For an unforgettable evening under the stars guests will be invited to indulge in Chef Critchley’s exclusive Casita Dinner menu offering crudo, grilled fish, pastas and traditional Paella Valenciana with paired cocktails and wine.

Master Sommelier Emily Wines, from the Michelin-starred Fifth Floor restaurant in San Francisco, will create the extensive wine list featuring Mediterranean vintages along with wines from the Americas. A large half bottle list of more than 25 selections will be available along with an ample list of wines by the glass. The thoughtful wine collection will offer a broad range of great value wines for the everyday diner, as well as small production, hard-to-find, yet approachable bottles for guests celebrating a special night.

Master Mixologist Jacques Bezuindenhout will introduce a selection of innovative cocktails evoking Miami’s magic. Reminiscent of La Floridita, a landmark in Havana, Cuba, Bezuindenhout’s libations will include Cucumber and Passion Fruit Tequila Mojitos, old-fashioned Daiquiris simply created with lime juice, sugar and rum, and classic Cachaça Caipirinhas. Bezuindenhout will round out the menu with Mediterranean inspired cocktails including Bellinis and Limoncello Martinis.

The 16th floor restaurant, designed by famed Los Angeles designer Cheryl Rowley, will offer warm, graceful simplicity and understated elegance through the adept use of texture and light. Contrasting patterns and materials such as stone, glass, patinaed-metals, warm woods and refined textiles in a rich, neutral palette will come together to create rhythm, movement and interest. Area 31 will also boast two private dining rooms with floor to ceiling views of Brickell Avenue, the river and downtown as well as a 300-person ballroom embellished with a sea of illuminated glass spheres suspended throughout the ceiling. Walls are a continuous rhythm of pearl-ized textured wall coverings and wood wainscot punctuated by recessed vertical light coves. Wood clad columns frame the urban vistas glimpsed through the 12-foot high windows.

Area 31 is located on the 16th floor of Epic Hotel, 270 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33131. Reservations may be made by calling 305.424.5234.

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