Friday, June 27, 2008
Style File: Design District
In the past, the main draw of Miami's Design District was furniture. Now there are plenty of reasons to go, especially for foodies. In tonight's Style File, Seven's Belkys Nerey shows us why the Design District is designed to be the next "it" place.
WSVN -- For years, the Design District got it's street cred for high end furniture, and it's artsy vibe. These days the Big "D" is getting props as a bustling restaurant Mecca.
Janet Atles: "The area has changed so much, and it's so alive now."
Alan Randolph: "All the locals love coming over here now. You've got great restaurants, great restaurant owners with a great history."
Credit for the district's big boom goes to Chef Michael Schwartz. He was the first to risk it all on the area by opening his now hugely successful restaurant, Michael's Genuine Food & Drink.
Michael Schwartz: "Everybody always wants to wait for someone else to go first, and I was happy to go first. I wanted to be first because we believed in the neighborhood."
Jonathan Eismann: "Michael pioneered this place, I give him a lot of credit."
Now other big hitters are following Michael's lead, including Jonathan Eismann. He just re-opened his restaurant Pacific Time in the district after a long and famous run on Lincoln Road.
Jonathan Eismann: "In some ways, I think the Design District is what South Beach was in the late 80s and 90s, an icon of style and individuality."
He should know, he was one of the first to put Lincoln Road on the map. Jonathan says you'll find the same good food from his old restaurant, but the prices have dropped by about 40 percent.
Jonathan: "This is the kind of restaurant we would like people to come two to three times a week, and, because of our small plate menu, and the price range, which is $8 to $14, it's easy to come here."
Another familiar face from old school Lincoln Road is Kenneth Lyon, formerly of Lyon Freres. He also just opened his new Italian eatery Fratelli Lyon in the District.
Craig Robins: "Originally, Lyon Freres on Lincoln Road was one of the most exciting things that got South Beach and Lincoln Road going. It's great to see Ken is back but now in the Design District."
Ken Lyon: "Wow, what we lost on the Road is back, and there's a sense of 'This is the next place.'"
Ken's new place is housed in the Driade Showroom, so you get a mix of high-end design with what he calls an "urban Italian vibe."
Ken Lyon: "The food is very classic and authentic, but the setting is definitely more updated."
With all this friendly foodie competition, the district is sure to keep booming. Domo Japones and Brosia are two other happening restaurants in the Design District.