After helping put Miami on the culinary map more than a decade ago, Top Chef Masters alum Lorena Garcia has returned to Miami to debut her restaurant Chica’s second location. The eatery, which has its original outpost in Las Vegas, is a partnership with 50 Eggs Hospitality Group, the team behind Yardbird Southern Table & Tap, and has taken over the former longstanding Soyka space at 5556 NE 4th Court in the Upper East Side neighborhood.
Chica is focused around cuisines from Latin and South America, including Garcia’s native Venezuela, along with Peru, Argentina, Mexico, and others. The extensive menu offers an array of starters including grilled octopus, a variety of tacos, ceviche, and arepas filled with traditional items like chicken and avocado. For carnivores, a dedicated section just for dishes off the churrasco grill features items such as a 35-ounce bone-in ribeye with ancho chili rub, 12-ounce angus beef NY strip, and a Argentine-style “parrillada” showcasing a variety of meats that can easily feed at least three people. Other dishes like grilled shrimp and quinoa, roasted pig porchetta, whole fried fish, and a massive churro tower round out the dinner menu.
The indoor/outdoor space was reimagined by the Rockwell Group, a New York-based architecture and design firm focused on high-end restaurants. The double-height restaurant gets its inspiration from South America, boasting vibrant colors throughout, two-tone concrete flooring with brass inlays, stucco walls, stacked wood shutters, and an open kitchen. The bar features a tile mosaic, columns accented with gold stencil work (akin to those typically found on South America), and a canopy of flowers above filled with twinkle lights. The courtyard area is outfitted with a transparent ceiling and covered by a trellis wrapped in greenery, while the walls are decorated by murals inspired by street art in Argentina.
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