Cantina La Veinte in downtown Miami’s Icon Brickell, offers an elevated, authentic dining experience in a strikingly elegant setting. What Zuma is to Izakaya-inspired Japanese dining and Milos is to Greek cuisine, Cantina is to the “Mexican gastronomic adventure.”
Brought to Miami by Cinbersol Group just over two years ago, Cantina delivers the high-end culinary tradition and exceptional service for which the leading Mexico City-based hospitality firm is well known. Upon entering, we were impressed by the opulent, luxurious setting. Immediately, the ambiance signaled that we were in for a night of exceptional dining and a lot of fun. The Friday evening crowd gathered around the striking, contemporary, floor-to-ceiling black onyx bar, complete with a pyramid-shaped black and gold chandelier overhead, to drink and chat and experience the vibe.
But the din of excited guests did not stop at the bar. The restaurant’s adjacent dining room, was filled with diners who enjoyed and sang along to music while taking in the action in the open exhibition kitchen, where the talented culinary team showcased their skills at preparing authentic creations. We enjoyed watching the chefs create Mexican tortillas by hand, right before our eyes as we sipped a cocktail at the lively bar. Downstairs, at the outdoor waterfront patio, we listened to Mariachis playing before being seated beside one of the restaurant’s expansive windows back in the upstairs main dining room. Designed by Mexican architectural firm Niz + Chauvet, Cantina’s decor pays homage to the Mexican Art Deco style, while maintaining the distinct décor of a traditional Mexican Cantina.
Cantina boasts an eclectic menu of traditional Mexican cuisine, as well as expertly crafted cocktails and a massive selection of over 260 tequilas and mezcals, considered one of the largest in the U.S. At the helm of Cantina’s kitchen is Mexico-native, Executive Chef Santiago Gomez, an alumnus of NOBU, both in Miami and Mexico City, Erawan, Piso 51 and Corporate Chef of Cantina La Numero 20’s multiple locations in Polanco, El Angel and Santa Fe, MX. Gomez most recently worked at critically-acclaimed restaurant, DANIEL by renowned chef, Daniel Boulud. At Cantina La Veinte in Miami, Cinbersol’s first U.S. restaurant, Gomez delivers a deliciously diverse menu of authentic Mexican food incorporating whimsical touches.
Staying true to his Mexican roots, Gomez has created a menu filled with authentic dishes from south of the border. Diners can choose from seafood dishes including, ceviches and aguachiles to masterful entrees. Our favorites included the Tostadas de Atun and the Tostadas de King Crab, Vuelve a la Vida Ceviche, Sopa de Camaron and the guacamole with home-made chips for starters. The Callos de Hacha (perfectly seared scallops) and the Langostinos (giant prawns) were outstanding as mains. The numerous stuffed chiles at varying levels of heat, fresh oyster selections and numerous cuts of beef are also recommended. Save room for dessert, as the dessert menu is varied and delightful.
Unique to its concept, Cantina La Veinte has its own upscale Mercado adjacent to the outdoor dining area, offering prepared foods, imported Mexican ingredients, charcuterie, fresh baked bread, caviar, wines, and horchatas – traditional rice-based Mexican beverages.
Cantina La Veinte is located at 495 Brickell Avenue at the Icon Brickell. For more information on hours of operation, visit: http://www.cantinala20.com/.