Miami’s Mediterranean food scene continues to grow with the opening of Cleo at The Redbury South Beach. Sbe (which already has a strong presence in the city — see The Raleigh and SLS South Beach) launched the restaurant with celebrated chef Danny Elmaleh in the boutique hotel located directly in the heart of South Beach on Collins Avenue.
The Cleo brand has been rapidly expanding, with an original location in L.A., a second at the SLS Las Vegas, and now the new South Beach post. Chef Elmaleh, who grew up in Israel, lived in Japan much of his life, and comes from Moroccan roots, certainly has some “Med cred” as it were, which comes across in Cleo’s unique and modern dishes. The mezzes bar and expansive menu offers a pleasurable shared-plate experience.
Signature dishes include two types of Brussels sprouts, one with hazelnuts, the other with capers and almonds; well-done classic dips like babaganoush and hummus; a variety of flatbreads (the kale with crème fraîche is noteworthy); and traditional, one-pot tagines. The Miami-specific dishes include octopus ceviche, lamb shawarma, wagyu tongue kebabs, and a Monkfish tagine.
Food is never enough in The Magic City, though, and Cleo has taken this into consideration, offering a creative cocktail list. Standouts include the Vinebury with Absolut Vodka, St. Germain, crushed basil, cucumber, Serrano, and lemon; and the Spiced Ginger Mojito with Bacardi Silver rum, muddled mint, ginger, and lime.
“I’ve been visiting South Beach for some time now, and each visit has brought new culinary inspiration,” said chef Elmaleh. “I have really enjoyed crafting this menu and look forward to sharing my take on the local flavors with everyone who walks through our doors."