Haven, an intimate, contemporary food lounge, is bringing its mix of cutting-edge design, international cuisine and creative cocktails to Miami’s South Beach’s busiest business district.

The 120-person venue opened on May 6. The focal point of the intimate space is a custom-designed open kitchen and chef’s counter, which offers diners front-row seats to the inventive food preparation.

Like the counter, the bars and tabletops are constructed out of white Siberian onyx and reclaimed American walnut.The main bar is opposite the kitchen and extends midway into the lounge, where recycled black-leather banquettes and ottomans accompany up-lit low tables that illuminate the chef-designed glass plate ware.

Haven’s 20-seat sidewalk café offers cushioned teak arm chairs for open-air dining.

Executive chef Todd Erickson, whose cooking style reflects his passion for travel and regional cuisine, leads Haven’s kitchen.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Erickson boasts more than 10 years of kitchen experience that already includes recognition from the Dallas Observer as the “Best Chef Under 30” and a “Number One Young Gun Chef” nod by D Magazine. Most recently, he served as executive sous chef at Zuma Miami.

Erickson’s locally inspired fresh menu includes dandelion salad with mixed citrus supremes, Medjool dates, pistachios, fennel and sherry vinaigrette ($8); crackle-pop, spicy tuna and pickled daikon rolled in seared and crisped rice with yuzu-shichimi aioli ($14); rock shrimp crisped with coconut panko and wasabi-sour peach marmalade for dipping ($12); and Swedish meatballs skewered between roasted crimini mushrooms and served over cucumber salad and a splash of lingonberry gastrique ($10).

The dessert menu includes sweets created using molecular-gastronomy techniques, such as sub-zero Nitro Ice Cream, made to order with fruity, nutty and candy mix-ins ($12). An after-hours menu is available past midnight with featured items nightly.

Haven’s craft cocktails consist of unique options, such as the Disco Fizz, ugni blanc flower liqueur and strawberry Limoncello ($17); the eleVate, vodka stirred with green chili over lychee and pear sorbet topped with Prosecco ($15); and the Pressure Drop, infused tequila with passion-citrus “dots” and a dash of cracked pepper ($17).

More classic libations include The haVen, aged rum with Filthy Cherry maraschino cherry mix and sugarcane garnished with orange peel ($15); and the feVer, tequila blended with pineapple, lime, sage and acacia honey ($15).

The most recent project by hospitality designer and tech-savvy entrepreneur Mike Boles features state-of-the-art sight and sound installations while still retaining a warmth and accessibility he believes will appeal to both locals and out-of-towners.

Haven’s ambiance is established through attention to detail and tech-forward prowess. Its walls are capable of streaming one continuous digital image, ranging from breathtaking scenic views to abstract video art. The constantly evolving environment is aptly suited to corporate branding at private events. A 35-speaker high fidelityaudio system surrounds the space to make it a safe haven for pure sound enjoyment, with tempos organically escalating as the evening progresses. Additional touches include a ceiling grid of 1,000 color changing frosted replicas of the ice cubes used by Haven’s mixologists, as well as 14 zones of soft, low-energy LED down lighting and a walnut tree structure with an illuminated canopy to provide additional warmth.

Haven is the first South Florida venture by Boles, who plans to expand the concept to other cities domestically and abroad.


Industry News, NextGen Casual