The New Miami: How KYU is Elevating the Food Scene in Wynwood

KYU (pronounced “cue” like in barbecue) opened its doors in early 2016 in the art district of Miami, Florida known as Wynwood. The wood-fired Asian-American concept, brought to Miami by Chef Michael Lewis and Steven Haigh, has cemented itself as a cornerstone of the Miami’s burgeoning food scene. The culinary explosion is in part because of the development of the city. With more exciting spaces opening up Miami-wide — new ideas, customers, and money are pouring into developing areas and renowned chefs and restaurateurs are seizing the opportunity.

Chef Michael Lewis is the co-founder and executive chef at KYU. Lewis has cooked all over the world; leading teams, opening restaurants, and working with chefs like Jean-Georges. Lewis was Chef de Cuisine at Jean Georges restaurant on Central Park West which earned three Michelin Stars at the time.

In 2016, Lewis teamed up with Steven Haigh a 20-year restaurant and hospitality veteran to open KYU. One year after opening, KYU was nominated for its first James Beard for “Best New Restaurant”.

One of the biggest draws of KYU, outside Chef Lewis’s mouthwatering food, is the environment and the amazing service. When you’re there it just feels good. KYU is the new Miami — upscale and sexy, not overpriced, and just looking to have a good time.

On this episode of Table 42, Paul sits with Chef Michael Lewis and Steven Haigh to talk about how the restaurant connects with the community, the thoughtful design, and KYU’s unique name. Not to mention we get a behind the scenes look at popular menu items like the roasted cauliflower with goat cheese, shishito, and herb vinaigrette and the Wagyu beef brisket with black shichimi pepper.

Award Winning Chefs Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth Return to Miami with Stiltsville Fish Bar

Award Winning Chefs Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth Return to Miami with Stiltsville Fish Bar
  • Check out Stiltsville Fish Bar and Other Great Restaurants on Miami’s Top 25.

  • Focused on Everything Local, Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth bring a Neighborhood Feel to South Beach with Stiltsville Fish Bar.

In this episode of Table 42, we visit Stiltsville Fish Bar and meet Chefs Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis. The chef couple met on the line at Gigi’s in Midtown Miami before opening up the critically acclaimed Root and Bone in NYC. Their newest venture, Stiltsville Fish Bar, opened in 2018 and has quickly become one of the most talked about new concepts in South Florida, ranking in Foodable's Top 25 just a few weeks after opening. Inspired by Chef Jeff McInnis’s childhood, growing up fishing in Niceville Florida, Stiltsville Fish Bar is a neighborhood restaurant focusing on bringing locals a hometown feel complete with great food and Key West inspired cocktails.

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SUR: The Restaurant Behind Bravo TV’s Hit Reality Show Vanderpump Rules

On this episode of Table 42, Paul Barron takes us to his hometown, Los Angeles. Amidst the hustle and the bustle of the city, you will find starving artists and celebrity actors– all looking for a little camera time. And there’s one place you can find it without an audition, you just need a reservation.

SUR, which stands for Sexy Unique Restaurant, is a high-end concept, known for its deliciously composed dishes and perfectly shaken drinks. The attractive waitstaff might look a bit familiar to you, too. That’s because SUR is also the set of the wildly popular reality Bravo TV show “Vanderpump Rules” and occasionally makes an appearance on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

Guillermo Zapata opened and ran the restaurant for 10 years before partnering up with the Real Housewife cast member, Lisa Vanderpump Todd and her husband, Ken Todd. Since then the restaurant has expanded to an over 8000 square feet space– giving the trendy concept tons of space to welcome guests. Guillermo is always looking for new projects and challenges, so a second SUR Restaurant  & Lounge locations might be on the horizon.

“I’ve always said to every man Villa Blanca is where you take your wife. Sur is where you take your mistress. And now Pump can be where you take your boyfriend,” said Vanderpump in the past about the concepts.

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The original idea for SUR came from one of Zapata's culinary adventures, when he walked into a restaurant and was fascinated by the incredibly attractive staff, many of which were aspiring actors and actresses themselves.

“I start looking around and I find this good-looking guy, good-looking lady you know as waiters. [They] all look like actors or models. This feels like we’re on set in here.”

So Zapata was inspired to create his own sexy restaurant with not only eye-catching staff members, but a sexy scenery to match.

Partnering with the Vanderpumps and the use of the restaurant as the backdrop for reality TV shows has only helped the restaurant grow in popularity.

But bringing cameras into a hospitality business can put a lot of pressure on a team. No stranger to the limelight, Zapata says pressure like that drives him.

“You know, for me, pressure is good so I don’t find that as a bad thing. I need to be under pressure, I need to be in a challenge. If there’s competition next to me, I love it,” said Zapata.

Watch the episode above to learn more about the trendy West Hollywood destination!

From Seed to Rind, Watermelon Transcends Summer Menus

In this episode of Table 42, we meet Co-Founder of At Your Service Hospitality Group, Evan Rosenberg, and Executive Chef Brad Warner at their new restaurant Shay and Ivy in New York City. We are exploring watermelon as it has become a year-round ingredient for many restaurants and their chefs. Executive Chef Warner is experienced with progressive American fare that pulls influences from all over the world to create truly approachable global flavor dishes at Shay and Ivy, and his culinary creations showcased in this episode are no different. Want to know more? Watch the episode above!

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Fire On The Horizon.  Inspired by classic cocktails, the Paloma and the Rubio, this beautiful cocktail has a spicy kick but luckily, as our Table 42 host, Paul Barron, says, "the watermelon saves you."

Grain salad with grilled watermelon and toasted watermelon seeds.  

Smoked spare ribs with watermelon rind chutney.

Shay and Ivy is part of the At Your Service Hospitality Group; the group that brought Atwood Kitchen and Bar Room to New York City.  Walking up to the restaurant,  the first thing you notice is their patio (which is massive for New York City street dining) with excellent separation from the street (also rare.) When you enter, you see the cocktail bar complemented with a raw oyster bar.  It feels personal and comfortable.  

The staff is friendly and personable. A perfect place for a sit-down or quick cocktail.  Shay and Ivy is designed as an intimate, multi-use space for lunch, dinner, happy-hours, and events.  As you walk back through the space, (past the custom-made neon sign that is cursed, I'm told, because every couple weeks someone seems to break it) the restaurant opens up to reveal the main dining area.  A perfectly lit intimate dining space for friends, family, or a date; it all works.

The last section is in the back of the restaurant (again, very unusual for New York.) They call it: The Garden Room.  Sky-lit with eye-catching custom lighting, this space is designed for private events, lunch business meetings or even just a quick stop in with your computer to get some work done.  

There is nothing pretentious about Shay and Ivy.  You can have a burger and beer as quickly as you can have a Butter Poached Lobster Tail and a Temper Tantrum (that's a cocktail).  And that's the point, Shay and Ivy is your neighborhood one stop for everything New York City and beyond.


Curtis Stone’s Maude Is Seasonal, Intimate, and Has a No-Tipping Model

Video Produced by Vanessa C. Rodriguez

A tiny Beverly Hills eatery serving a creative menu to about two dozen guests is Chef Curtis Stone’s life-long dream. Its name, Maude, pays homage to his first culinary mentor — Curtis’ late paternal grandmother. Her influence can be seen throughout the restaurant fixtures and china used to serve food.

Since opening in 2014, Foodable Top 25 Restaurant Maude has been serving a 10-course seasonal tasting menu, focusing on one key rotating ingredient each month.

“The reason we do only a tasting menu format here at Maude is because some of Curtis’ experiences are going to restaurants that friends of his own, sitting down, they take off the menus out of your hands, and just cook for you…no decision to make, you just sit back and let brilliant people do what they do best,” Ben Aviram, general manager and wine director at Maude, said, explaining the premise of Maude’s mission to recreate that experience for all of its guests.

In this "Table 42" Vignette, Maude Head Chef Justin Hilbert demonstrated for us a seasonal dish with pistachio as its star ingredient: Ravioli with Pistachio Ricatta and Broccoli De Cicco.

Preparing the Dish

  • Start by making the pasta with all-purpose flour, salt, and some eggs; mix for 30 mins.
  • Heat up milk until it reaches 200 degrees, then add lemon juice; let the mixture cool down on a deep tray.
  • Garnishes for the dish include: Sweet Italian broccoli de cicco, rapini flowers, fresh dill
  • After pasta dough has come together and rested nicely, it is rolled out two to three times through a stretch machine; then, it’s laid out on table and even strips are cut.
  • The ricatta will be the ravioli filling, which was whipped with pistachio. Each one is placed between a pasta blanket and cut through to make the ravioli. They are later thrown in boiling water to be cooked for three minutes.
  • In the meantime, the broccoli de cicco is sautéed to achieve a char-grilled flavor profile.
  • Pasta is then picked out of the pot of boiling water and thrown into a bowl of butter and water; dill, lemon juice are then added to the mixture.
  • Dish can be plated by laying the pasta over the sautéed broccoli de cicco. Pour a little bit of dill butter sauce and the ramini leaves and flowers.

Service Charge Model

The prix fixe menu at Maude is designed to create an intimate chef’s table experience for every guest. Foodable was curious to learn more about their no-tipping model, as this topic along with minimum wage is still being debated at the national stage.

“We feel it is the best way to fairly compensate all the employees,” Aviram said. “Restaurants generally have a pretty large disparity of what the dining room makes and what the kitchen makes, and by us charging a service charge and taking that 18 percent and being able to spread the wages both in the dining room and the kitchen, helps us to level that playing field a little bit.”

To learn more, watch the full episode!