Chef and restauranteur Michael Beltran has debuted his latest restaurant, Brasserie Laurel a French-focused spot in the newly built Miami Worldcenter Caoba residential tower in Downtown Miami.
It’s the latest project for his team at Ariete Hospitality Group, whose rapidly growing restaurant portfolio includes Ariete, Nave, Chug’s, and the Taurus in Coconut Grove, alongside the Scapegoat in Miami Beach, and most recently, the Gibson Room on Coral Way.
“We see Laurel as Ariete’s younger sister,” said Beltran. “It’s a new approach to French brasserie food. Think Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, La Tour d’Argent in Paris.”
French classics fill the menu at Laurel with dishes like escargot, frog legs, foie gras, venison tartare, beef Wellington, chicory salad, turbot in tomato beurre blanc, and Maine lobster with veal sweetbreads, created by executive chef Ashley Moncada, formerly chef de cuisine at Ariete.
The cocktail program by the restaurant’s beverage director Tom Lasher-Walker offers updated takes on cocktail favorites like the Beneath the Sheets, made with aged rum and pineapple, and a late 19th-century cocktail known as the Corpse Reviver Royal with gin, bubbles, and absinthe. Speaking of absinthe, it’s in ample supply at Laurel, with an absinthe fountain found behind the bar. A large menu of French and Old World style wines and champagnes round out the menu.
Housed inside the splashy Miami Worldcenter, the restaurant space itself keeps with the French theme with dark wood, gold, and deep blue throughout. Also debuting at Miami Worldcenter over the coming months, adjacent to Laurel, will be two other Ariete Hospitality restaurants, Chug’s Express and El Vecino. The ‘ventanita’ from Chug’s Express will serve Chug’s Diner favorites such as croquetas, pastelitos, and coffee. Meanwhile, El Vecino will be a high-end cigar bar serving a full liquor menu and light fare such as mussels, an assortment of meat and cheese, a grúyere burger, foie torchon, and a selection of snacks.