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Eat Your Heart Out at Big Easy Winebar & Grill

Brickell City Centre's newest restaurant offers a taste of sophisticated South African cuisine

Big Easy Winebar & Grill

As if Downtown Miami’s dazzling Brickell City Centre wasn’t exciting enough already, now, it has a new restaurant that Miami’s finest have been eager to try. Big Easy Winebar & Grill by Ernie Els {701 South Miami Avenue #339, Brickell; 786.814.5955}, Miami’s only option for haute, authentic South African cuisine, opened to the public right before Christmas, marking the first project in Downtown Miami by Grove Bay Hospitality Group–the restaurant firm behind both Big Easy and earlier this year, Giorgio Rapicavoli’s acclaimed Coconut Grove spot, Glass & Vine.

Named after Ernie Els, a restaurant partner, golf icon and winemaker affectionately known as “The Big Easy,” this casual and sophisticated spot focuses on the flavors of the Western Cape region of South Africa. And staying true to its theme, Grove Bay Hospitality Group even tapped Executive Chef Maryna Frederiksen, a native South African with more than two decades of experience as a chef at AAA Five Diamond and James Beard Award-winning restaurants, to lead the kitchen.

Under Frederiksen, diners will find a menu of prime cuts of meat, comfort food favorites, and seafood fresh from the South Atlantic and Indian oceans. If meat is what you crave, choose from a menu of shareable plates like Peri-Peri Chicken Liver with African chili sauce, Boerie Bites with farmers sausage in a soft roll, Chili-Coffee Rubbed Pork Flatbread with seasonal apples, and “braai” (BBQ) dishes like  Prime Dry Aged Kansas City Strip, Bison Ribeye, or The Big Easy Braai, a mixed grill feast for up to four with South African farmer’s sausage, a 12 oz. top sirloin, double lamb chops, Nigerian prawns and a choice of two sides. All of them can be topped with a menu of housemade sauces and butters sure to elevate any cut of meat: like Peri-Peri Cream, Madagascar Pepper Sauce, Braai “BBQ” Sauce, Malaysia Spice, and Durban Spice. If seafood is more your style, there are plenty of options for that, too; like Grilled Nigerian Prawns with garlic butter and the Cape Malay Seafood Pot with P.E.I mussels, Nigerian prawns, and the day’s fresh catch in a coconut-curry broth.

Finally, what would a place named after “The Big Easy” be without some hearty comfort food and good wine? Eat like the Hall of Famer himself with a part of the menu called Ernie’s Favorites, featuring plates like Angry Duck Curry or Durban Bunny Chow with slow-roasted lamb shank. For the cherry on top of your lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch, pair it all with South African wines and vintages from Ernie Els’ own vineyards, handpicked by Louis Strydom, an esteemed winemaker with immeasurable knowledge of South African wines.

Happy dining!

By Jennifer Agress | Miami Editor