Major Food Group (MFG) expanded to Miami Beach, Fla., this week with the opening of its famed Italian restaurant, Carbone. The existing Carbone locations in New York, Las Vegas and Hong Kong comprise three of MFG’s seven Restaurant Award winners, which include Wine Spectator Grand Award winner the Grill in New York.
“I, along with my partners, are thrilled to land in such an extraordinary city, and feel fortunate to join such a vibrant community,” read a statement from chef Mario Carbone, who co-owns MFG with restaurateur Jeff Zalaznick and chef Rich Torrisi.
Opened Jan. 26, the new location features Carbone classics like spicy rigatoni in vodka sauce, a signature Caesar salad prepared tableside and veal parmesan served on the bone. Guests will also find new dishes exclusive to the Miami location, like scallop crudo with pistachio and Key lime and stone crab knuckle sandwiches.
The wine program is managed by corporate wine director John Slover, featuring an opening list of 360 selections with two dozen available by the glass. Italian labels make up the bulk of the list, especially Tuscany and Piedmont. There’s a strong showing from big names such as Gaja, Antinori and Valdicava, and impressive verticals like Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d'Abruzzo going back to 1983. Other international regions including France and the U.S. are also well-represented, with highlights in Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux.
According to a representative of MFG, the team plans to expand the list over the next few months, making it comparable to the one at Carbone’s New York original, which has more than 1,000 selections. “They will be adding more vintage depth, blue-chip verticals and expanding the Piedmont, Tuscany, Bordeaux and California sections,” the rep told Wine Spectator. A press release stated that MFG plans to open “several additional projects” in South Florida this year.—Julie Harans
New York City’s Restaurant Week is back for its winter season, operating for the first time as takeout- and delivery-only. This iteration of the biannual event by the city’s tourism bureau spotlights meals for $20.21, including an entrée and a side dish, now through Jan. 31. More than 500 eateries are participating, breaking the previous record by about 200. Thirty-nine of those participants are Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners.
Established in 1992 as a deal for delegates at the Democratic National Convention, Restaurant Week has recently been about drawing diners with discounted meals for lunch and dinner. While indoor dining is still prohibited in New York City due to COVID-19 restrictions, the promotion kicks off at a time when restaurants are eager to serve and diners are embracing ways to change up their stay-at-home routine. And it’s still providing an opportunity for guests to discover new places.
“Since many of the participating customers do not normally dine out or order out from high-caliber restaurants, it's always a good opportunity to give these guests a glimpse of what we are all about,” said owner and wine director Jin Ahn of Noreetuh, a Hawaiian restaurant in the East Village. He notes that Restaurant Week is typically his business’ busiest time of the year. “Many guests have returned to us after initially being satisfied with their Restaurant Week experience, to our pleasure.”
Some restaurants are creating dishes and offering wine deals specifically for the promotion. “[Our] chef curated a seasonal menu to appeal to our guests that prefer to stay home during [these] crazy times and cold temperatures,” said Aviram Turgeman, wine director of Chef Driven Restaurant Group, which has seven participating restaurants including Grand Award winner Nice Matin. Certain bottles from those restaurants’ wine lists will be available at discounted prices.
To learn more and sign up for email updates, visit NYCgo.com/restaurant-week.—Taylor McBride
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille is coming to Franklin, Tenn., part of the Nashville metropolitan area. Set to open Feb. 18 in Franklin’s CoolSprings Galleria shopping center, the restaurant will join the chain’s many outposts throughout the U.S., including 17 Award of Excellence winners. “The Perry’s team has had its eye on Nashville for some time,” Perry’s chief strategy officer and chief marketing officer Lesa Sorrentino told Wine Spectator via email.
The wine list is still being finalized, but it will likely be similar to the selections at other Perry’s restaurants, which tend to focus on California reds. Beverage director Susi Zivanovic will oversee the restaurant’s list and 3,000-bottle cellar, and Sorrentino notes that the program will highlight the world’s major wine regions. “The by-the-glass program is very [New World]–centric, while there are wines incorporated from Old World regions,” Sorrentino said. This includes Champagne, as well as Italian Nebbiolo, Spanish Tempranillo and wines from the Rhône.
Executive chef Lee Spencer will serve Perry’s signature menu, featuring aged USDA Prime beef, the chain’s hallmark “seven-finger-high” pork chop, tableside carvings and flaming desserts. There will also be seafood dishes created by Perry’s master development chef Rick Moonen, seasonal specials and a build-your-own seafood tower. The 11,000-square-foot space has a dining room with views of the open kitchen and a display wall of wines, plus four private dining rooms. There’s also a covered outdoor patio with two fireplaces, which will be part of the restaurant’s Bar 79.—Collin Dreizen
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