Miami is a mixing bowl of many dishes, from Cuban to Brazilian and Japanese to Thai. Seldom do we think, however, that Miami can actually host our most native of cuisines: American. But we’re not talking about baked beans and burgers, people. In a city that’s sometimes considered the capitol of Latin America, we have to admit that apple pie can sometimes be a bit, well, blasé. Enter chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, head chef and owner of Eating House, Miami’s famed pop-up restaurant. Read on to learn how he’s globalizing traditional American cuisine and making it Miami á propos.
How does Eating House differentiate from traditional American cuisine?
“It differentiates from traditional cuisine being that we have no motif – you know, we always change what we do. Right now I’m working on a Japanese style tartare, I just put chicken and waffles down on the table, you got short ribs with plantain and duck with peaches. There is no classic American cuisine. Miami’s such a big mix of people, in the same way, we’re just a big mix of food.”
Would you call this an American Restaurant?
“Some would call it New American, or Contemporary American. In a sense that it’s the new America, it’s got everybody you know? Everybody’s represented here.”
Would you say that pop-up is an American ideal?
“Yes, to me, the pop-up restaurant is something that started off in the California; in San Francisco, Mission Street Chinese food was one of the first pop-ups ever. It’s something that’s catching on everywhere in the world but it definitely started off here in America. It really exemplifies that American sense of trying to make something out of nothing. Kind of a new manifest destiny.”
Your motto is “If food is art, we’re making graffiti.”
“I wanted to let the style of graffiti influence the food, because graffiti is still an art, it takes its time, but it’s nothing like a traditional piece of art. The Mona Lisa done through a graffiti artist’s eyes might have eyes the size of France and lips that look [crazy].”
If You Want To Go:
What: Eating House Miami
Where: 804 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables FL; 305.448.6524;
Follow: @rapicavoli and @eating_house.
words and photo_zach devito.