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The ‘Messi of wines’: Michelin-starred Argentine chef opens restaurant in Miami

In World
January 12, 2024

He may have been nicknamed “the Messi of wines” by the Michelin Guide, but Alejandro Vigil is making his name in Miami with food, too.

A South Florida outpost of his Michelin-starred restaurant in Mendoza, Argentina, Casa Vigil is now open in Upper Buena Vista in the former Vista restaurant space.

Wine, of course, is a big part of the menu.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants guide for Latin America calls the original Casa Vigil “a feast for the senses.” At the new 150-seat restaurant, which is designed by Mico Design and Argentine architect Ignacio Marquez, the restaurant features a Mediterranean and Argentinian-influenced menu.

Casa Vigil is divided into three distinct spaces. La Cava, the main dining room, boasts a wine cellar with more than 700 labels, while the covered outdoor terrace El Patio allows guests to dine in a garden-like setting and features a mural of the Virgin of Carrodilla (known as the Wine Virgin). Opening soon, possibly in February, is El Cielo, a rooftop terrace with views of Upper Buena Vista. Chef Cesar Gonzalez Aznar will lead the kitchen.

The outdoor dining area for Casa Vigil in Upper Buena Vista.

The outdoor dining area for Casa Vigil in Upper Buena Vista.

The Miami menu will offer a five-course tasting menu for $140 with three levels of wine pairings, although diners can order a la carte items if they prefer. The menu includes items like empanadas, prawn carpaccio and dishes including ribeye milanesa; 40-day dry aged braised Angus costilla; rack of lamb; duck magret and Chilean sea bass. There’s also a Vasque cheesecake for dessert.

The restaurant plans to start a brunch menu, too.

As for wine, Casa Vigil aims to provide both ends of the spectrum, with rare and collectible wines available but also wine tastings and guidance from sommelier Miguel Martinez for novices. There are two 12-seat bars that feature craft cocktails like La Virgen Sagrada (mezcal, grilled pineapple, spices, lime and tajin) and El Infierno (tequila, rum, strawberry citrus, tarragon and absinthe).

Vigil said in a statement that he believes that the new Casa Vigil, the brand’s second restaurant, brings the “essence of Mendoza to Miami.”

“Not only do we want to deliver exceptional wines, but we also want to create an environment where guests can deepen their appreciation for the art and science of winemaking,” Vigil said. “We believe the unique combination of our wines, cuisine and ambiance will provide a memorable experience.”

The exterior of Casa Vigil in Upper Buena Vista, in the former space of Vista restaurant.

The exterior of Casa Vigil in Upper Buena Vista, in the former space of Vista restaurant.

Casa Vigil

Where: Upper Buena Vista, 5020 NE Second Ave., Miami

Hours: Noon-10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday; noon-11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday

More information and reservations: www.casavigilmiami.com

The patio bar, which specializes in craft cocktails (but you can order wine there, too).

The patio bar, which specializes in craft cocktails (but you can order wine there, too).

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