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Any news on Fratelli Lyon, Miami?

Have they opened? And is Pacific Time really coming to the Design District?

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  1. Have driven by the Driade store a bunch of times. Place looks ready but it's always closed.

    Pac Time has an ad in a dining magazine that says coming soon.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lax2mia

      According to my sources, Fratelli should be ready in May.

      1. re: jessierandall

        I heard May as well. Chef Ken Lyon was on "After Hours with Daniel" this past week which took place at The Lido at the Standard Hotel. All of the Miami episodes have been great and its cool to "meet" some of the local chefs like Lyon.

    2. Was in the DD Saturday and place was still closed. Any news?

      19 Replies
      1. re: lax2mia

        I received this email this morning:

        Dear Slow Food Members and Friends,

        We are pleased to announce the opening of Fratelli Lyon at 4141 NE 2nd Avenue in the Miami Design District on Tuesday, May 27 for dinner.

        Kenny Lyon is a friend and Slow Food member and has a long history in Miami of serving delicious food. As you may remember, he created a beautiful meal for us to benefit Slow Food Miami on February 24th and on that night we celebrated the beginning of the Slow Food Revolution.

        Kenny has created a beautiful and elegant restaurant in the Slow Food tradition. Great care has been used in sourcing ingredients and preserving the rich culinary heritage of Italian cuisine.

        We hope you will enjoy Fratelli Lyon and the authentic cuisine from his kitchen.

        Telephone 305.572.2901

        1. re: jmdhsmiami

          The space is very cool. I believe they open to the public today.

          1. re: jessierandall

            So we had come home to late to prepare dinner tonight, so we headed over the causeway to Fratelli Lyon. Beautifully appointed as it is part of the Driade Showroom, we were the first "official" customers! Lots of staff were on hand as we realized it was also a Friends and Family event. Regardless, we were in for a great experience. It seemed their license to serve beer and wine was not in effect, so they kindly offered us a small carafe of red wine.

            The menu was heavy on antipasti and also had pizza, daily specials that were listed, and pastas and main dishes as well. Being so impressed with the antipasti, we proceeded to do the "Esplosione de Antipasti" for 2 at $50. We selected:
            Calamari poached with celery lemon olive oil (chilled and fresh, very summer dish)
            Chicken liver toasts with crispy sage (smooth and creamy)
            Bresaola air dried beef from Uruguay
            Prosciutto de Parma (both meats were great!)
            Gorgonzola Dolce di Montagna served with pear
            La Tur triple milk cheese (cow,goat, and sheep milk)

            the cheese were the best of the whole platter, though the whole platter was incredible! And there are so many more to choose from, you will be making many trips to try them all. Considering that we had a huge antipasti platter, we got a simple pasta dish to split afterwards. Pasta alla Chitarra con Salsa di Pomodoro Veloce. It was the simplest pasta dish with the most flavor!

            No room for dessert, but I did get the french press pot for a great cup of Illy coffee and called it a night!

            Looking forward to future meals here, a shame they are not in the ole SushiSamba space anymore as they were a pioneer of Lincoln Road!

            Pasta Alla Chitarra con salsa di pomodoro volce pasta was fresh as if within the past hour.

            Service was great. All the concerns of an opening night were not apparent as help was available everywhere and Tony was very friendly and attentive!

            1. re: jmdhsmiami

              The antipasti is fantastic. We had caponata, mushrooms, red pepper and the chicken liver crostini. All were scrumptious.

              We also tried the pumpkin risotto (not exactly seasonal and a bit too heavy for May), the steak with yuca fries (the fries were divine, the steak well-seasoned but a bit like leather), the ravioli (see risotto), the copper pot with shrimp, mussels and scallops (delicious) and the sole (the fish is delectably breaded like a milanese and served room temperature- magnificent).

              The polenta cake dessert is dreamy- a not too sweet cornbready thing served with whipped cream and ice cream.

              It's a wonderful, intimate spot with cool decor and a very nice vibe.

              1. re: jessierandall

                When were you there? Today or last night? If last night? time and location? It would be funny to sniff out a fellow Chowhounder!

                You definitely CHOWED! As we did 5 antipasti and shared the pasta and were quite full! Wish I could taste food and not devour it all because it was so good! Were you with a group?

                1. re: jmdhsmiami

                  We may have been sitting right next to you! Were you in the bigger or smaller room?

                  1. re: jmdhsmiami

                    Alas, I was there another day. We missed each other! I will definitely be going back again in the next few days to try the antipasti deal!

                    1. re: jessierandall

                      I tried the insalate abruzzese with preserved tuna, green & white beans, tomatoes, olives, romaine -- served deconstructed
                      was impressed with the quality of their ingredients!
                      also the pugliese panini on housebaked ciabatta with sausage, pecorino, tomato, cauliflower was perfect

                      1. re: ankimo

                        Since so far this Italian restaurant has gotten noticeably raving reviews from Chowhounders, would it be safe to compare it to Il Gabbiano? I'm curious how the two compares as it seems we've got another top-contender for Italian in Miami.

                        1. re: mialebven

                          I wouldn't compare them because their focus is different. (a better comparison might be Sardinia)
                          Fratelli -- emphasis on antipasti and fresh ingredients with more interesting combinations: menupages has posted menu--see the differences (i think Fratelli is more promising)
                          Gabbiano more standard choices plus still a bit more expensive (different price point)

                          1. re: ankimo

                            Sounds like a place I will visit. Thanks.

                            1. re: ankimo

                              Sounds promising! I'll have to try Fratelli out! Thanks for clarifying the differences.

                              1. re: mialebven

                                I don't see how FL compares to Sardinia, which is a regional Italian cuisine restaurant, in the modern sense. FL is just all over the map with the greatest hits. Anyone can call a wholesaler and get charcuterie. The fact that Il Gabbiano also does the greatest hits makes it more closely aligned with FL. And I'm pretty sure their ingredients are just as fresh.

                                1. re: Miami Danny

                                  FL and Sardinia both have extended antipasti menus (salumi, formaggi, etc), but the similarity does end there, so it was a loose comparison

                                  also didn't mean to imply that Gabbiano was not fresh, just pointed out that FL, with it's slow food movement emphasis, offers a menu which highlights the fresh ingredients using light preparation

                                  FL appears to have created the menu after finding good ingredients to use (californian style); this seems different from both Gabbiano and Sardinia, which had an Italian menu in mind, and then set out to find those ingredients

                                  1. re: ankimo

                                    Do they have a bar area for solo dining? Are they open for lunch?

                                    1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                      they are open for lunch, I do not remember a bar but they do have two seat tables as well.

                                      1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                        They do have an area for solo dining. I visited last night and had a good experience. Six of us shared the explosion ( $50), a sampling of their many antipasti. The olives and cheeses were delicious. The highlight among the entrees was a risotto with lemon and scallops. Of the desserts, the polenta almond cake was my favorite along with the espresso and raspberry gelatos. My grilled duck breast, with chard and polenta was good but I wouldn't say the most outstanding dish at our table. Another highlight was the "brodetto," a seafood stew served in a copper pot with shrimp, scallops, mussels in a tomato-saffron broth. Overall, we all enjoyed it.

                                        1. re: miachef

                                          Thanks, I made it over today for lunch and had an enjoyable meal. There were a lot of options on the lunch menu (antipasti, pizza's, panini's, salads, pastas, meat and fish) and most appear on the dinner menu as well with the exception of the panini's. The dinner menu contains more pasta and entree (meat/fish) options. They also have daily dinner specials that were listed on the menu. The Wednesday special peaked my interest and is a braised rabbit with white wine and fusili ($20)

                                          Unfortunately, I did not try any of the Salumi or formaggi options but I saw some orders near me and they looked really good.

                                          I went with the calamari which was poached and served with celery, lemon and olive oil. The calamari was very fresh and the preparation was light, clean and crisp. It worked well.
                                          I wanted to try a pasta and went with the ravioli which was the only homemade pasta on the lunch menu. If I recall correctly, there is a homemade tagliatelle on the dinner menu as well. The actual ravioli was very light and very good. It was filled with ricotta and served with brown butter and asparagus. Combination tasted great.
                                          Looking forward to going back and trying some of the salumi's, vegetables and cheeses. It should be noted that there is a bar area with several seats for dining, There is also an antipasti bar with seating.
                                          Didn't get a chance to see a wine list.

                2. re: jmdhsmiami

                  Walking into Fratelli Lyon gave me an impression of being in a cosmopolitan city, a new restaurant always comes with rough edges that will file off with time, HOWEVER, good food is what will prevail.
                  I was seated at the bar where I was squeezed between two rather rude patrons that kept bumping their arm on my chest as they ate without apologizing. I was quickly presented with the wine list, and ordered a glass of wine, which was the smallest pour I have ever had. Of course I was quickly asked if I wanted another glass once I finished with my first one, feIt a bit pushy. The rest of the patrons around me were well taken care of, plenty of water, plenty of bread. I had to ask fo water and was never served bread. The Chef/owner approached both sides of the parties that surrounded me (I was dinning alone) I was not acknoledged by him at all.

                  Ordered the sweet & sour beets, which basically were boiled dice beets on a plate, plain & no appetizing presentation and wondered what happened to the sweet & sour part for about $8.50, not many chefs can mess expensive diced boiled beets!

                  As a main course, ordered the lemoned scallop rissotto, which was bland and soupy, the scallops garnishing on the top were actually tasty.

                  Skipped the desserts.

                  I always judge the tidiness of a restaurant by their bathrooms and when using Fratelli Lyon's left a lot to wish for. Just did not want to imagine how that kitchen was run, if the bathroom was so unkept and shocking considering that this place was just recently opened!.

              2. I had dinner there on Saturday nite and I loved it. We had the gorgonzola bruschetta, 3 different types of salumi all delicious, and the freshest most delicious olives. For dinner I had the lemon risotto which I enjoyed and others had a pizza and the bolognese (which was good but not as great as Anacapri's). They had great bellinis but their desserts didn't inspire any of us to try it. Go and see for yourself. We really had a great experience there.

                1. Went last night and liked it. List of antipasti is large enough that you can make a meal of them on them on their own. Tried three of the salumi (excellent) and the artichoke, fennel, leek concoction (good, but one of the artichoke stems was a little undercooked). Had pastas all around (the bolognese was very good, the ravioli with ricotta was too rich for me, but those who had it enjoyed it. Wine list was pretty sparse but I didn't really get a chance to look at it. Desserts were good (they accidentally brought out the wrong dessert at first so we got to try two, the chocolate gelato and the chocolate budino, both of which I'd recommend) and coffee in a french press is a plus. Service was competent and our server suggested we get our order in fairly quickly as the place was scheduled to fill up quickly By the time we left we could barely get out due to the crowd waiting for a table. The space is excellent, however, it's not conducive to having a crowd waiting. The bar is against the back wall and if you're eating at the bar or one of the tables parallel to it you quickly become friends with those hovering and waiting for a table.

                  In short, FL has good food, prices are in check, wine list was short but reasonable, decent service and an incredible space.

                  1. Family Frod tried Fratelli Lyon for the first time this evening. While I was all excited to jump on the bandwagon - and we did have a decent meal with a couple standout dishes - I'm not quite as on board as many others here.

                    We started with a selection of 5 of the vegetable and seafood antipasti (sweet & sour beets, caponata, fava & white beans, calamari, and mussels) and 3 salumi (coppa, finocchiona and speck), and also tried the garganelli a la carbonara, risi e bisi, and the duck, then finished with a cheese selection, cannoli, and chocolate gelato.

                    Having heard so many raves about the antipasti, perhaps my expectations were too high. While there was nothing wrong with any of them, pretty much across the board, I thought they were bland, undersalted and underflavored. And the cost of getting a selection very quickly becomes quite prohibitive. The only "combo" option for the veg (other than the "esplosione di antipasti" w/ vegs, salumi & cheeses for $50) is a selection of 5, which is $28 (!!!). Given both menus' focus on a wide selection of antipasti, I do think comparisons to Sardinia are appropriate on this front, and for me, both in flavor and value, there's no real comparison. Sardinia's are pretty uniformly delicious, and with 3 for $14 or 5 for $18 options, tremendously more affordable if you want some variety.

                    Salumi are more reasonably priced with 3 for $16, comparable to Sardinia, but oddly, when the menu says "choice of 3", they don't actually mean any 3. When I tried to get the culatello, I was told you can't have it as part of a combo. We had the same issue later with the cheeses, where they had a la tur on the menu but you could not get it as part of a combo. C'mon already. Just swallow the frickin 25 cent extra marginal cost of one item vs. another so that ordering doesn't become like haggling over a persian rug.

                    The salumi were indeed delicious, though since I'm assuming nothing was actually prepared in-house, saying "good cooking" is not terribly different than the smart-aleck compliments my wife and I make when the other picks up take-out. Little Miss F loved the speck in particular. Frod Jr. also noticed the lovely antique slicer which MD noted on his blog and also thought it was pretty cool, though perhaps not quite in as carnal a manner as Danny (he did not come up with a feminine nickname for it, in any event). A little handful of greens was perfunctory, compared to the much more interesting salad at Sardinia, though a little bowl of olives were very tasty (the olives, not the bowl).

                    I was much more impressed with the other dishes we had. The garganelli a la carbonara was an unusual, by my reckoning at least, pasta to do a carbonara treatment for, but it worked. Pasta had a nice chew to it, nice big chunks of rich, salty, crispy pancetta, generous dusting of parmigiano reggiano, and NOT bathing in a creamy sauce. Sadly, the poached egg listed in the description on the online menu was not in the actual restaurant menu, or in the dish.

                    I also really liked the risi e bisi, a traditional venetian dish, somewhat like a risotto w/ peas and a pea broth ...

                    TOPIC DRIFT: this reminds me of a great bit from a really underappreciated show of several years ago, The Critic - here's a clip ->

                    ... OK, we're back. Anyway, risi e bisi is like a risotto, but when made right, is looser, soupier, more "all'onda", or "on the wave". This one was made right, and it was delicious. As Orson Wells would have said, it was "full of country goodness and green peaness."

                    The duck breast, ordered by Frod Jr., was also pretty good, cooked till just pink inside, served with a nice duck jus (the best part of the dish, per Frod Jr.), a couple polenta cakes (Frod Jr. didn't like these but Little Miss F did quite a bit), some swiss chard and green cauliflower (broccaflower?). Don't think I'd go back just to have this dish though.

                    Closed out with a cheese plate, chocolate gelato and cannoli. Went with a taleggio, fontina val d'aosta, and pecorino toscano when my bid for the la tur was rejected. All very nice, though I prefer my taleggio more oozy and runny than this one was, which was part of my disappointment with the selection - other than the la tur, there was very little in the way creamy or runny cheeses, all being firmer varieties. I like being able to get a variety of textures and that really wasn't an option given the choices (and given that the taleggio, which can sometimes be quite runny, was still pretty firm). The chocolate gelato was excellent, super-dark and chocolatey, with a pistachio biscotti on the side. I didn't love the cannoli (about 5 little mini-cannoli actually) but Frod Jr. had no trouble putting them away.

                    The wine selection was not encyclopedic but of the more "carefully chosen" style, and I was very happy with a Manzoni Sorito Mosconi Barbera d'Alba (1999) for $55. Awesome to be able to find a good back-vintage wine at this price, and it was just lovely.

                    Our server was friendly, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and attentive. Really just excellent, particularly considering the place has only been open about a month.

                    Initial impression? First, I love the menu, with the big selection of antipasti, the old school dishes like risi e bisi, vitello tonnato, brasato al barolo, fish in saor, etc. I was disappointed in the blandness of the veg and pesce antipasti - and the outrageous cost to get a combination - but liked several other things, including the salumi, the pasta, the risi e bisi (all of which were much more reasonably priced). Next time I have a hankering for antipasti, I'm more likely to head back to Sardinia, but this was still good eats.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Frodnesor

                      Great overview-I too was puzzled by the restrictions on the cheese and salumi plates; but the robbiola by itself (not allowed on the combo) at $14 was a pretty decent hunk. However, I agree that FR should simply bite the bullet and allow customers to order anything in the combo-just make the portions smaller if you have to. Thanks for noticing my new plaything, Berky. For minor clarification, she is not an antique slicer, but a new, hand-cranked slicer; although the design hasn't changed that much.

                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        very well put. I think the antipasti are good. Exceptional? Maybe not. some of the cheeses were impressive though. The entrees if one ever gets to them after a huge antipasti course are quite good. I was there for lunch on Thursday and found the layered eggplant was great.

                        1. re: jmdhsmiami

                          Tried it again yesterday and really enjoyed it- except for the service. The waitress was trying to sell us (and upsell us) on wine and would not relent. When we at first politely declined wine and said we were having a business meeting, she literally started reading the wine menu to us and describing varietals.

                          We finally decided to just shut her up and have a glass. Then the upselling started. It was annoying.

                          Despite the frustrating service, the food was overall very good. We had the sole with cipollini onions/yellow raisins and the scallop risotto. Both were wonderful. The calamari appetizer with fresh lemon was refreshing but nothing amazing and the cold seafood app with the shrimp was pretty bland.

                          It was packed on a Monday. I am dreaming of that sole.

                      2. A repeat visit to Fratelli Lyon was even more underwhelming (that doesn't look right - less whelming?) than the last one I reported on. While some items were fine, a couple quite good, many were pretty disappointing. I know there's been a recent chef change and I'm not sure whether perhaps that may be the cause of the inconsistency.

                        After being seated we were abandoned for quite some time by any server, though when I finally caught someone's eye service was spotless thereafter. We started with some chicken liver crostini (one of the higher points, a dense, rich spread topped with a crisped sage leaf, 3 generous crostini for $7), and split an app of ricotta stuffed zucchini blossoms, highly recommended by our waiter and usually one of my favorites. Four tiny blossoms were stuffed with a light cheese filling but breaded into oblivion so that their delicate flavor and texture were pretty much unrecognizable. A little salad underneath of julienned zucchini and fennel had a much lighter touch. $16 seemed steep given the size of the little blossoms.

                        A pizza topped with speck, ricotta, pesto and caramelized onions was also one of the higher points, a great combination of flavors, though the crust was a touch too soft toward the middle while a touch too crispy (matzo-like) at the edges.

                        Everything else we had was fairly disappointing. Ravioli w/ ricotta and asparagus came with mushy, insipid pasta, and were swimming in a watery butter sauce which lacked either the color or the flavor of the "buerre noisette" that was described in the menu. A rabbit loin wrapped in pancetta somehow didn't render the fat in the pancetta properly, giving a bouncy, fatty texture to every bite (and, trust me, I generally don't have issues with pork fat). Clearly this can be done right (as they're doing a fantastic bacon-wrapped rabbit across the street at Sra. Martinez), but this isn't the way. A bed of lentils underneath was good but hardly enough to redeem the dish. Duck breast likewise didn't do a great job of rendering out the bird's exterior fact layer, which is wonderful when properly crisped but not so much when still mushy. The sauce, which Frod Jr. had loved our first visit, wasn't the same and bummed him out (this was the dish that brought us back, at his request). And a zuppa di pesce came in a big, beautiful copper cauldron, but inside was one of the most parsimonious selections of seafood I have ever seen, with 3 mussels, maybe 3 shrimp, a couple nubbins of fish, and barely enough broth to cover the bottom of the pot, for $25. Really just an insulting dish. Some good biscotti for dessert lifted the mood somewhat.

                        I still like the all-Italian wine list, which covers some interesting ground, somewhat Piemonte-centric but stretching enough to have several Italian pinot noirs from Friuli and wines from as far south as Sicily.

                        We've now had a couple real hit-or-miss food experiences, but maybe the new chef needs some time to get his bearings. If I could put together all the good things we've had from separate experiences there, it would make for a pretty good meal, but there have been several duds in between.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Frodnesor

                          Interesting experience. Inconsistency is the hobgobblin here, agree. Although the stuffed blossom is a lot harder to bring off than it looks-the best I have had is at Escopazzo. As for the wine list, there are some bargains on the wine list, but ordering by the glass is very expensive as the pour is just 100ml (3.3 ounces). Especially frustrating when you know that Sra. Martinez is selling $4/glass wine across the street.
                          I almost never stray from the mortadella/cheeses because I like to watch Berky work.. Although now that SM has one across the street....Hopefully competition will be good for both places.

                          1. re: Miami Danny

                            I very much like the chicken liver app there. More liverly (?) than other places. Haven't had anything as bad as your experience the last couple of times we've gone - besides the fact they wouldn't give us a 4-top at lunchtime yet when Designie-looking couple walked in they were given the table no problem. Place is still a little pretentious and agree with MD - wine prices are kinda up there. But their flavored sodas are really good.