KYU to Open in Wynwood
In The Hungry Post
Former Zuma teammates Chef Michael Lewis and General Manager Steven Haigh are bringing a fresh concept to Miami with the opening of KYU. The wood-fired Asian grill will feature a diverse menu and focus on professional yet relaxed service and a commitment to green practices. Located in the heart of Wynwood on 25th St., KYU is projected to open mid February.
Lewis and Haigh have a proven track record as a powerhouse front- and back-of- house duo. Both have impressive pedigrees, which include Lewis’ tenures under celebrity chefs Eric Ripert and David Bouley. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Lewis was appointed Chef de Cuisine under Jean-Georges at the age of 25 and most recently helmed the kitchen at Zuma. Haigh, originally from Britain, has worked in all areas of hospitality specializing in operational management. He most recently was project and general manager at Zuma. This is the first independent project for both.
“We are so proud to call Miami home and excited to be a part of its ever- evolving culinary scene. The city’s growth is remarkable,” says Haigh. “We envision KYU as a neighborhood destination with exceptional service, where we can welcome friends and visitors and serve tasty food and drinks. Opening this restaurant is a lifelong dream of mine and I cannot think of a better partner than Michael.”
Chef Lewis’s menu is influenced by years of global travel and inspired by Japanese and Korean yakiniku (literally translated to grilled meat in Japanese). The menu will feature a variety of grill specialties, seasonal locally sourced produce and new-style sashimi. Highlights include Duck Breast “Burnt Ends” with yuzu pickles; Wagyu Beef Brisket with black shichimi pepper; and Thai Fried Rice Stone Pot; balanced by lighter dishes such as Heirloom Tomatoes with red onion and shiso; Hamachi in white ponzu, green herbs and chili; and Crispy
Spicy Snapper Tartare. The plates are designed to be straightforward and shareable, enabling a warm social environment. Barbecue aficionados will notice elements of American Southern barbecue peppered throughout the menu including the traditional “slow and low” technique. A carefully curated cocktail list will feature variations of classic cocktails with clever Asian twists.
The grill itself is a centerpiece of the menu and also the restaurant. Guests will be able to watch Lewis and his team in action in the open exhibition kitchen. The space was designed to bring elements of the neighborhood in with raw concrete, local art, and wood and metal accents. The natural elements of the contemporary design are reflective of KYU’s commitment to sustainable practices. The team pledges to make every effort to reduce waste with initiatives including use of an Orca waste composter, responsible food sourcing and planting trees to compensate for those used by the wood charcoal grill.