New York City restaurateur Jacopo Giustiniani was born and raised in Florence, Italy, where his family owned a winery in the Tuscany region. When the young powerhouse (he’s in his late 30s now and is known for Felice wine bars) saw an opportunity to create a venue that will be a multisensory Italian experience, he embraced it.
Partnering with Matthias Kiehm, restaurant management veteran, Giustiniani designed La Centrale food hall, which will open in the newly minted Brickell City Centre this year. It will include eateries and retail space in the spirit of Eataly and the Todd English Food Hall at the Plaza Hotel.
“The sights, sounds, smells, tastes and all design elements take full inspiration from regions of Italy,” says Giustiniani. “For example, our aperitivo bar will feature original Pietra di Trani stone flooring and lush olive trees from the Mediterranean.”
La Centrale (pronounced chen-TRAH-leh) is a multilevel vertical venue that will have a bar, wine shop and cooking school. It will also offer a range of Italian cuisine – from private label La Centrale Tuscan olive oil at the Pasta restaurant to new favorites like “pollo alla diavola e waffles” (chili-roasted chicken, polenta waffles and syrup) for weekend brunch in Caffe. The Focacceria will have house-baked breads like focaccia, ciabatta and piadina with excellent salami, cheeses and other fillings.
What coffee drink will rising star Giustiniani sip? “I’m Italian, so my go-to is a classic espresso,” he states, “ but our cappuccinos will be pretty special and Instagram-friendly. You’ll have to come and see why.”
- 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (70% or higher)
- 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of corn starch
Add the chocolate and a smidge of milk into a saucepan over low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted. Slowly add remaining milk until it’s well combined. Add sugar. Mix to combine. Whisk in corn starch. Continue cooking over low heat until it becomes thick, creamy and coats the back of the wooden spoon.
Images Courtesy of NoTriangle Studio.
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