Niu Kitchen's Founders Bring
Barcelona to Downtown Miami
Photographs by Stephan Goettlicher / Niu Kitchen
For the trio behind Downtown Miami’s Niu Kitchen there are strong ties to the Catalan city of Barcelona. Through a series of connections – to each other and to the European city – and a longing to bring a bit of Barcelona to Miami, the concept for the tiny, self-described “Catalan-style Kitchen” was born.
The allure of Niu Kitchen is its dynamic: exceptionally-executed food in a casually refined atmosphere on an easily-forgotten stretch of Downtown. The trio has created an inviting and modern space that serves sophisticated dishes and a fleet of wines that successfully melds the eclectic style of Barcelona with Miami. At once at home and out of place with its surroundings, Niu Kitchen is a unique experience that keeps diners coming back for more and more.
Talking with Adam Hughes, Managing Partner
Where did the name Niu come from?
We were trying to think of ways to describe a small, yet cozy space. “Niu” means nest in Catalan, and it just so happens that it sounds a bit like new in English.
How did the concept come about?
After many long nights and conversations, we decided to go with what we all know, love, and miss most - Barcelona. Once we found the perfect space in Downtown, we created something that felt like home to us. We then made our own little “nest” in the heart of Miami by covering the walls in reclaimed wood from the neighborhood and found objects from artist Pancho Luna.
How did you choose downtown Miami - how or has that affected the decor of the space, the menu, the clientele?
It’s our first restaurant and we wanted to begin small and off the beaten path. Our tiny downtown space has presented each of us with different challenges. For Deme, there's little storage, so we have to have deliveries daily to keep things fresh. Karina is constantly playing tetris with the tables and keeping everyone comfortable and happy. I had the challenge of marketing the space as small but inviting and intimate - a contrast to the grittiness of downtown Miami. Somehow all the pieces of the puzzle fit together!
The menu is meant to be shared but what dishes are so popular diners want it to themselves?
Els Ous! It’s our richest and popular dish – poached eggs, truffled potato foam, Jamón Ibérico, summer black truffle. People wipe the bowl clean with bread!
The Llamàntol – maine lobster, avocado, 5 min mashed egg, trout roe – is cool and refreshing and has a great play on textures.
Costelles - this baby back rib confit is prepared for 3 hours in oil with garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Once cooled, they are cut and covered in romesco and served over wilted spinach.
When you are eating here, where else do you like to go?
We like to pig out at Pubbelly pretty regularly. We always order the Japanese Amberjack – the spicy lemongrass sauce is addictive! And you can’t beat the fried green tomato “BLT” at Yardbird.
CUBAN COFFEE IS THE ANSWER
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