MIAMI–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–Consistently good food and drinks combined with chic crowds in a relaxed atmosphere have made 11-year-old Balans restaurant a star of Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road scene, and today owner Prady Balan announced his new Brickell hotspot at 901 South Miami Avenue will introduce that winning recipe to downtown Miami.
Following the tradition begun 15 years ago when the first Balans restaurant opened on London’s Compton Street, the new Brickell venue will cater to its surrounding neighborhood in Miami’s business and financial district by offering executive lunches, happy hour drink specials, extended evening hours, customer-loyalty discount programs and other perks to pique the local community’s interest. This Thanksgiving, both restaurant locations will offer a special that includes choice of an appetizer, turkey dinner with roast ham and all the fixings, pecan pie for dessert and a bottle of house chardonnay or cabernet, for $50 per couple.
Split between a minimalist-mod interior created by designer Lisa Halloran and a happening street-side patio at the new Mary Brickell Village, the latest restaurant in Miami’s trendy dining and entertainment complex serves up to 200 at breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Business lunch specials are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, and happy hour drink specials are available every day from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. with two-for-one cocktails, half-price beer and wine by the glass. Hours are extended until 5 a.m. Thursday through Saturday with a late-night chill-out lounge scene with food and full bar facilities – making Balans the top spot for downtown night owls. Quick seating and efficient service, for which the Balans restaurants are known, will carry through to the Brickell location. Valet and self-parking are available.
Created by London-based executive chef Crispin Chetwyn and supervised by resident chef Paula Pirichinsky, the ample menu of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, pastas, and entrées is an eclectic mix of comfort food (spaghetti with meatballs, ribeye steak, flourless chocolate-pecan brownie) and the more exotic (pumpkin mascarpone tortellini, tilapia channa masala, Thai red curry); an occasional “Miami touch” is lent by dessert and breakfast/brunch items incorporating dulce de leche. A boon in a time of tightened budgets, prices are moderate, with appetizers around $8, pastas $13 to $17, and most entrées in the $12 to $23 range. An early bird special knocks $2 off all entrées 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, excluding holidays and special events.
Meanwhile, the acclaimed cocktail list, designed by mixologist Milo Rodriguez, includes creative concoctions such as lychee champagne, açai & pear caipiroska, and – in a tip of the bowler to the restaurant’s London origins – Pimms Royale and the “British Bramble” (Bombay Sapphire with crème de cassis and fresh lemon). A two-for-one happy hour is offered from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.
“I’m excited to introduce our restaurant concept to a broader audience in Miami outside of South Beach,” Balan says. “We aim to serve as an extension of people’s dining rooms, where they can come to enjoy good food several times a week and enjoy breakfast in the morning, an executive lunch at midday, and a delicious dinner in a cool setting at night.” He means it, too, encouraging people to linger with perks such as complimentary Wi-Fi.
Balan says he’s so committed to Miami that he’s following this expansion by opening another Balans restaurant, with 400 seats, in mid-2009 in the heart of Miami’s trendy Upper East Side, at Biscayne Boulevard and N.E. 67th Street.
About Balans Restaurant Group
Balans Restaurant Group, founded in 1993 by Anglo-Indian entrepreneur Prady Balan on Old Compton Street in London’s Soho neighborhood, currently includes five stylish locations in Britain’s capital, as well as South Beach’s Lincoln Road and downtown Miami’s Mary Brickell Village, with a third South Florida location slated to open in mid 2009. Aiming to serve as an extension of their locals’ dining rooms, all locations emphasize fresh, simple comfort foods with exotic touches. For more information, call (305) 534-9191 or visit www.balans.co.uk.
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Copies of the menu and photographs are available upon request.