There’s no denying that Wynwood is one of the hippest and happening places in the 305, though let’s face it, options on where to imbibe are scarce. Sure, you’ve got a ton of craft beers to get you good and inebriated, but inventive proper cocktails with say a side of colossal Wagyu Cheeseburger Croquettes of Yukon Gold and Aji Amarillo to go along?
Say hello to Beaker & Gray, the offspring and first solo endeavor for barkeep Ben Potts and chef Brian Nasajon. If Potts looks or sounds familiar, that’s cause the financier turned bartender and Broken Shaker and Blackbird veteran has likely made you more sweet tea vodka blackberry lemonades than you can remember. While Nasajon’s face might be a bit less recognizable, if you once upon a time dined at Lure’s flagship in New York or at Sushi Samba Miami Beach (where he was executive chef) then you’ve unknowingly tasted his culinary prowess. Together the two are bringing something fun and approachable to the Miami Arts District’s eclectic and youthful crowd.
Since opening on the heels of last year’s Art Basel, we’ve been asked countless times what our thoughts on Beaker & Gray are, to which we embarrassingly had never been to…till now. You know what they say: better 11 months later than never, right? Good news is we can personally vouch for Beaker & Gray as a solid happy hour ($5 old fashioneds and Moscow mules, anyone?) and casual dinner date spot, as well as a lively bar with cocktails you won’t be able to sip anywhere else in Wynwood like the Lavagave, which mixes Don Julio Blanco and Fidencio Mezcal with Lavender, Egg Glair, Grapefruit, and Vanilla Bitters. Disclaimer: sip with caution.
With a menu featuring 20 plus libations, Beaker & Gray is mixing, shaking, and stirring bevvies for every spirit drinker and flavor preference, from herbaceous and tart to bitter and smoky. Comestibles are equally as diverse, taking inspiration from global flavors and putting otherwise unexpected twists on a classic Wellington (with its puff pastry taking a pastelito type twist and rather than filet packing wagyu brisket). There’s also a Cuban Sandwich reimagined, packing pork belly and watermelon rind between plantain brioche. Papas Bravas have been toned down and given a rocoto and pesto treatment instead. Mochi, wait for it, Bacalao Scotch Bonnet isn’t a sweet ending but instead a salty and spicy starter. Brown Sugar, Sesame, Salt and Vinegar Chicken Wings are finger and bone licking good. Can’t decide or want them all? A chef’s whim family meal or tasting menu (customizable depending on dietary preferences) lets Nasajon do all the cooking and choosing for you.
We especially loved the vibrant and piquant Baby Beets, doused in strained velvety Yogurt and finished with Key Lime and Pistachio for nice nuttiness. And if you’re on the eliminating as much beef from your diet tip after watching Before The Flood‘s world premiere Sunday night like we are, you’ll be pleased to know Beaker & Gray is dishing out plenty of plants and seafood like Wild Mushrooms with Nashi Pear, Butternut Squash, and Apple Cider; Spanish Octopus with Cilantro and Watermelon; Black Kale with Almonds, Rainier Cherry, and Black Radish; Risotto with Tiger Shrimp, Mustard Seed, Banana and Watercress; and Whole Local Fish with pickled and smoked Paprika. Meaning you don’t have to give up going out indulging in a good time so long as you’re mindful about what you’re consuming.