As far as weekend traditions go, you’ll find brunch is pretty sacred for most people. There’s not a storm, a traffic jam or a monumental hangover that’ll keep some from driving to a restaurant for a $20 plate of eggs Benedict and a pitcher of mimosas. In Argentina, an entirely different ritual takes hold on Sundays—the asado. At its core, it’s a barbecue of grilled meats cooked over a parrilla, a grill heated with wood or coals. But the simple meal is also so much more as we came to find out at Orilla Bar & Grill, the South Beach restaurant at Urbanica Hotel bringing the South American custom to Miami.
Parillada Sundays is the South of Fifth spot’s answer to whatever type of feasting you subscribe to on Sundays—brunch, red sauce, a roast. Served all day, the shareable spread includes a six-ounce flank steak, a seven-ounce New York steak, four lamb chops, two chorizos and a half grilled chicken all cooked to perfection in the Josper oven. Once done, the meat is set on a sizzling, coal-fired grill and brought to your table to finish searing and keep warm. It arrives with four different sauces:—romesco, pivre, chimichurri and criolla—and any two sides of your choosing. Your server will tell you which meat to dip where but don’t be afraid to go rogue, especially if ordering the French Fries Provencal as an accompaniment. You’ll want to dip them everywhere. The whole thing (meats, sauces and two sides) clocks in at $120 and is large enough to feed two to three people. As a table of four, we supplemented the parillada with a couple of Empanadas, the Fish of the Day and their signature Black Rice Paella dish.
Several drink specials are available with the parillada, including bartender Rodrigo Tubert‘s Alta Mimosa, a take on the classic but with rectified orange, Szechuan cordial, and Argentinian Extra Brut, and the Orilla Spritz, a citrusy mix of Aperol, grapefruit, cucumber juice, and Las Perdices Extra Brut. Not on special but worth sipping at any price is the Fat Negroni, an unctuous blend of Oxley gin, sweet vermouth, smoked Italian pancetta and Campari. The cocktail is sold in limited quantities, which is probably for the best considering its pork content and the unlikely chance you’ll be able to limit yourself to just one of the flavorful drinks.
Too full on our meal and multiple rounds of cocktails, dessert wasn’t on our radar and so we let the server take the reins. The first thing to arrive was a stunning Tropical Pavlova adorned with cutouts of papaya, passion fruit and pineapple plus all sorts of edible flowers, acai and hibiscus. The activated charcoal pavlova was delicate, with a blend of textures and naturally sweetened fruit to balance out the sugary base. We followed it up with a slice of Ice Cream Cake dipped in chocolate that was basically the perfect brownie leveled up with creamy vanilla ice cream and more chocolate—because more is more with chocolate, always.
The simple and perfectly executed plate of grilled meats is a revered tradition for Argentineans. Our server explained that families back home come together every weekend to enjoy a meal similar to what we were experiencing. Looking around, you got a sense that it wouldn’t be long until more Miamians spent their Sundays just as we did.