Progressive Brazilian Restaurant and Bar in Sunset Harbor Now Open
Adding to Miami Beach’s hip, ever-growing Sunset Harbor neighborhood is a new Brazilian restaurant concept Ofa which opened Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Conceptualized, owned and operated by a powerhouse team of Brazilian hospitality and marketing pros — Felipe Ortiz, Carmen Rodriguez, and Lucas Scudeler — Ofa will soon become the culinary must-try destination of the season. Celebrating its namesake Farofa – the undeniably typical Brazilian side dish made of toasted yucca flour and spices – Ofa offers a menu of progressive Brazilian cuisine, rooted in tradition but very much representative of the vibrant country’s rich, contemporary gastronomy. The dynamic eatery welcomes diners and imbibers to savor flavorful, soulful South American fare and expertly crafted cocktails.
“Brazil is a huge country with varied regional customs and traditional dishes that go way beyond the Brazilian ‘steakhouse’ concept that many in the U.S. know,” says Rodriguez. “Ofa’s cuisine is inspired by the bold flavors and fresh ingredients found in those regional dishes.”
Overseeing all operations is Rodriguez, Ortiz, and Scudeler. With a talented kitchen team on deck, the trio delivers a unique, inventive menu of bright, bold flavors that help fill a void in the Miami market with its innovative approach to Brazilian fare. Dinner, served Tuesday through Sunday, features fresh, local ingredients and transports diners on a culinary journey through Brazil’s many regions. Lunch will soon be available.
Ofa’s gastronomic adventure begins with Aperitivos featuring favorites such as Pão de Queijo – traditional cheese bread served with requeijão, a creamy Brazilian cheese spread; Pernil na Latinha com Pão da Casa – slow-cooked pork leg with orange sauce served with house-made bread and Bolinho de Arroz com Molho Picante de Feijão – rice croquettes served with a spicy bean dip. Another standout appetizer, Burrata com Ragú de Linguiça e Cachaça, seamlessly blends traditional elements with Miami flair featuring locally-sourced burrata, cachaça-marinated linguiça (a Brazilian pork sausage), tomato confit, crispy arugula, and bacon-infused olive oil. Light, yet substantial Saladas highlight seasonal vegetables, grains, and farmer’s market picks. A perfect example of this is the delectable Salada de Grãos, or Grains Salad, comprised of chickpeas, lentils, barley, tomato confit, mixed baby greens, served with a vegan pesto and cashew aioli.
Contemporary twists on traditional dishes are best seen in the Pratos (entrees). Providing uniquely robust flavors is the Bobó de Verduras – think Brazilian vegetable coconut curry – made with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and red bell peppers in a creamy, smooth yucca and coconut milk sauce served with plantains. Picadinho, a hearty staple, features filet mignon cooked in a tasty meat sauce, baked plantains, crispy kale, and house farofa on a bed of brown rice and finished with a fried egg. The Torta de Frango ou Camarão is a delectable classic pot pie made with guests’ choice of rustic chicken or shrimp in a cream sauce. Other can’t-miss items include Arroz de Polvo – creamy octopus rice and Fraldinha na Grelha – grilled skirt steak served with grilled seasonal vegetables, roasted corn, garlic farofa and topped with a Brazilian vinaigrette.
For a sweet finish, guests can savor Brigadeiros, traditional Brazilian chocolate truffles made with chocolate and condensed milk; Cuca de Goiabada com Creme Gelado de Queijo, a warm guava cake served with a cold creamy cheese sauce; or Torta de Caipirinha de Limão, a deconstructed lime pie topped with cachaça merengue.
To imbibe, where else to start but Caipirinhas, Brazil’s national cocktail. Created by renowned mixologist Jean Ponce – celebrated for his bar program at Michelin starred D.O.M. Restaurant in São Paulo – Ofa’s cocktail menu highlights the country’s bright flavors in a way that complements Miami’s year-round heat. Utilizing high-quality imported Brazilian cachaças for each caipirinha and fresh, quality ingredients for a variety of cocktails ensures that each libation offers a flavor profile that’s unique to itself and simply delicious.
Portuguese for “cocktail,” the Rabo de Galo is a delectable stirred cocktail made with artisanal organic cachaça, Cynar, and vermouth. The Cocachaça – made with artisanal organic cachaça, Brasilberg Underberg do Brazil (an herbal liqueur), coconut water, simple syrup, mint leaves, and fresh lime juice – is the perfect harmony of light, refreshing flavors and a hint of spice. There is also an extensive wine list and beer menu. For those who prefer non-alcoholic refreshments, a variety of freshly squeezed fruit juices are made to order.
Designed by famed Brazilian architects, FGMF, the open and inviting 2,200 square-foot, indoor and outdoor, space features a bounty of greenery and natural elements that reflect modern Brazil. Adding to the outdoor oasis are couches, tables and a Jaboticabeira (an imported Brazilian tree) that fill the lush dining patio and garden lounge. In collaboration with the FGMF team, designer Paulo Alves designed a furniture line exclusively for Ofa complete with tables, benches, and chairs. Their exceptional chair design garnered the team international acclaim at ICFF, North America’s premier showcase for contemporary design as well as in Casa VOGUE Brasil. The brilliant design doesn’t stop there, renowned Brazilian beachwear designer Lenny Niemeyer custom-made Ofa’s staff uniforms to reflect the restaurant’s elevated concept and forward style.
Ofa is located at 1929 Purdy Avenue on Miami Beach. Dinner is served Tuesday through Sunday, 6 PM – 11 PM. www.ofarestaurant.com.