If most restaurateurs based business names on childhood nicknames, you’d have a ton of job fairs dedicated to kitchen staff. In Alberto Cabrera’s case, however, a lifelong quirk can whet appetites.
Cabrera’s brainchild, Bread + Butter, lives at the forefront of Miami’s unique culinary renaissance by fusing the carefree charm of Cuba’s mambo era with the modish slant of the modern American gastropub.
Located in the heart of Coral Gables, the locale fits in well with the region’s cultural fabric. The chalkboard wall along the entrance, which boasts vintage grayscale photographs and a handwritten excerpt of a rather famous Jose Marti poem, sits across from a bar area bolstered by reclaimed wood.
Together with the penchant for subway tile, exposed ceiling and DIY dangling light bulbs, it’s an urban rustic genre mash of Little Havana kitsch and Brooklyn chic – not unlike the fusion son montuno you may hear blasting through the floor speakers.
But as with any great restaurant, the decor is only the first course. While B+B’s menu is anchored by stalwart Cuban dishes, it’s also garnished by the kinds of twists that define intelligent kitchens. Bone marrow meets ropa vieja, fried smelt is made tame with furikake and garlic aioli and even the traditional Cuban ‘frita’ burger has been subverted, marked by its inclusion of napa cabbage kimchi and sriracha ketchup.
Oh, and then there are the liquid nitrogen shakes, of course.
On a more personal level, B+B is the culmination of a more than a decade’s worth of career lessons for Cabrera. And like so many gifted chefs before him, he’s immersed himself in techniques of alta cocina and come full circle to embrace his heritage. “It was important to create something inspired by family because Cubans are very family oriented,” says Cabrera.
Cabrera’s offering to the city’s palate isn’t just another Cuban restaurant. He’s reviving a cuisine that’s often formulaic in light of it’s classicism, abiding by a very contemporary remix ethos that helps update the cult of rice and beans. And not to mention, whether you’re a creative in your 20s or you spend most of your time swapping cards with the city’s chief influencers, no one ever has qualms about another spot for Cuban coffee.