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Douglas Rodriguez Set to Open New SoBe Restaurant

Fresh off his appearance on Top Chef Masters, Douglas Rodriguez is striking when the iron is hot and the celebrity chef dubbed the "Godfather of Nuevo Latino" is opening yet another restaurant. Set in South Beach's Art Deco-laden Hotel Astor, it's going to be called D. Rodriguez Cuba, and as the name implies, will be a foray into the world of Cuban cuisine, complete with waterfalls, fountains and live music. Rodriguez also has restaurants in Philly and New York, and his latest Florida endeavor is slated to open in December.

MIAMI – November 3, 2009 – Globally acclaimed chef Douglas Rodriguez, best known as the “Godfather of Nuevo Latino,” is expanding his Miami influence with D. Rodriguez Cuba, slated to open Dec. 1.

Housed in the space formerly occupied by French eatery La Maison D’Azur at Hotel Astor, the opening of D. Rodriguez Cuba comes on the heels of recent renovations to the renowned South Beach hotel. The eatery will offer an inspired menu of classic Cuban cuisine.

A James Beard Award winner and one of the most prolific chefs of the decade, Douglas Rodriguez’s culinary influence has shaped the face of Latin cuisine as we know it. Early in his career, Rodriguez was met with wild success upon opening his first upscale Cuban restaurant, Yuca, in Coral Gables, Fla. He’s since gone on to head several flourishing restaurants in cities such as Miami, Philadelphia and New York City. His most recent endeavor, OLA at The Sanctuary Hotel in South Beach, continues to thrive and receive rave reviews.

Despite Miami’s rich Cuban influence, there hasn’t been a prevalence of upscale Cuban cuisine offered here,” Rodriguez says. “D. Rodriguez Cuba taps into the true roots of this culture. We’ll be serving up the flavor of Havana – in both the culinary and atmospheric sense.”

The menu will showcase a thoughtful composition of handcrafted tapas, meaty entrees, and a tempting selection of revamped Cuban-style cocktails. Tapas are ideal for sharing and range from Latin staples like ham croquetas, bacalao fritters with garlic aioli, and Cuban malanga tacos to Nuevo Latino delights such as oxtail empanadas and casabe-crust tuna pizza. Additionally, the restaurant will serve a variety of authentic Cuban libations as well as traditional-style daiquiris, pitchers of mojitos and Cuba Libres, among others.

Nestled amid verdant gardens at celebrated Art-Deco gem the Hotel Astor, the restaurant’s old-world Cuban charm will pulse with Miami flair. Gnarled jasmine trees and twisting vines envelope an intimate dining area, offset by stone fountains, glowing hanging lanterns and a rustic Spanish-style mosaic waterfall.

Upon entering, guests will be greeted by a live pianist parked at an impressive baby grand. After sundown, this oasis will provide a cozy space for salsa and merengue dancing, as live musicians prepare to heat up the dance floor every Thursday-Sunday.

· Celeb Chef Doug Rodriguez Launches New Restaurant [R&I]