Thomas Keller, the man behind American fine dining institutions The French Laundry and Per Se, is expanding his reach to Miami. Keller will install a restaurant at the forthcoming Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, the Miami Herald reports. The hotel is projected to open this February.
Update: A representative for Keller tells Eater his forthcoming restaurant is not part of the hotel, but a separate building on the property. It’s on track to open in 2018.
The currently unnamed restaurant will be a departure from Keller’s Napa Valley and New York City icons. He won’t oversee the day-to-day operations, but instead will hire an executive chef to run the kitchen. Keller also says it will be his first restaurant with a “dedicated concept,” which will be a tribute to perceived glory years gone by and an attempt to make dining great again. “It’s going to be a tip of the hat to a time when America was the most optimistic, when the appeal in America, the pride in America, was at its peak,” he told the Herald. “The glamor, the celebration, that’s the kind of restaurant this will be.”
The menu is still under wraps, and Keller hasn’t hinted at what kind of cuisine will come out of the kitchen. But, given the restaurant’s concept and location, classic American seafood dishes would be a good bet. A representative tells Eater the menu will “draw from inspiration of the Surf Club's hey day.”
The Miami project is a chance for Keller to generate some positive headlines after a bit of a down year. In January, New York Times critic Pete Wells dropped a negative review of Per Se, lowering the restaurant’s rating to two stars. In June, both Per Se and The French Laundry fell off the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
The forthcoming Four Seasons hotel and its accompanying private residences are a redevelopment of the old Surf Club, a private club that launched in the 1920s and became a destination for wealthy Americans to enjoy some glitz and glam on the beach.
• America’s Best Chef Is Opening a Restaurant in Surfside [MH]
• The 17 Best Reactions to Per Se's 2-Star Takedown in the New York Times [E]
• Thomas Keller's Per Se and French Laundry Drop Off World's 50 Best List [E]