Detroit’s Leila restaurant is in residence at the Four Seasons At The Surf Club

Miami’s peak season is taking shape, and the Surf Club’s Four Seasons is welcoming it with returning culinary residencies. Detroit’s modern Lebanese restaurant Leila, named by GQ as one of America’s Best New Restaurants when it opened in 2020, returns to Winston’s on the Beach, the hotel’s casual poolside eatery, until May 31, 2023. Michelin, New York-based star Kosaka is also back, once again calling the hotel’s Hemingway Tower Miami home, until February 4, 2023.

The specific locations within the Surf Club have been selected to best suit each of the restaurants’ individual operational requirements and to best reflect their respective atmospheres. “Kosaka is an intimate experience, so they needed a small space to create a very individualized atmosphere,” says Keith Space, president of Fort Hospitality, owner of the South Florida Collection of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Eating omakase at a bar counter is very traditional and the Hemingway Tower was the perfect solution. For Leila, we needed a place that personified the fresh salads, produce and flavors of Mediterranean cuisine. The outdoor venue at Winston’s on the Beach, particularly at sunset, was the perfect backdrop, and the warm open space and fresh air complemented Leila’s experience perfectly.”

“We expect Kosaka and Leila to return next year,” Space reveals. “In fact, we are currently working on plans to have both restaurants in permanent locations within Surfside.”

Leila, which was founded by chef Samy Eid in downtown Detroit as a tribute to her mother, brings the restaurant’s signature dishes to Miami, inspired by her mother’s Sunday feasts.

Hummus, muhammara, baba ghanoush and labneh are cold mezze staples. Must-try hot mezze orders include eggplant fettah, where roasted eggplant is served with fried pita, pomegranate seeds and molasses – with or without lamb – and batata harra, fried spicy potatoes twice, which can also serve as an accompaniment for the sector.

Popular dishes include the grilled branzino served with chickpeas, tomatoes and jalapenos, and the mixed grill of tawook, kebab and kafta. For vegans and plant-based diners, mjaddara, the spicy Lebanese salad of lentils, cracked wheat, tomatoes and onions is a hearty dish, easy to enjoy with green beans seasoned with sumac and served with onions caramelized and chard.

The drinks program is a combination of Leila’s original cocktails – Lebanita (tequila, spiced pear, honey, almond, lemon) and Anne Hathaway (vodka, elderflower, cucumber, lime, mint rose blossom) – and Winston’s on the Beach. Lebanese wines from Massaya and Château Musar are also available by the glass or bottle.

“The Surf Club’s chef, Gino Betancourt, traveled to Detroit over the summer and trained with us at Leila, where he specialized in all of our dishes and fully embraced Mediterranean cuisine. He will be behind Leila’s kitchen with constant visits from Leila’s team and myself,” Eid shares. “The goal is to bring the authentic Leila experience to Miami.”

Leila at the Surf Club is open Wednesday to Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Kosaka at the Surf Club is open Tuesday through Sunday, with select seating available from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Reservations can be made for both residences through Open Table. Accessible seating is also available upon request.

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