British food in Miami is a foreign concept. Aside from The Seven Dials in Coral Gables, there really isn’t much out there in terms of quality — your local neighborhood joint serving up a bastardization of fish and chips doesn’t count. That will all change later this year when The Avenue Food & Brew opens its doors at the Filling Station Lofts.
After winning a year’s free rent in the “A&Eats: The Search for Miami’s Next Great Restaurant Concept” competition this past November, Chef Andy Bates, Francesca Mingo and Vivian Belzaguy are hard at work building out the space for a fall 2016 opening. In the meantime, the trio behind The Avenue hosted a week-long series of meals to give Miami foodies a sneak peek of their concept. Based on our experience at the preview dinner, they can’t open soon enough.
The evening affair, which consisted of four courses along with a classic cucumber sandwich to whet the palate, paired perfectly with brews from Six Point Brewery and Wynwood Brewing Company. Throughout the evening, we were treated to British classics from Chef Bates that made us want to book the next flight out to the UK.
Our first course: welsh rarebit. In other words, “deviled” cheddar cheese and beer on toasted sourdough — simple yet oh so tasty. Washing it down with a Six Point Brewery “Crisp” felt so right. The following course — the popular Scotch egg — was more filling than we expected. As we dug in, it seemed never-ending (a good thing). You can’t really go wrong with egg wrapped in sausage, breaded and fried. The accompanying curry mayonnaise added some nice spice, which helped match the notes in the Six Point Brewery’s Bengali.
The main attraction of the night was the pie and mash. Don’t let the size in the photos fool you: The one they’ll be serving later this year won’t be as large; they just didn’t have the right plates for it, so they had to improvise. Regardless, the beef, ale and bone marrow stew with mash and peas will certainly be a crowdpleaser when The Avenue opens. It was just the hearty dish we needed to warm up on this cold Miami night — along with the Wynwood Brewing Company’s “Wynwood Fox.”
When we thought the dinner couldn’t get any better, Chef Bates presented us with a sticky toffee pudding along with a Six Point’s C.R.E.A.M. to cap an already memorable evening; we still think fondly of the condensed milk ice cream. Afterward, we enjoyed a traditional cuppa (English breakfast tea with milk) to come down from the food high before touring the future space, located on the exterior of the building’s first floor.
The space still needs a lot of work, but we’re eagerly counting down the days to The Avenue’s arrival. With its great food and a savvy team at the reins, The Avenue could be the catalyst for significant growth in an area with a lot of potential. We wouldn’t be surprised if it is.
The Avenue will be located at 1657 N Miami Ave. inside the Filling Station Lofts in the A+E District. For more information visit their Facebook page.