Chef Niven Patel Opens Orno Restaurant at THesis Hotel
Alpareno Restaurant Group announces today that Chef Niven Patel, will open a new restaurant concept named Orno on October 14, 2021. This highly anticipated launch from Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef 2020 comes on the heels of Chef Patel’s successful Mamey restaurant, which also opened last year at THesis Hotel.
Orno is a true farm-to-table restaurant concept heavily focused on fresh, quality ingredients sourced from Chef Niven’s farm in Homestead, Florida known as Rancho Patel. Many of the 35-plus varieties of seasonal greens, fruits and vegetables that he grows can be found on the menu, including okra, which Chef Patel grew from seeds brought back from India.
Orno focuses on New American cuisine centered around locally-sourced vegetables, the highest quality meats and sustainably caught seafood. Wood-fired culinary creations are complimented by specialty cocktails in a sophisticated yet laid-back ambiance.
Designed by Saladino Design Studios, Orno unfolds like a culinary showroom orbiting around an open-kitchen concept with marble bar seating where guests are invited to witness craftsmanship at its finest. Featuring a built-in, fresh produce display and wood-fired oven, the open kitchen was designed with materials that will cure and age naturally. The fire-brick wall is intended to subtly evolve as it absorbs the colors of the smoke, evoking the authenticity of Orno as a story not told overnight, but over time.
Given Orno’s philosophy, it was important to create an intimate space that felt upscale, yet inviting. The color palette was inspired by the green leafy herbs, golden tones of turnips, and the earthy tones of soil found on Chef Patel’s farm. These colors are reflected in the fern-green tile and moss-green ceiling, in the warmth of the walnut planters suspended from the ceiling and in the elegance of the brass accents on the fixtures and cabinetry.
An architectural feel is brought to the space through the curves of the chairs, banquettes and geometric pendant lighting that lends to an airy, yet structured ambiance.
The back bar, side walls and center column feature a magnificent array of green and white custom tile work where each piece has been hand-cut. Staying true to Orno’s nature, the tile has undergone a wood-firing which allows the clay and the ashes to disperse and fuse creating an alchemy of tones within the same tile. The terrazzo’s confetti of colorful marble, quartz, granite and glass dances across a floor anchored by leather banquettes and a built-in, back-lit wine display.
Nestled within Orno is The Library- the restaurant’s seductive private dining room with intimate seating for 20 guests. The hideaway features floor-to-ceiling bookshelves hand painted in navy with yellow accents filled with classic books, and velvet blush drapes. Tying the vision is a neon sign reading “Knowledge is the food of the soul,” a quote from the philosopher Plato. The ‘library of classics’ found within are part of the inspiration behind Orno’s extensive menu of signature libations based on famous literary figures.
“My goal is to bring people together and invite guests to be a part of the process. As guests walk into the dining room they are greeted by our open-kitchen concept where they can see the food being prepared, smell the garlic as it hits the pan, hear the sizzle of steak as it’s being basted and feel the warmth of the fire as a dish slides out of the wood oven. Dining at Orno is a journey the entices all the senses.” Explains Chef Niven.
Orno is a play on the Spanish horno, which means oven and it’s exactly that which lies at the heart of the restaurant. The impressive wood- fired oven is the star dish maker but also part of what makes the guest experience. “There is a certain finesse to cooking with an open flame, a danger, a risk, and ultimately a chance to impress. This finesse carries through the carefully curated Orno experience.” Adds Mohamed Alkassar, Founding Partner of Alpareno.
Orno offers an impressive seasonal menu that takes guests on a gastronomic journey with small and large plates, wood-fired pizzas and savory sides. Each dish on the menu can stand on its own or come together to create a beautiful tapestry of flavors. The menu opens with small plates that range from the vegetarian-friendly Roasted Summer Squash ($14), squash blossom served with herb yogurt, sumac and toasted almonds; and Vadouvan Cauliflower ($14), with pickled apples, Aleppo pepper and lemon; to seafood standouts including Red Snapper Crudo ($17), topped with mango, Thai basil, smoked olive oil and Espelette peppers; and Grilled Octopus ($19), with potato confit, pimenton aioli, and celery.
Indulgent pastas include Rigatoni ($22) served with tomato ragù, sun dried tomatoes and basil butter, and the Bucatini ($21), featuring Sunray Venus Clams served with a shallot confit and Calabrian chili peppers. The only restaurant in North America serving this clam varietal, Orno sources their Sunray Venus Clams locally. Rounding out the small plates is Roasted Bone Marrow ($26), served with a shallot marmalade, horseradish and orange; Beef Tartare ($20), with smoked chili oil, pickled black trumpet and egg yolk; and Jamon Iberico de Fermin ($28), served with six-month Manchego and peach chutney.
Specialty large plates include entrees from the land and sea including a Whole Grilled Branzino ($72) topped with a fennel sofrito; Wood Oven Roasted Black Grouper ($34), with marinated butter beans and cascabel chili; Australian Lamb Rack ($42), with Medjool dates, coriander and mint; a Wood Fired Half Chicken ($42), with harissa and jardineria; Iberico Pork Pluma ($34) with peperona; and the A5 Wagyu Sirloin 6oz. ($62) with single harvest olive oil and grey sea salt.
Guests can elevate any plate with a variety of perfectly paired sides large enough to share including Roasted Mushrooms ($15), with black truffle butter and fine herbs; Grilled Okra ($10), with olive oil and black pepper; Vidalia Onion Gratin ($10) with gruyere cheese; and Broccolini ($9), with Caesar dressing and smoked Manchego.
Unique cocktails inspired by literary classics include the Holly Golightly ($16), a revitalizing cocktail mixed with St. Germaine and a lavender bitter soaked sugar cube topped with champagne; and the Master Copperfield ($14), Wray and Nephew Jamaican Overproof Rum torched with lemon peel and sugar, Hennessy Cognac, black tea and lemon; drawing from the legendary Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” and Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield,” respectively.
Orno brings the Ernest Hemingway enduring novel, “The Sun Also Rises” to life with the Jack Rose ($14), made with Courvoisier Cognac VS, Copper and Kings Brandy, pomegranate reduction and fresh lime; and the Old Sport ($15), inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” with Maker's Mark Bourbon, muddled lemon, mint and Angostura Bitters.
Guests are also invited to imbibe from an innovative and refreshing mocktail menu or the notable 400-bottle wine cellar featuring a wide selection of pairable unique and diverse wines. When selecting the wines for Orno’s wine list, which features over 100 different varietals from sparkling and rosé to white and red vintages, Chef Patel took the time to pair each of the wines with the restaurant’s signature dishes. Focusing on the quality of each blend, Chef Patel worked with growers and vineyards who specialize in sustainable and biodynamic harvesting practices as he hand-picked the expansive portfolio of global wines.
Orno is the latest concept to open under Chef Patel’s evolving Alpareno Restaurant Group umbrella, which also includes the lauded Ghee Indian Kitchen as well as last year’s newcomer Mamey. With Orno, Alpareno Restaurant Group will continue to grow as one of the nation’s leading hospitality brands by offering guests an immersive culinary experience with a dedication to outstanding cuisine. “Alpareno Restaurant Group plans to further cement it’s legacy as a culinary innovator bringing another tasteful concept to the South Florida market, says Alkassar.
Orno will be open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday and Sundays from 5:30PM to 10PM, and Friday and Saturday from 5:30PM to 11PM. For more information on Orno, visit wwww.ornomiami.com or follow @OrnoMiami on Instagram.