Michelin Star Chef "Juanma" of Elcielo Miami Launches New 21-Course Menu this Spring
In 2015, celebrated Colombian Chef and Entrepreneur Juan Manuel Barrientos, opened his first ever U.S. location of his original Colombia-based Elcielo restaurants in Medellín and Bogotá. In 2020, he made the leap to the Union Market District of Washington D.C., and from there, he was immediately awarded his first coveted Michelin star, which was also the first Michelin Star in history for a Colombian restaurant. Combining a variety of sensory experiences with one-of-a-kind flavors and textures, Barrientos, affectionately known as ‘Juanma’, has revolutionized traditional Colombian cuisine by combining his avant- garde cooking techniques with his passion for neurosciences. Having trained under world-renowned chefs including Spain’s Juan Mari Arzak, Barrientos combines classical training with modern techniques, resulting in a dining experience that is in a league of its own in Miami.
Located at 31 SE 5th Street, Elcielo overlooks the Miami River at the confluence of downtown Miami and Brickell, creating a one-of-a-kind dining atmosphere. A stunning open kitchen greets diners as they enter Elcielo (translated from Spanish as ‘Heaven’); offering a chance to see an international team creating Barrientos’ unique vision. Passing through to the main dining room, a fully stocked wine cellar complements the illuminated bar, from which signature cocktails are created to accompany each menu.
Helmed by the restaurant’s Executive Chef Carlos Flores, Elcielo’s menu changes every season with innovative new dishes that are a tribute to Colombian cuisine. Chef Barrientos and the restaurant’s expert hospitality team strives to create a distinct and carefully crafted journey that taps into all five of your senses. The food and ambiance will transport you to the beautiful beaches of Cartagena and the mysterious corners of the Amazon jungle. THE EXPERIENCE, a 21-course artful menu boasts surprising sensory moments throughout the course of the night. It is priced at $197 per person, and is served in the restaurant’s great hall section. The bar also features many of its signature and innovative Colombian cocktails.
Guests looking for a shortened version of The Experience, can opt for THE JOURNEY, a 13-course tasting menu, priced at $157 per person. The restaurant also offers an exclusive wine pairing menu to complement the meal, for $105 for six glasses or $58 for four glasses, per person. Although there is not an a la carte dinner menu available, guests can order a wide variety of cocktails and top shelf liquors off of the beverage menu.
Combining equal parts theater and technical cooking, either menu offers a culinary journey unlike any other in the Magic City. Patrons should expect whimsical experiences like Elcielo’s Chocotherapy where you wash your hands with chocolate and enjoy it through all five senses, the Compresso, an osmotized watermelon with tequila and lime scents, which represents the fruits usually found around the streets of Colombia, , and signature dishes like The Tree of Life, a Yucca bread served fresh from the oven on a wire bonsai tree representing the lung of the world, the Amazon rainforest, and the Yuca Gnocchi, an Italian technique where the chef adapts the Latin American products such as yucca and plantain, and merges the gastronomic jewels such as truffle, truffle oil and a pecorino cheese foam.
Designed by Barrientos and his family, the intimate 45-seat dining room combines elements that represent the Colombian soul – the same essence present in the Elcielo restaurants of Washington DC, Bogotá and Medellín – along with tropical elements of coastal Miami. Bathed in a variety of textures, the dining room features handmade furniture crafted from imported Colombian wood and leather, as well as decor that recalls the various travels through which Barrientos has honed his craft.
You can preview all high-resolution images of the restaurant, menu items, headshots of the executive team, and others, HERE.