New Miami spot reminiscent of 1940s Cuba


El Tucán

1111 SW First Ave., Miami, 305-535-0065,

On the heels of opening the European-inspired Marion café, bakery and oyster, French owners have unveiled this modern cabaret next door in the former space of The Hoxton in Brickell that harkens to 1940s Cuba.

"Traveling around the globe and attending magical venues with live performances made us realize how tragic it was for Miami to have lost what it used to have back in the '40s', '50s," says co-owner Michael Ridard.

International bands and DJs entertain Thursday through Saturday with shows at 8 and 11 p.m., along with a 12-piece Latin house orchestra. Diners order Caribbean and South American cuisine with Amazonian flair in front of a bronze-accented stage amid trompe l'oeil murals, crushed velvet, a Murano chandelier and three bars. Tables are then cleared for dancing.

Executive chef Jean Paul Lourdes, who has worked at international three-star Michelin restaurants, crafts savory churros ($9), tomato tartare with scallop and Grand Reserva ham ($18), salt cod croquettes ($12), cobia al pastor ($19), Mexican street corn ($16) and tres leches cake ($9).

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