BAL HARBOUR, Fla. – Mediterranean restaurants are popping up in South Florida, and the latest one has roots in Chicago and a “Top Chef” alum.
The chef at the Bal Harbour Shops hot spot says they’re putting a spin on classic traditional dishes.
Aba, which means father in Hebrew, was created by “Top Chef” alum CJ Jacobson and Marc Jacobs, the divisional president, not the famed designer.
Olive trees anchor the space and gold Moroccan light fixtures help set the tone.
“It’s a lot of love in the dish,” Executive Chef Leo Pablo told Local 10′s Alexis Frazier as he whipped up some of the newest additions to the brunch menu, like the short rib shakshuka, which is made with local eggs, a little spice and potato.
All the food at Aba is Mediterranean-influenced with flavors from Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece.
Most of the dishes are served family-style.
“We are really proud of doing things from scratch. We don’t buy anything pre-done,” Pablo said.
Another thing that makes this place unique is that the bread is made fresh daily.
“Our bread is the heart of the menu,” Pablo said. “This bread you see here was baked 5 minutes ago. You won’t find this anywhere else in the city.”
The restaurant also has fresh drinks, with the bar showcasing rare Mediterranean-inspired wines and spirits featuring local ingredients.
“For us, we like to have everything that is important to Mediterranean cuisine -- the spreads, the meat, the bread -- any main items we can add to the mix. That’s why we’re a good addition to the mall and the area,” Pablo said.
Even though they have restaurants in different states, there are some dishes you can only get at Aba’s Miami location.
For more information on Aba and its brunch menu, click here.