“Sexy, feminine, cool,” is how executive chef Wissam Baki describes Amal, an arabesque Miami newcomer whose vibrant menu is a paean to the flavors of Lebonan. Sister to the original outpost in Toronto’s posh Yorkville neighborhood, known for its strip of luxury boutiques dubbed “Mink Mile,” Ink Entertainment Group brought its winning formula to Coconut Grove. Perpetual design collaborators Studio Munge chose a soft palette of dusty rose, muted terracotta, and pastel blues for the interiors while decking out the sun-speckled dining room with lush greenery and a sense of indoor-outdoor living evocative of the Mediterranean.
Tall arched portals connect the open kitchen, where Baki’s team is busy at work turning out contemporary renditions of mouthwatering mezze (garlicky labneh; fiery Muhammara) accompanied by pillowy housemade pita and shareable plates (truffle-cheese Rakakat; charbroiled chicken tawok skewers) packed with traditional Lebanese spices.
Amplifying the menu is a cocktail program that utilizes authentic imported ingredients such as saffron, jab syrup, rosewater, and Arak, the anise-flavored Levantine spirit that spikes drinks like the spicy tequila-and-mezcal-based Phoenician Connection.
In the latest installment of Designing Delicious, we drop into one of the Grove’s hottest—and most surprising—arrivals.