MEXICO CITY: Le Cirque, Camino Real Mexico, 011-55-5263-8888
Restaurateur Sirio Maccioni has planted an offshoot of New York’s rave Le Cirque 2000 in Mexico’s capital. Many Manhattan facets apply here, including a vibrant interior design by Adam Tihany. Pierre Schaedelin, executive chef at Le Cirque 2000, designed the menu and is spending time south of the border to supervise the preparation of his lightly sauced, intensely flavored French fare.
CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA: Cacao 1737, (305) 445-1001
Venezuelan chocolatier El Rey and winery Bodegas Pomar teamed with Caracas-launched chef Edgar Leal to open this eatery in Miami’s swanky South American barrio. Leal, who worked with superchefs Daniel Boulud in New York and Ferran Adria in Barcelona, looks homeward with Chilean leg of lamb, Venezuelan pork-stuffed Gouda cheese, and Argentine duck escabeche. Many wines, desserts, and even the design are claramente Venezuelan.
ORLANDO: Tchoup Chop, (407) 503-2467 Überchef Emeril Lagasse dons a figurative grass skirt with Tchoup Chop in Orlando’s new tropical-themed Royal Pacific Resort. Lush gardens, waterfalls, and lagoon views complement the David Rockwell-designed interior dressed in carved woods and batik fabrics. Though Tchoup refers to Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans, where Emeril got his start, the celebrity chef reaches beyond Big Easy borders, incorporating Asian and Pan-Pacific influences into his signature big, bold food.