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Food

Shhh! There’s a new members-only restaurant in Wynwood (but don’t tell anyone)

Haven’t heard about Haiku Miami opening?

That’s the point, apparently.

The beyond fabulous Wynwood spot, which quietly opened during the pandemic, is strictly members only. Haiku promises the “ultimate private dining experience,” on its website.

Click to resize

The dramatically lit, sleek stunner (love the cathedral ceiling) is the brainchild of NYC financier Jess Varughese, who recently relocated to South Florida. The world traveler and foodie told Miami.com he was inspired by kaiseki, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner.

The list of just 40 members is “carefully curated,” and guests are found through word of mouth and referrals.

The Scott Kester-designed space holds up to 16 people, but can be entirely closed for one service, just two diners. For example, a Valentine’s Day 2022 two-top is already booked.

“Being full is not the priority,” said Varughese. “Being right is the priority.”

There are no waiters, nor busboys at this 1,500 square foot jewel. This lack of hubbub just adds to the serenely welcoming atmosphere and exclusive vibe. Your personal chef, Albert Diaz (formerly of Zuma Miami), walks out to guests personally serving each platter of awesomeness.

So why here? Why now? For starters, such a small space means patrons can more easily adhere to CDC guidelines such as ongoing social distancing. Plus, the Magic City, as we know, is the bomb.

“Miami is ripe, an incredibly exciting city with a vibrant energy,” Varughese said. “For chefs, there is amazing local product and ‘hyper seasonal’ ingredients – cattle, geese, microgreens – to enhance the menu.”

About that menu: Potentially life-changing, exquisite courses include elderflower tempura with stracciatella, dashi and white balsamic; salmon belly harasu; nasu dengaku (miso-glazed eggplant); butter poached king crab; and ridiculously fresh edomae sushi.

So you want to be a member, too. Got it.

Participation in Haiku requires an initiation fee (ask them, not us) and a “commitment to five reservations during the 12-month membership period.” Each reservation features a 10-12 course omakase menu with wine, champagne and sake for up to 16 people.

Since there are no future plans to open it up to regular folks, you’ll have to play nice-nice with your most famous (or loaded) friend and hope for the invite.

Haiku

Where: 221 NW 23 rd Street, Miami; haikurestaurants.com.

For more information: Email membership@haikurestaurants.com

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