Home » Mark Birnbaum in the New York Times

Mark Birnbaum in the New York Times

According to The New York Times, they say it’s South Beach without the South Beach and that’s a good thing. The arty types have finally won out and the few that want to create an underground scene have done so. But South Beach still has that reputation as being seen as a flashy club land with booze-fueled tourists.

It’s slowly changing with the integration with cocktail bars, boutique hotels and restaurants that have that at-home appeal. Snowbirds travel from New York to South Beach to take in the sights. Catch, a weeks-old restaurant at James Royal Palm on Collins Avenue certainly has that appeal. It’s an outpost of a well-known restaurant in the meatpacking district in Manhattan, a complete authentic experience.

“Everyone says, ‘It’s so New York,’ ” said Mark Birnbaum, one of Catch’s owners from the EMM Group. “You don’t feel like you’re in South Beach.”

It’s almost like Miami Beach is demanding this sophistication and that there continues to be a strong aversion to megaclubs and electronic dance music. There’s even a small flyer from a New Year’s party that says, Tiesto and David Guetta in bold, but in small print “Will not be playing here” in small letters.

Andrew Carmellini, the New York chef who opened the Dutch at the W South Beach, called the emerging Miami food scene “a new phenomenon.”

“I’d like to do something off the beach,” he said, adding that the celebrity-chef circuit felt saturated. “I’m not sure how many more big restaurants the market can take.”

It just shows there’s a strong market for this type of business and perhaps Mark Birnbaum’s restaurant group EMM is paving the way for restaurants like Catch to be the future of fine cuisine in Miami.