Co-chef/owners Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer of Boia De have opened their second Miami restaurant, Walrus Rodeo in partnership with Jeff Maxfield who is overseeing the new restaurant’s kitchen.
Walrus Rodeo, a name chosen by the team for its ambiguity and connotations of fun is located at 5143 Northeast Second Avenue in the same Little Haiti shopping center as their Michelin-starred neighborhood gem Boia De. A Miami restaurant veteran who honed his skills as corporate Chef for TD Hospitality overseeing Toscana Divino, Ironside Pizza and LTD Café, Maxfield is best known for working alongside Chef Brad Kilgore as corporate chef for Kilgore Culinary’s award-winning concepts. Maxfield’s exemplary skill and impressive work ethic are perfectly aligned with Giangrandi and Meyer.
Boia De’s runaway success and critical acclaim upon opening in 2019 had everyone in Miami wondering what the next move would be for the talented team behind the beloved 24-seat restaurant and recent Michelin star recipient. Ultimately, the opportunity to lease a restaurant space steps away from Boia De proved too enticing to resist and the duo decided to premiere a new concept, with the talented Maxfield joining the team.Trending
“We are thrilled to be opening our second restaurant in Miami. Having Jeff as a partner in this project was a no-brainer and the proximity of Walrus Rodeo to Boia De should help ease the challenge of operating two restaurants,” said Alex Meyer.“ We’re excited to showcase a different style of food and share this exciting milestone with our loyal customers, friends and family.”
Walrus Rodeo’s menu revolves around the restaurant’s central wood-fire oven with dishes like Lasagna with lamb ragu, mustard greens and stracchino l Béchamel Charbroiled Island Creek Oyster with Franciacorta cream, jalapeño hot sauce, and brown butter brioche crumble; and the Spicy OG pizza with boquerones, melted shallots, oregano and maple brown butter. Even desserts like S’more’s al Orno – churros with fluff and spiced chocolate, benefit from a stint in the oven. There will also be a selection of salads and cold dishes like Turnip Salad with Tiny Farms turnips served on a bed of fresh ricotta and served with a charred scallion vinaigrette and Local Wahoo Crudo aqua pazza with green papaya and crispy rice.
Just as they did with Boia De, Giangrandi and Meyer tapped their circle of friends to help bring the project together. Paula Lemme, who created the modernist Italian look for Boia De, was brought on to design Walrus Rodeo. Where Boia is a hidden gem, with only an exclamation point to mark its location, Walrus Rodeo is brighter and shinier with a vibrant color scheme, ceilings of hammered tin, wood floors, lots of tile, and brick industrial accents. Custom wallpaper from artist Beth Rhodes of Bethmade makes a visit to the bathroom an amusing experience, while a dreamlike mural from San Diego-based artist Tatiana Ortiz-Rubio is seemingly floating on the wall above the pizza oven. With 32 seats and a wine/beer bar that seats 9, Walrus Rodeo feels spacious and larger than the intimate Boia De.
Rounding out the team is general manager Kristy Bavaro-Ahmed. The native New Yorker who originally envisioned herself a chef, has put together an enviable front of house resume. She has worked with some of the industry’s most notable restaurants and restaurant groups in New York, including Union Square Hospitality Group, Major Food Group and most recently, helped to re-open The Modern, which maintained its two Michelin stars during her tenure.