Taste Of The Town: Estefan Kitchen Serves Up Miami Flavor, Music, Mojitos

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Estefan Kitchen is owned by international superstars and the unofficial Conga King and Queen of Miami, Emilio and Gloria Estefan.

The upscale Cuban restaurant located in the heart of the Palm Court in the Miami Design District is a throwback to the glamour of Cuba in the 1950’s with a modern flair.

Emilio Estefan sat down with CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo for a taste and a talk.

“Being in the new Design District is fantastic because I think people want Latino food but they also want a great bar and great views,” Emilio Estefan said.

This is the third restaurant for the Estefan’s. Their first, Larios, remains a staple on South Beach.

“When you make restaurants, you learn from mistakes and how to make things better. What I like about this is a lot of entertainment – every waiter sings, every bartender sings, and what happens when people get drunk? Everybody sings,” Estefan explained.

Yes, every server actually auditions in order to work there. Music is a big part of the experience. In fact, in addition to the staff singing, every Friday night Emilio is producing a free to the public ensemble of live musical performances outside.

“I hope, one day, they get a record deal and they get to the Grammy’s and you never know,” Estefan said with a big grin.

Their meal begins with an Estefan favorite – Snapper Ceviche and Lechon Flatbread that has pork and honey on top.

“Let me tell you the crunch of flatbread, the sweet of honey on top and salt of the pork….It’s sweet and savory at its bes,” Petrillo said while tasting it.

“Does Gloria cook,” asked Petrillo.

“A little bit,” said Estefan laughing. “Pancakes…Gloria makes the best pancakes. I can tell you that. The best pancakes!”

Next up was Vacas Fritas – Classic Cuban dishes with chicken or steak. It’s tasty, light lemony and healthy.

“Everything has garlic and lemon and it’s really on the diet side,” said Estefan.

“Exactly, it’s very simple and clean,” said Petrillo.

Then an over the top Paella with lobster and more is served as well as an array of sinful classic Cuban desserts!

“I think when people leave from Miami, I want them to take the flavor of Miami with them. I think they get that here. They get different food, hear music and can have a lot of mojitos and that makes people happy,” Estefan said.

For Emilio, not a day goes by where he isn’t thankful for the success he had achieved and only hopes he can inspire others.

“It’s waking up in the morning, being happy thankful about life and thanking God. I thank God everyday and then I get ready to work! Then, I like to make someone else happy. If you make someone else happy, you will always be happy,” said Estefan.

Estefan Kitchen is open 7 days a week serving lunch and dinner. Click here for more information.

CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo would love to hear from you. Please send us a suggestion at tasteofthetown@cbs.com. You can also contact Lisa through Twitter or Facebook

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