By Lisa Petrillo


MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Welcome to Esotico Miami.

Located in downtown Miami’s entertainment district, it’s a tropical, tiki-themed restaurant and bar created by Graspa Group partner Daniele Dalla Pola or DDP.

“I’m going to start this show at Esotico Miami with a flower in my hair,” said CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo getting into the feel of the colorful spot.

Dalla Pola is Italian born but has always had a love for anything tropical and exotic, thus the name. He’s considered one of the world’s best mixologists and has created a menu of more than 20 customized eclectic drinks.

During Petrillo’s visit, he made

“The King Tamoko” at Esotico Miami. (CBS4)

It starts with an Elvis head mug you can keep as a souvenir. It’s 22 ounces and served to be shared and finished with fire and ice.

The vibe of this indoor-outdoor eatery is Hawaiian inspired, lush and fun. The wallpaper was custom-made for the space.

“It’s all fiberglass paper and made in Italy,” Dalla Pola explained.

Back in the kitchen Robert Dubois, nicknamed Chef Koa, translates Dalla Pola’s love for the exotic into an impressive menu which includes dishes like the elegant black truffle dumplings, the delicious miso-glazed seabass, and the classic luau pig.

Classic Luau pig at Esotico Miami (CBS4)

“We’ve got roasted pineapple, pickled onions and coconut rice in this,” he said of the luau dish.

“That is so much fun. The pork is so moist and the coconut brings it a delicate flavor and then you’ve got the sweet pineapple,” Petrillo said.

Dubois next served a never before seen

The smoky octopus hot dog at Esotico Miami (CBS4)

served with a spicy sriracha mayo atop a brioche bun.

Then, shaved Ice Leche de Dragon made with Corvina and secret ingredients that are topped with shaved pisco watermelon gazpacho ice, made at the table.

“It’s super cold and the sauce has wonderful texture and flavor,” Petrillo said.

The Hawaiian loving Italian hopes all guests will love this tropical Esotico experience, but he says his true focus, is on the ladies who come in to enjoy the adventure.

“That’s the key to success, if you have happy female customers in your venue it’s good,“ he said.

Esotico Miami is open seven days a week, dinner only and happy hour too. For more info: esoticomiami.com

Lisa Petrillo

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