In 2015, celebrated Colombian Chef and Entrepreneur Juan Manuel Barrientos, opened his first ever U.S. location of his original Colombia-based Elcielo restaurants in Medellín and Bogotá. In 2020, he made the leap to the Union Market District of Washington D.C., and from there, he was immediately awarded his first coveted Michelin star, which was also the first Michelin Star in history for a Colombian restaurant. Combining a variety of sensory experiences with one-of-a-kind flavors and textures, Barrientos, affectionately known as ‘Juanma’, has revolutionized traditional Colombian cuisine by combining his avant- garde cooking techniques with his passion for neurosciences. Having trained under world-renowned chefs including Spain’s Juan Mari Arzak, Barrientos combines classical training with modern techniques, resulting in a dining experience that is in a league of its own in Miami.
Located at 31 SE 5th Street, Elcielo overlooks the Miami River at the confluence of downtown Miami and Brickell, creating a one-of-a-kind dining atmosphere. A stunning open kitchen greets diners as they enter Elcielo (translated from Spanish as ‘Heaven’); offering a chance to see an international team creating Barrientos’ unique vision. Passing through to the main dining room, a fully stocked wine cellar complements the illuminated bar, from which signature cocktails are created to accompany each menu.
Helmed by the restaurant’s Executive Chef Carlos Flores, Elcielo’s menu changes every season with innovative new dishes that are a tribute to Colombian cuisine. Chef Barrientos and the restaurant’s expert hospitality team strives to create a distinct and carefully crafted journey that taps into all five of your senses. The food and ambiance will transport you to the beautiful beaches of Cartagena and the mysterious corners of the Amazon jungle. THE EXPERIENCE, a 21-course artful menu boasts surprising sensory moments throughout the course of the night. It is priced at $197 per person, and is served in the restaurant’s great hall section. The bar also features many of its signature and innovative Colombian cocktails.
Guests looking for a shortened version of The Experience, can opt for THE JOURNEY, a 13-course tasting menu, priced at $157 per person. The restaurant also offers an exclusive wine pairing menu to complement the meal, for $105 for six glasses or $58 for four glasses, per person. Although there is not an a la carte dinner menu available, guests can order a wide variety of cocktails and top shelf liquors off of the beverage menu.
Combining equal parts theater and technical cooking, either menu offers a culinary journey unlike any other in the Magic City. Patrons should expect whimsical experiences like Elcielo’s Chocotherapy where you wash your hands with chocolate and enjoy it through all five senses, the Compresso, an osmotized watermelon with tequila and lime scents, which represents the fruits usually found around the streets of Colombia, , and signature dishes like The Tree of Life, a Yucca bread served fresh from the oven on a wire bonsai tree representing the lung of the world, the Amazon rainforest, and the Yuca Gnocchi, an italian technique where the chef adapts the latin american products such as yucca and plantain, and merges the gastronomic jewels such as truffle, truffle oil and a pecorino cheese foam.
Designed by Barrientos and his family, the intimate 45-seat dining room combines elements that represent the Colombian soul – the same essence present in the Elcielo restaurants of Washington DC, Bogotá and Medellín – along with tropical elements of coastal Miami. Bathed in a variety of textures, the dining room features handmade furniture crafted from imported Colombian wood and leather, as well as decor that recalls the various travels through which Barrientos has honed his craft.
You can preview all high-resolution images of the restaurant, menu items, headshots of the executive team, and others, HERE.
Opened in February 2015, Elcielo brings the progressive cuisine of Chef Juan Manuel Barrientos to the banks of the Miami River in the rapidly expanding Brickell district. Inspired by the traditional cuisine of Barrientos’ native Colombia with a variety of modern, high-end techniques learned through the chef’s travels around the world, diners will find a mix of a la carte options for lunch and brunch, and 10- or 15-course tasting menu options for dinner. Menu highlights include croquetas made from traditional Colombian ropa vieja, housemade sausages and arepas, and both raw and roasted fish preparations utilizing local seafood. Boasting an open kitchen, illuminated bar, and seating both indoors and on the patio overlooking the river, Elcielo delivers one of the most unique dining experiences in the Magic City. Awarded one of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants for three consecutive years, Elcielo is bringing considerable changes to Miami’s thriving Latin culinary scene.
ABOUT CHEF JUAN MANUEL BARRIENTOS
Michelin Star and celebrity Chef Juan Manuel Barrientos, known in the gastronomic world as “Juanma”, was born in Medellín on June 16, 1983. He is a father, cook, businessman, entrepreneur, lecturer and peace leader with more than thirteen restaurants, bars and a hotel. He is the creator and founder of Elcielo Restaurants in Medellín, Bogotá, Miami and Washington, D. C., Elcielo luxury boutique hotel in Medellín, as well as other prominent eateries and bars such as Lasere, Cuon, Kaime, Elcielo Classic, Aguafresca, Shibari bar, and El Navegante bar, all in Medellin, and AO in Bogotá. Juanma is a highly decorated chef and has been awarded prestigious accolades over the years. On April 22, 2021, Juanma and his team at Elcielo Restaurant located in Washington D.C., obtained the first Michelin Star in history for a Colombian restaurant. This is the greatest recognition achieved in Colombian gastronomy. In 2019 he won the award for Ibero-American businessman of the year by CEAJE in Spain. In 2018, he published his first and best seller book titled “The Recipe for Success,” where he outlines his experiences in the culinary world and what steps he took to find business and personal success. In 2016 Juanma was invited as a lecturer to the World Entrepreneurship Summit (one of the most important entrepreneurship conferences in the world), by former President of the United States, Barack Obama. Until this day, Juanma continues providing his expertise to companies on creativity and innovation, supporting the redesign of the DNA of important companies. Juanma has been recognized as the youngest chef in Latin America’s 50 Best for three consecutive times, and in 2016 he was part of the exclusive list of The World’s Best Chef. In addition to his culinary and business endeavors, Juanma started Elcielo Foundation in 2008. Elcielo Foundation provides culinary training to ex-guerrilla members, soldiers wounded in combat, indigenous people, and victims of violence. He shares this work with more than seven Nobel Peace Prize winners.
ABOUT CHEF CARLOS FLORES
Chef and professional pastry chef born in Venezuela. His journey in gastronomy has led him to work in the best kitchens in Latin America and the world. Among its strengths is R&D (Research and Development) and the experience of working in kitchens as important as Maido, Astrid & Gaston and Malabar. His time in Peruvian cuisine gave him the opportunity to learn various avant-garde techniques, but above all, the importance of discipline, respect, and passion for knowing the origin of the raw material, as a fundamental part of the trade. In 2019 he arrived in Bogotá as Sous Chef and Pastry Chef at El Chato restaurant. In that same year and with great teamwork, El Chato received the award for the best restaurant in Colombia and ranked number seven in Latin America of the 50 Best Restaurants. In the search to pursue his culinary dreams, he started working at Elcielo Restaurant, where he was quickly promoted to Creative Director of the restaurant and right-hand man of celebrated Chef Juan Manuel Barrientos in Colombia, who today is his mentor. Flores arrives in the United States after managing Elcielo Hotel in Medellín, where he began his training with the primary team of Elcielo Washington D.C. (current Michelin star), to take on the challenge of directing the kitchen of Elcielo Miami, a position he currently holds.
Address: 31 SE 5th St Brickell on the River (River Side), Miami, Florida 33131
Hours of Operation: Monday through Saturday from 6:00pm to 11:00pm
Phone: (305) 874-7867
Dress Code: Miami chic
Instagram Handles: @elcielomiami @juanmaelcielo @elcielorestaurant