After collaborating on the P.R.E.A.M. switcheroo, restaurateurs Kurt Huffman of ChefStable (Ox, Lardo) and John Janulis and Liam Duffy of Lightning Bar Collective (Century Bar, Jackknife) have created a new restaurant and bar management company called Microwave, and it’s ready to announce its first project: the 65-seat Omerta restaurant and roughly 100-seat Opal bar, to set up shop downtown in the former Daily Grill venue.
Speaking with Eater by phone while in Greece — the sound of Uber and taxi drivers arguing in the background — Huffman says Omerta and Opal will operate as separate entities but will share the same entrance at 614 SW Park Ave. Set to open August 2017, Omerta will serve traditional Italian and classic American-Italian plates and come with a “huge” wine list. “It is not a reinterpretation of Italian food,” says Huffman. “Lots of wine, olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon, with a particular focus on seafood."
The menu will feature around 24 daily items and 10 to 12 specials, to allow the chef to work with what’s available and exciting. The dining experience will be modeled after “old-school New York Italian restaurants,” and the portions will be large.
Though it is not open to the public, Omerta is currently holding several private dinners a week to get feedback from select chefs, sommeliers, and others in the industry. "These days, you have to have your A-game on from the start,” says Huffman. “We've never invested this much preparation in an opening."
Details are still developing in regard to Opal, but Huffman says it will serve food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Omerta, when it opens in August, will serve dinner nightly starting at 5 p.m.