The Real Deal Miami

Dirt for dinner? New restaurant opening South-of-Fifth

Modern American, health conscious dining spot plans to open in September
July 07, 2015 05:00PM

Jonathan Seningen, 232 Fifth Street in Miami Beach and Jeff LaTulippe

Jonathan Seningen, 232 Fifth Street in Miami Beach and Jeff LaTulippe

A new restaurant is heading to Miami Beach’s South-of-Fifth neighborhood, with a down-and-dirty name: Dirt.

The fast casual restaurant plans to open in September at 232 Fifth Street, promising modern American, and health-conscious fare. Dirt plans to serve “a vegetable-forward menu with responsibly raised proteins, such as hormone- and antibiotic-free grass-fed meats, pasture-raised chicken, wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs, according to a release.

Dirt’s space is in Kone Sushi’s former spot; the Japanese Brazilian dining spot has since moved to downtown Miami. The building is owned by developer Scott Robins, according to Miami-Dade property records.

Named for its desire “to create an unpretentious, transparent, back-to-basics approach to how we eat and enjoy food,” Dirt said it will be serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with organic juices, smoothies, wine, craft beer and other items.

The restaurant is co-f0unded by Jeff LaTulippe, general manager, whose background includes an internship at the White House and a stint on Wall Street before a career in private equity.

Other co-founders are Executive Chef Jonathan Seningen and Operating Partner Matt Ernst. Seningen’s experience includes kitchens in the Caribbean, New York — Atlas, Artisanal, and Chanterelle — and Washington, D.C., where he was executive chef of the vegan eatery Elizabeth’s Gone Raw.

Ernst, an experienced business executive and former Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, was responsible for founding the IT consulting firm Amentra, which he sold after eight years to Red Hat. Ernst intends to give Dirt a mobile and online presence through partnerships with mobile ordering and loyalty platform LevelUp, online ordering platform Zuppler, and delivery startup Postmates, the release said.

“The digital era has been here,” Ernst said in a statement, “but we’re only now starting to scratch the tip of the iceberg of possibilities when it comes to food and the restaurant industry.” — Ina Cordle