Caviar Russe opening first restaurant outside NYC on Brickell

Caviar Russe and Ilya Panchernikov
Caviar Russe and Ilya Panchernikov

Caviar Russe is launching its first restaurant and bar outside New York City next week at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami, geared to cater to its Latin American clientele and others.

Located inside the Four Seasons’ lobby on Brickell Avenue, the 1,000 square-foot space has been in the works for a year. The site was formerly used as the leasing office for the Four Seasons, and had to be completely gutted and redesigned, Caviar Russe’s managing director Ilya Panchernikov told The Real Deal. He declined to disclose terms of his lease, brokered by RKF’s John Ellis, citing a confidentiality agreement.

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Caviar Russe

After investing “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in the remodeling, the boutique space is now adorned in gold and Calacatta marble, with white Italian leather banquettes and chairs and a chandelier inspired by “caviar pearls,” Panchernikov said. Other aspects of the decor are meant to mimic Champagne bubbles. The restaurant has 35 seats, including the bar.

Panchernikov chose Miami for his first expansion site because a majority of his clientele at Caviar Russe in New York are from Latin America — particularly from Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico. Since they often have second homes in Miami, they have always asked him when he plans to open here, he said. His New York-based clients also come to Miami to vacation, as well, and often own condos in the South-of-Fifth neighborhood of Miami Beach and on Brickell, he added.

“The demographic in Miami is here, and I really feel this town is ready for it now,” said Panchernikov, who moved from New York to Miami a year-and-a-half ago to oversee the project.

The restaurant will open next week, serving lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and dinner only on Saturday. A Sunday brunch is planned for the future, Panchernikov said. Chef David Valencia, who is originally from Colombia, will helm the kitchen.

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The menu will include more than 15 varieties of caviar, a raw bar and crudo menu, and such dishes as a foie gras terrine and octopus carpaccio, all adorned with caviar. “Caviar is the star,” Panchernikov said.

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Caviar Russe

A full bar including 20 types of frozen vodka and extensive list of Champagnes will also be offered. Prices for dishes will range from $45 to $125, with caviar from $145 to $3,000. Champagne by the glass, like Dom Pérignon and Billecart-Salmon, will range from $35 to $95, with bottles from $125 to $2000 or more.

Caviar Russe’s roots are in caviar importing. The New York-based, family-owned company became one of the nation’s largest caviar importers to the U.S. before opening its first restaurant, with 1,200 square feet, on Madison Avenue in New York City in 1997, Panchernikov said.

“We started as importers… and we realized that the public wants this delicacy that is very difficult to get,” he said, referring to the decision to expand into dining spots.

His father founded the business after the family arrived in New York from the Ukraine when Panchernikov was six years old. He said he grew up surrounded by the world of caviar. The family has farms in Germany that provide caviar specifically for them.

Panchernikov’s goal now is to open five to 10 new restaurants in the next five years, in the United States and internationally. “If this goes well,” he said, “we’re thinking of Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and South America.”