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1120 Collins Ave. (11th St.) Send to Phone
Ambience at this gay-oriented restaurant is enjoyably, if stereotypically, disco-diva silly, but the food is solid.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sun.

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Cha Cha Rooster Restaurant Review

: Since South Beach has been a gay tourism mecca since the late 1980s, it seems almost unbelievable that the area has never had a gay-oriented real resort (as opposed to amateurish B&Bs) before Lords South Beach opened early in 2011. But the boutique hotel, located in the landmarked Art Deco former Hotel Nash, is truly full-service, including its own indoor/outdoor resto-lounge Cha Cha Rooster. In the space formerly occupied by Mark Militello's Mark's South Beach, Cha has the same Deco-era ocean liner architecture, but ambience is now festively frou-frou, from the drag queen hostess to Friday's cabaret dinner shows. Food, though, avoids gay stereotypes, with nary a quiche on the solid, eclectic dinner menu of chef Surelys Figueroa (who worked under Eric Ripert at The Raleigh). Highlights: a mammoth boneless short rib atop truffled celeriac purée, with a rich red wine demi-glace, artichokes and caramelized pearl onions; a surprisingly light-textured goat cheese-fig mousse dessert. What Cha needs: several more such singular signatures (churrasco steak with chimichurri isn't stereotypically gay, but sure is a Miami stereotype), plus revamped menus for meals other than dinner. A boring brunch menu at a gay restaurant is sacrilege.


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