World-renowned chef and restaurateur Kevin Cory has expanded his Japanese cuisine empire in Miami with the June 30 opening of his latest venture, N by NAOE. The intimate lunch spot is the follow-up to the highly successful sushi den, NAOE.
Located on Brickell Key, just off the shore of downtown Miami, the new lunchroom right next door to the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star NAOE is as exclusive as the island it sits on. The dimly lit spot carries a simple wood-accented décor. Similarly to NAOE, Cory’s new establishment employs his signature Omakase experience (no menu is provided and all dishes served are the chef’s choices) featuring a three-drawer bento of daily-changing items (local jackfruit seed tofu topped with Hokkaido sea urchin, fresh grated wasabi and water shield was an early treat) that fit under the “natural Japanese cuisine” header.
Chef Cory, who started on the Miami sushi scene in 1993, draws much of his culinary inspiration from visits to Toyama and Kanazawa, Japan — where many members of his extended family call home. While there, Cory learned to honor Japanese history and his heritage in various ways, the most glaring being the exceptional hospitality displayed in dining establishments. He brought back memories of those experiences (and many family recipes) to South Florida. In fact, the name “Naoe” is actually Cory’s Japanese family name. In accordance to Japanese tradition, Cory’s restaurants feature an cozy dining experience, serving only a limited amount of guests. N by NAOE, for example, features just one 16-seat communal table for visitors.
Though quaint spaces are a theme between the two restaurants (NAOE only sits eight lucky patrons at a time), the main difference between the two is that N by NAOE is only open for a single lunch seating each day. Meals are served precisely at 12 p.m. Monday through Friday. According to chef Cory, you should set aside an hour for the full experience. Due to the limited seating, reservations should be made well in advance.
Photo Courtesy of Jeffery Salter