Features 3 minutes 01 May 2024

Inside EntreNos, One MICHELIN Star Dining Within a Coffee Shop

A cozy and delicious “love letter to Florida.”

Chefs Evan Burgess and Osmel Gonzalez celebrate the farmers, fishermen, and ranchers of the Sunshine State. After training in MICHELIN-Starred restaurants around the world, they introduce unforgettable Floridian flavors at EntreNos in metro Miami.

Come during the day, it’s a coffee shop. Come at night, it’s One MICHELIN Star EntreNos.

Sharing its space with the Miami Shores location of Bib Gourmand Tinta y Cafe, EntreNos emanates cozy comfort. Gonzalez says, “We wanted something that was warm, small, and welcoming. Something that will make you feel at home.”

Greeted with Gonzalez’s soothing childhood playlist of Cuban music and Latin jazz, guests embark on their culinary journey through Florida.

Organic produce, meat, and fresh seafood come directly from Florida farmers, ranchers and fishermen. “Whatever they have available, it's what we have on the menu,” Gonzalez explains. “We have days where we start the night with one fish, and then we finish with a different fish.”

This seasonality is part of a broader focus on sustainability, which guides the restaurant. “On my way to work, I take my daughter to the daycare, right in the middle of the farms,” says Gonzalez. “So I drop her off, [and] I go pick up the vegetables and fish, which are all within a mile away.”

Florida Swordfish / Camila Salazar
Florida Swordfish / Camila Salazar

Once ingredients make it to EntreNos, nearly everything is used. “We have this zero waste mentality. Everything that we bring in, we try to use multiple ways,” explains Gonzalez. “We bring fruit for desserts, we take the pulp to make ice cream, and then the skin, we turn that into vinegar.”

Lacto-fermentation of vegetables also helps minimize waste. “Preservation of vegetables ensure[s] we can fill in the blanks during summer,” explains Burgess. Okra, turnips and radishes are fermented, then tempura-fried, and their byproducts are used as a seasoning or thickening agent.

Zero waste also applies to animals. With a spark of creativity, Burgess loves rotating off-menu items such as beef tongue and fish belly schnitzel. Gonzalez says, “At the end of the day, it's about having fun, using the whole animal.”

Some of his own favorites include lesser known tropical fruits, pumpkin swordfish and golden crab. “We wanted [to] highlight what Florida has to offer, to bring to the table things from here that people don't really get to see,” says Gonzalez. “[Fishermen] get [golden crab] west of Key West, the deep waters, 3,000 feet below. It’s really amazing. Think of a Dungeness crab, but way sweeter.” Burgess adds, “It's kind of a mix of Dungeness crab and snow crab.”

Despite menu rotations, two staples have remained: chawanmushi and oyster. The grilled oyster is topped with lard and chorizo pork Frita (Cuban burger). Burgess describes, “This is kind of like the Cuban version of Oysters Rockefeller, a New Orleans thing.”

Grilled Sebastian Oysters / Camila Salazar
Grilled Sebastian Oysters / Camila Salazar
Florida Bonito / Camila Salazar
Florida Bonito / Camila Salazar

Burgess started cooking when he was only 12 years old. “Both my parents didn't get home until seven, eight o'clock. We needed dinner on the table, so I slowly but surely started cooking dinner.” Born in Cuba, Gonzalez studied food chemistry and worked at a charcuterie factory before discovering his passion for cooking when he prepared a tasting at a wedding. “When I saw their faces when they tried the food, that was something that I will never forget. It touched me for sure.”

Those early experiences led both chefs to train at top American kitchens in order to hone their craft. Burgess worked at One MICHELIN Star restaurants Boka and Next in Chicago, while Gonzalez was a Sous Chef at Three Star Green Star SingleThread and staged at Two Star Green Star Harbor House in California.

At Boka, the team would sometimes cook for over 200 guests a day. Burgess reminisces, “It's so much fun. What I realized working at that restaurant is camaraderie. You’ve got to have a little bit of laughter, you’ve got to cook with love.” Gonzalez adds, “If everyone is happy, that will come down to the food, and the food is going to be amazing. SingleThread is a very special place, a happy place.”

Gonzalez also trained globally, at Three Star Disfrutar and One Star Green Star La Botica in Spain, as well as at Two Star Green Star Den and Two Star Akasaka Kikunoi in Japan. His global experiences permeate the menu. Depending on availability, the crudo is made from local blue runner (fish), fermented Florida-grown macadamia nuts, Spanish ajo blanco (white gazpacho) sauce and Japanese dashi (stock). The chawanmushi (egg custard) is Japanese-inspired, but has a Latin twist. Gonzalez describes, “We add the confit potatoes that more resemble a Spanish omelet. That speaks to me as a Cuban.”

Redland Garden Salad / Camila Salazar
Redland Garden Salad / Camila Salazar

After years of cooking, the two chefs met while working together at One Star Ariete in Miami, and soon enough, EntreNos was born. Meaning “between us” in Spanish, EntreNos celebrates the entire community. Gonzalez explains, “The fishermen, the ranchers, the farmers, the artisans, the guests, the cooks. It's the place where all of us get together.”

EntreNos focuses on gratitude and sincere hospitality. The chefs not only prepare the food, but also set and clear the table. “It's just about being kind and having a conversation with the guests, with the community around us,” Burgess explains. “It's about garnering those relationships that are really special to us.”

That warm hospitality fits perfectly inside the homey coffee shop. “There’s photos from family members, cooking books, history books, and a little bit of everything. The core is very simple, a little bit like an antique store,” Gonzalez explains. “The big credenza in the back where we keep our plates, wooden tables, it just feels like home. Not too pretentious, humble but cozy. We want people to come in, have some good food, good wine, relax, no rush. You don't need to think about dressing up to come to our place.”

Chef Osmel Gonzalez and Chef Evan Burgess / Camila Salazar
Chef Osmel Gonzalez and Chef Evan Burgess / Camila Salazar

Hero image: Camila Salazar
Thumbnail Image: Camila Salazar


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