Food

How Eileen Andrade transformed her grandmother's Cuban diner into an elegant fine-dining restaurant

Amelia’s 1931 offers a sophisticated Korean-Latin menu and swanky decor in a Miami neighborhood dominated by more casual spots.

Eileen Andrade, chef-owner of the newly revamped Amelia’s 1931, started out in the fashion business. But she couldn’t resist the pull of her Cuban family’s restaurant legacy, especially that of her abuela Amelia, for whom the restaurant is named.

Eileen Andrade
Eileen Andrade

Andrade renovated her grandmother’s diner in June, breaking through to the dry cleaner next door to add 100 seats, a trendy cocktail lounge and dazzling artistic touches. Her eclectic Asian-Latin menu pays homage to her family’s Cuban heritage, elevating the cuisine with upscale ingredients and Korean flavors. Andrade even established a dress code—an uncommon restriction in laid-back Miami.

Listen as Andrade describes working her way up in her family’s restaurants (she started as a dishwasher), how she quickly transitioned into running a food truck and two casual spots—Finka and Barbakoa—and how she designed Amelia’s 1931 with the goal of transporting guests nightly on a culinary journey.

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