Pelican Cafe Re-Opens in Miami Beach

The Pelican Cafe celebrates culture and tradition with seasonally inspired dishes and beverages
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The Pelican Cafe, located in the heart of South Beach, announced that it has officially reopened its doors with celebrated Italian Chef Giancarlo “Wendy” Cacciatori overseeing the kitchen. Offering authentic Italian cuisine enhanced with a modern twist, the Pelican Cafe celebrates culture and tradition with seasonally inspired dishes and beverages. Nested within the newly reopened Pelican Hotel, owned by Renzo Rosso, founder of DIESEL – the 30-seat beachfront eatery is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, happy hour and late-night cocktails.

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Originally built in 1948, the hotel and restaurant were purchased by Rosso in 1990 and designed by DIESEL’s Creative Team. Andrea Rosso, Renzo’s son, coordinated the renovation works, handpicking one-of-a-kind vintage pieces and specially designed furniture from around the globe. The intimate space features both indoor and outdoor seating with stunning ocean views to compliment the signature Italian cuisine.

As for the flavor-forward menus, breakfast items take inspiration from most classic offerings – such as Salmon Benedict and French Toast – presented using organic and fresh ingredients. All-Day dining menu is available from 11 am to 5 pm and features a small bites collection with options including Caprese Bruschetta and Eggplant Polpette; a bakery section with superb sandwiches ranging from The Art Deco Burger to the Pelican Club Sandwich; and a garden section with innovative salads, including the Pelican Caesar with crispy Parma ham. At night, the dinner experience captures the hotel’s movie theme and follows the screenplay of a film with ‘Scene & Sequences’ as appetizers with dishes like Tartare Di Tonno e Mango and Insalata Di Mare; ‘Sound & Rhythm’ with homemade pastas and entrees; ‘Supporting Cast’ with side dishes ranging from grilled vegetables to mashed potatoes; and ‘Ending Theme’ with exquisite desserts such as the Choco Tris and Ricordo Di Un Tiramisù.

At the bar, a curated wine list brings together Italian labels from North to South including Rosso’s own Diesel Farm bottles, plus a collection of Italian Spumante and French Champagne. The craft cocktail menu is divided in the following three sections: Signature Cocktails featuring seven colorful Miami-inspired recipes; Twist on Classics which spins off nine of the most typical drinks; and Gin-o-Tech which distinguishes gin & tonics by taste profile ranging from dry to aromatic and more. Happy Hour is offered daily from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Chef Cacciatori moved to Miami with his wife in 2013, coming from a family of restaurateurs in Italy. In 2014 he opened Via Emilia 9 in South Beach, followed by Nonna Beppa in New York’s TriBeCa in 2018. Lastly, right before the pandemic, he opened a second restaurant in Miami, Via Emilia Garden. The Pelican Hotel appointed Chef Cacciatori to oversee the kitchen as his Italian roots are aligned with the brand.

“I come from a long lineage of seasoned chefs. Since I was a child the noises that kept me company every day were dishes and pots clashing in the kitchen. For the last nine years (since I moved to the United States), I have tried to convey my professional culinary experiences in this great country. It was a mission for me to discover some Italian excellence but above all, those of my homeland Emilia Romagna,” says Chef Cacciatori in a statement. “I am so excited to bring that energy and expertise to the Pelican Café to offer guests an authentic yet elevated dining experience,” he adds.

Pelican Café at the Pelican Hotel is located on 826 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach and is open daily from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. for breakfast, lunch, dinner, happy hour and late-night drinks. The cafe is also available for catering and private chef services. Walk-ins are welcome and reservations are available.

Lisa Hay

Lisa is a staff reporter for What Now Media Group. She covers new restaurant, retail, and real estate openings across all of our markets. A true foodie, this Air Force veteran has lived all over the world — from Aviano, Italy to Nairobi, Kenya — but her favorite spot is NOLA for its rich history, architecture, culture, and of course, its good eats.
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