Fun. Inviting. And the food… oh the food!

Novecento’s route to opening in Key Biscayne 10 years ago started 1991 in the NY village of SoHo. Following early success, they went international, opening locations in Canitas, Argentina; Punta Del Este, Uruguay; and Cordoba, Argentina. Next, Novecento came to Miami and now has three other locations in Brickell, Aventura and Doral.

Novecento prides itself in serving great, authentic food and making people happy. They combine Argentinian, Mediterranean and Pan-Latin cuisines with French techniques, using fresh ingredients, delicately crafted by passionate chefs like Federico Guala, who has been the Chef at Novecento Key Biscayne for 9 years.

Federico and his team, including his right hand Cynthia Media, prepare steaks to perfection following Argentinian tradition. Federico said it has been nice, the years of constantly reinventing themselves and adapting to the changing tastes of this island. They feature an extensive wine list in their Bodega Bar.

With such a varied menu, Federico tells us that their signature dish is the Novecento Salad. This is not any salad but rather a meal consisting of grilled skirt steak, french fries, baby mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado and Dijon vinaigrette.

IN. Where were you born?

FG. Buenos Aires, Argentina. I now reside in Cutler Bay

IN. How did you get your start in this industry?

FG. Runs in the family, my father was a chef. When I migrated to the US 20 years ago and settled in North Carolina, decided to work on the kitchen which is my passion. After 6-months, I moved to Miami and stayed in the industry until today. Have worked in various restaurants but have loved my 13 years at Novecento, the last 9 here on the island.

IN. What is your secret to success?

FG. The love you put into every dish we prepare. Since our kitchen is in the open, my kitchen partner Cynthia Medina and I get to interact with many of my customers, something we both enjoy.

IN. What’s your proudest moment in your career?

FG. Any time a customer asks to speak with me and gives positive feedback on their dish and experience.

IN. Any funny story you can share?

FG. When we first opened, we hired a young lady who had not met the owner, who loved to ride his bike in. He parked it in the back and came in through the kitchen, and when she saw him, threw him out!

IN. What do you love most about your career?

FG. To cook; create, invent new dish combinations, and if I make a mistake, to try again until perfected.

IN. If you had to choose one meal, what would it be?

FG. A good beef asado (Barbecue), enjoying the entire preparation and cooking process.

IN. If you had to make a dish for yourself, what would it be?

FG. Homemade pasta, love to prepare something with filling, like ravioli.

IN. What is your favorite comfort food?

FG. Ice cream.

IN. What do you like to do in your free time?

FG. Travel, get to know new places and experience different tastes. Love to eat out at trendy places and spend time with family doing it.

IN. What’s your favorite part about working in Key Biscayne?

FG. The people. I get to interact a lot with our customers and after working at this location 9+ years, many are now friends.

IN. What would people be surprised to know about you?

FG. That when I was 13 studied theater for 5 years.

IN. What’s your advice for someone just starting in your profession?

FG. Know getting in that this industry requires total dedication to your craft and be ready for long hours.

If you go...  

Novecento is located in the Winn Dixie plaza at 620 Crandon Blvd (305) 362-0900. Open daily Noon to 11 pm; to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.