New Mexican dining destination slated to open Cinco de Mayo

By Oriane Lluch….

Chef John Belleme

Breakout the tequila and cue the mariachis — South Floridians are going to have extra reason to celebrate on Thursday, May 5, when successful Palm Beach-based restaurateur Carmine Giardini, owner/operator of Carmine’s Restaurant Group, opens the doors of his newest creation — Cinco Cantina & Tequila Bar.

Featuring a beautiful bar and an expansive menu, created and executed by Chef John Belleme and his talented kitchen staff, the restaurant, located in the upscale Village of Merrick Park’s beautiful plaza, is slated to open to the public on none other than Cinco de Mayo.

Seating 366 throughout a spacious dining room, bar, outdoor patio and two private rooms, Cinco surely will appeal to the trendsetters, foodies and scene makers that flock to the designer boutiques that fill the Spanish-style al fresco shopping center. Bringing the spirit of Cinco de Mayo to Miami 365 days a year, Cinco will feature a rustic and festive ambiance with colorful and traditional Mexican design elements.

Serving at lunch and dinner daily, the menu is large, featuring something for everyone and priced-to-please. The list of options promises to appeal to diners who love authentic Mexican dishes as well as those seeking more eclectic fare. The Tequila bar, which is positioned to become one of Coral Gable’s hottest new watering holes, will serve an array of traditional and signature cocktails during its nightly Happy Hour.

To execute the menu at Cinco, Giardini has brought in Miami native Belleme, a well-respected local talent who first came to prominence during his days with the esteemed Unique Restaurant Group. The restaurant marks Belleme’s reemergence into the Miami market since joining the Carmine’s Restaurant Group at Umi Fishbar and Grill in Palm Beach in October 2010.

Rooted in authentic Mexican cuisine, the menu will have a contemporary spin, compliments of Belleme and his talented culinary staff.

“I’ve always had a deep respect for, and appreciation of Mexican cuisine,” said Belleme, who quietly worked behind the scenes on several Mexican concepts over the course of his career. “I’m thrilled to finally have a chance to cook this type of food and work with the great ingredients and multi-layered flavors that Mexican cuisine has to offer. The menu will playfully pay homage to authentic Mexican cuisine and have something for everyone.

Cinco Cantina & Tequila Bar, 4251 Salzedo St., Suite 1325, at The Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, is slated to open Thursday, May 5. Lunch and dinner served daily from 11 a.m. until 1 a.m. Call 786-439-1730 or visit online at <>.

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