Serena, an open-air restaurant and bar in Miami Beach’s new Moxy South Beach hotel, channels the charming rooftop and patio restaurants of Oaxaca and Mexico City. The menu offers shareable classic dishes combined with a modern interpretation of traditional Latin and Mexican cuisine.
Serena’s executive chef and partner Scott Linquist started his restaurant career as a busboy in Los Angeles, and developed a passion for Mexican food while cooking at the Border Grill in Santa Monica. Linquist later created and developed New York’s Dos Caminos as the executive chef, and wrote a best-selling cookbook, Mod Mex.
In Mexico, Linquist has cooked in homes from the mountains of Oaxaca to the jungles of the Yucatán, tracking down traditional recipes and techniques and leading culinary tours. “I always say that I’m a gringo on the outside, but my heart is Mexican,” he says. “I’ve traveled all across the country to study the characteristics of each region’s cuisine.”
Serena’s menu features authentic and elevated Mexican classics, such as several seafood tostadas. The Seared Tuna Tostadas, with sushi grade tuna, avocado mousse, pickled carrots and radish, and micro shiso sesame aioli, would make a unique and delicious dish for Cinco de Mayo or any summertime entertaining.
What to drink with the tostadas? Just about any of Serena’s snappy, sexy cocktails—prepared in the greenhouse-like bar, with glass garage-style doors that open to the warm beach breezes—would do. Moxy Hotel bar manager Carlos Lopez would suggest his Sangre De Hombres mezcal cocktail. The drink is an ode to Breaking Bad series actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, who launched Dos Hombres mezcal in 2019.
- ½ cup Vegetable oil
- 4 Corn tortillas fried crispy
- 1 lb. Sushi grade tuna thinly sliced
- 2 Avocados cut into thin slices
- ½ cup Ponzu sauce see recipe below
- 2 Serrano chiles cut into thin rings
- 1 Red onion slices into thin rings
- ¼ cup Fresh-picked cilantro leaves
- 4 tbsps. Quality extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- In a large skillet heat vegetable oil, fry tortillas one at a time until crispy.
- Mix ponzu sauce and add serrano chiles and sliced onions to it and refrigerate for an hour.
- Slice avocado and tuna.
- On each tostada, arrange avocado to cover and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Next, layer the sliced tuna on top of the avocado and sprinkle the tuna with some sea salt.
- Spoon the ponzu and serrano chile mixture over the top and then drizzle with olive oil.
- Garnish with the cilantro leaves.
- 1 ½ oz. Dos Hombres mezcal or any mezcal
- ½ oz. Ancho Reyes chile liqueur or other chile liqueur
- ½ oz. Lime juice
- 2 oz. Watermelon juice
- ¼ oz. Simple syrup
- Add all ingredients into tin.
- Add ice and shake.
- Double strain into a wine glass with fresh ice.
- Garnish with peppered watermelon triangle and a skull skewer.