Korner 67 bistro brightens Main Street

Business By Erika Pesantes, reporter Wednesday, January 19, 2022

      Korner 67 restaurant and bar is a casual yet sophisticated new spot on Main Street in Miami Lakes that will take your tastebuds on a global culinary tour.

     “We’ve been getting that feedback so often since we opened, ‘Miami Lakes needed a place like this,’” said Samuel Perez Benatar, who co-owns the restaurant alongside his sister, Adriana Perez Benatar and her husband, Cesar Olivo. 

     “We have a very upbeat restaurant, upscale casual,” Perez Benatar, 41, said. “No tablecloths, more modern, everything is handcrafted.”

     The tapas-style restaurant at 6769 Main St. offers more than 50 bites and a menu of artisanal cocktails. Dishes are inspired by such far-flung places as Morocco, Japan, Spain and Italy. And there are enchanting details such as flowers inside cocktail ice and cold smoke trapped in a wine glass atop a ball of burrata.  

     There is a selection of domestic beers including from Florida (Cigar City, Jai Alai, Father Francisco) and foreign labels --  Duvel and St. Bernardus ales from Belgium -- and other flavors from Brazil, Japan, Germany and England.

     It’s a feast for the eyes and the belly in a dining room where a plum, pink and deep green palette is elegant and warm.  Diners have flocked to it and the new outdoor patio at the intersection of New Barn Road since the November opening.

  Desserts include churros and a Belgian chocolate fondue ($12) and Almond Delirious, crunchy praline, praline cream, salted caramel and chocolate chantilly  ($12).  Tapas are labeled small to extra-large to give diners an idea of how much there may be to share. 

     Or not.

     “It’s a more modern approach to the kitchen,” Perez Benatar said. “People really appreciate trying out different items during dinner instead of just one meal, which I think now is kind of boring.”

     Cocktails may have fresh herbs, homemade syrups or special ice crafted by a mixologist who finds unique ways to decorate them with the Korner 67 logo. Among the concoctions are the Guav-A-Lady, a vodka drink with St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and guava, mint and lemon.   

      Then there is the White Truffle Old Fashioned, with 1792 Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey from Kentucky, white truffle honey and chocolate bitters. The Mediterranean Negroni is served over an ice ball with a rosebud inside. 

     Locals will know the new restaurant was formerly Salsa Fiesta, a casual Mexican eatery that the Korner 67 team also owned. 

     It was time to give new life to the space, Perez Benatar said. 

     “Salsa Fiesta was more about convenience, about speed, about getting a good meal with good quality but without the sophistication.”

     In their native Venezuela, Perez Benatar’s sister and brother-in-law ran a chain of American hot dog eateries where Samuel Perez Benatar worked as tech support and cooked the wieners too. 

     As political and economic turmoil in their homeland worsened, they made South Florida — already a favorite vacation spot — their new home, he said. 

     The restaurateurs also own Reunion Ktchn in Aventura, which offers some of the same dishes as Korner 67. 

      The family has made quite a journey, from hot dogs to haute cuisine.

     “We’ve been evolving our taste buds and our culinary skills,” Perez Benatar said. “I guess that comes with age.”

     “This is a good life here,” Perez Benatar said. “You get to eat well, drink well and you get to travel with us to unique destinations.” 

      And, he added, “We’re just around the corner.”