La Huella at the EAST Hotel

La Huella partners Guzman Artagaveytia, Gustavo Barbero, Chef Alejandro Morales and Martin Pittaluga
La Huella partners Guzman Artagaveytia, Gustavo Barbero, Chef Alejandro Morales and Martin Pittaluga

One of Uruguay’s most beautiful seaside destinations, Playa Brava is home to La Huella restaurant where Chef Alejandro Morales serves simply delicious meals under the shade of a rambling thatched roof. Overlooking a stretch of golden beachfront in Punte del Este, the restaurant is a labor of love for owners Guzman Artagaveytia and Martin Pittaluga who got their passion for cooking over fire from Argentinean Chef Francis Mallmann. Working with local fishermen and farmers, the kitchen prepares sensational, seasonal and decidedly local fare to hoards of hungry vacationers who venture to Jose Ignacio during the high season.

In the coming months, diners in South Florida will get a taste of La Huella’s simple regional cuisine without having to shell out plane fare to Uruguay when the first Swire Hotel in the United States opens in Brickell City Centre. An elegant urban retreat, EAST Miami will offer guests a choice of 263 rooms and suites just steps away from Miami’s burgeoning financial district. The restaurant will bring some much needed beach chic to Brickell Avenue as Chef Morales plans his classic parrilla menu.

“From extensive research with foodies and editors of travel magazines, it was absolutely clear that this was one of the most outstanding restaurants in South America. Having met the team we knew they’d be the perfect partner in Miami,” said Brian Williams, Managing Director of Swire Hotels.

Chef Morales considers La Huella a traditional parador – a simple restaurant with straightforward food. Proud to bring the farm to table ethos to a Uruguayan eatery, the chef has started his own bread program alongside his wife Florencia and teamed up with nearby farmers to cultivate organic vegetables to pair with the steaks and seafood served hot off his massive iron grill. Credit his early training with Alice Waters at San Francisco’s Chez Panisse for his dedication to quietly unadorned dishes.

A team of Los Angeles designers will transform the Swire Hotel space into a laid-back South American beach bar, bringing the best of the seaside eatery to an urban locale. La Huella will be just one of the culinary offerings at EAST where a 40th floor rooftop bar promises to be one of Downtown Miami’s next new hotspots. Designed by architects Arquitectonica, Swire’s premier US location is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2015.