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Drawn by the pristine beaches and year-round balminess, spirited nightlife and competitive food scene, one of Toronto’s most ubiquitous lifestyle hospitality groups has quietly been expanding south of the border. What began with Byblos Miami, has grown to now include five restaurants owned and operated by INK Entertainment Group. With the latest opening, Sofia Design District, one of Yorkville’s most beloved spots for upscale Italian fare, has found a second home in South Florida.
Even if you don’t know the name Ink Entertainment, chances are you’ve spent happy hours dining and wining at one of the company’s many restaurants or bars. From Amal and Akira Back to Köst, Chica and Pink Sky, downtown Toronto is rife with INK-owned spots that exude style and sophistication while serving food that consistently delights. Led by Charles Khabouth (Toronto’s unofficial nightclub king), Danny Soberano and Ricardo Tabet, INK Entertainment’s success in opening avant-garde, meticulously detailed spots comes as no surprise.
Having conquered Toronto, the team targeted Miami for its next moves. Following the success of Byblos Miami, which opened in 2015, INK’s southern expansion has moved into high gear in recent years, with the opening of Meet Dalia, Amal Miami, Level 6, and now Sofia Design District.
Opened this fall in Miami’s Design District, Sofia brings a refined Italian menu to the creative neighbourhood and design destination. Brought to life by Studio Munge, the new Sofia is reminiscent of the original, with red accents traded in for Florida-inspired, flamingo pink and amethyst features. Mirrored columns, custom chandeliers and rich marble add to the high-fashion look, with art by Marco Grassi, Mr. Brainwash and David Drebin adorning the walls for an unquestionably glamorous feel. Outside, a secret garden terrace, flaunting exuberantly frilly rose umbrellas, invites guests to abandon the indoors for an al fresco dinner.
Highlighting the finest, locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, chef Daniel Roy and his team offer guests a host of modern and traditional Italian dishes. Hot-weather favourites include citrus salads and stuffed zucchini, along with several takes on crudo. Handmade pastas rely on timeless traditions with a lift from elegant additions, from lobster to wild king prawns. Also on offer, are a number of meat-heavy mains, such as Bistecca Alla Fiorentina, Wagyu Filets and Breaded Veal.
Much like her northern twin, Sofia Design District is also the place for cocktails with an Italian twist, and elegant presentations. With a menu that reads like a tribute to Italy’s geography and pop culture history, drinks include the Nights of Cabiria, Sorrentino, and Amarcor. In addition to expertly executed tipples, the restaurant's wine list features an ample selection of imported Italian wines unique to Miami’s dining scene.
"We couldn't be more excited to expand our footprint in South Florida, bringing Sofia to what we feel is one of the most significant areas and desirable culinary destinations in Miami,” said Charles Khabouth, Founder and CEO of INK Entertainment Group, in a press release.
With five INK Entertainment spots to visit in Miami — and more on the way — there’s never been a better time to head south for winter.