By Patricia Tortolani By Patricia Tortolani | April 25, 2019 | Food & Drink People
Welcome to Pitbull's ilov305 Latin steakhouse. Which is to say: Miami's most Miami restaurant.
Pitbull in front of the ilov305 bar.
Pitbull’s new Miami Beach restaurant is everything you would want a Pitbull restaurant to be: a fantasy of heat, energy and over-the-top everything. There are seafood paellas and 40-ounce tomahawks; hand-rolled cigars and carnival-clad dancers. And mojitos. So many mojitos. It’s a spot for family recipes and Friday-night dance parties. We sat down with Mr. 305 to talk how he landed on Ocean Drive.
This location, Ocean and 11th, is the epicenter of South Beach. What brought you here?
PITBULL: For me, being a Miami boy, Ocean Drive inspired you and motivated you to dream. I remember watching the beach become what it became during the Birdcage era when all the models started coming and Ocean Drive was a location that the whole world wanted to be a part of. It gave me motivation and inspiration.
What do you want ilov305 to represent for Miami?
P: I am the epitome of the American dream, being a first-generation Cuban-American to be able to have this kind of opportunity. But I wouldn’t be able to do it if it wasn’t for the fans. So I want everybody to be able to come to ilov305 and enjoy the city and what it is, which is a melting pot of so many beautiful cultures. I want the fans to come here and enjoy what I feel it is to have a little piece of Miami.
What’s the vibe here on a Saturday night?
P: To be honest with you, I was here the other night and it looked like everybody was here. I mean Flo-Rida came out for my birthday to show love. But what I want everyone to do here more than anything is have fun and enjoy. I hope that it becomes a place where people no matter their status or if they’re celebrities, I want them to go, ‛Yo, I went to your spot and I had fun.’ It wasn’t about just taking a bunch of pictures or videos; it’s like we put the phones down and we did it old-school.
A flower wall with the words “Hello, Gorgeous” in pink neon greets diners.
What’s the soundtrack to ilov305?
P: Everything. It’s open format, so you’re going to grab everything from salsa, merengue, bachata, to Miami booty-shaking music, to hip-hop, to EDM, to I mean you name it. And to me that’s global music. It’s a paella of music.
Talk to me about the menu. Any family recipes?
P: The fricassee de pollo is one of my favorite dishes. But we wanted to bring a fusion of a little bit of everything. That’s why it’s a Latin steakhouse where you grab and go back, a little bit of everything. The same way you do with the music, the same way you do the vibe, the same way you do the culture. And I think that’s what embodies Miami, that’s what Miami is—it’s a little bit of everything. After a couple of drinks, it’s going to hold you down and you can go all night.
And the drinks? Fifty mojitos is crazy over-the-top.
P: My partner knows how to take things to another level. And that’s exactly what he did with the drinks. So come ready to have a good time, and the slogan, as you guys know, [is] what happens in Miami never happened, and that’s ilov305’s slogan. Convenient amnesia.
Photography by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF ILOV305