Parcela, a new eatery inside the Life House Little Havana, is set to open the end of January. The neighborhood’s first boutique hotel, this establishment has taken over a building dating from 1925. The former Thomas Jefferson Hotel has been converted into an upscale, high-tech, 33-room inn featuring a stylish design and a digital app that connects guests with hotel staff and the local community.
Broken Shaker bar alum Brian Griffiths and Leo Pablo, former chef de cuisine at Upland and Stubborn Seed, lead Life House’s food and beverage concept development and programming in Miami. The team is working on expanding Life House’s offerings with a second in-house bar and rooftop restaurant this coming spring, along with another Life House location in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood.
“We are bringing our story into Little Havana. We love the neighborhood and are culturally familiar with it,” Griffiths says. Parcela, he explains, takes its name from an urban agricultural movement in Cuba that transforms underutilized land into small gardens where enterprising parceleros grow food for both sustenance and commerce.
Served in the hotel’s lobby and outdoor courtyard, Parcela’s casual fare is inspired by the various cuisines of the Caribbean and Central and South America, with a modern Miami twist that includes the addition of fruits, herbs, and spices from the hotel’s edible garden.
According to Rami Zeidan, cofounder and CEO of Life House, the concept runs parallel with the feeling of pure possibility that suffuses the neighborhood. “We are not bringing gentrification into Little Havana. We want to celebrate what is already there and foster a place for local talent to fuel their creative energy. This works organically to service our hotel guests without diluting the local authenticity.”
Courtesy of Life House Little Havana
Venezuelan chef Leo Pablo agrees. “Our approach begins with understanding every aspect of the neighborhood and infusing a series of stories into beautiful dishes that inspire our guests. You’ll find nods to the people, the history, the culture, and even the colors of the surrounding buildings.”
Served from 7 to 11 a.m., Parcela’s breakfast fare is made up of selections like a vegan açaí natigela with banana, tropical fruit, and Brazil nut ($9), and the Mallorca, a dish of free-range eggs, Proper Wynwood porter sausage, white cheese, and a sweet Mallorca bun. The all-day list includes vegan tallarinesverdes, cold glass noodles served with mojo verde, cashew, squash, house-picked vegetables, and snow peas ($13); and pan con bistec with chimichurri, roasted peppers, arugula, and churrasco or adasha served on ciabatta bread ($15).
There are also pastries on the menu, including vegan pastelito de mamey con queso ($4) and a vegetarian pão de queijo with passionfruit butter ($2) to pair with a colada ($2), iced coconut Americano ($5.50), or a glass of tropical juice ($4.50).
The beverage program features rotating local beer selections such as Wynwood Brewing Company’s La Rubia ($6), along with white, red, rosé, and sparkling wines by the glass. Parcela’s daily cocktail is concocted with ingredients from the edible garden.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Parcela is now open. Parcela will open the end of January.
Parcela. 528 SW Ninth Ave., Miami; 866-466-7534; lifehousehotels.com. Daily 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.