It's not the only crime scene at which one can dine fine, but it's certainly the most over-the-top: the 30-seat The Villa by Barton G. is housed in the famously lux Versace mansion on Ocean Drive, the $125 million Casa Casuarina.
And surrounded by mosaic walls, tragic history, and more elaborate furnishings than we could ever have imagined is a chef even Oprah can't stop talking about. Jeff O'Neill put in time at Aureole, Daniel, Le Bernardin, and L'Escalier before heading to South Beach to take the helm at The Villa -- where the luxurious surroundings are a actually a considerable challenge.
"It's an amazing venue, and it's absolutely intimidating for any chef to have to live up to the expectations of a property like this," O'Neill told Chat Chow TV. "We try to take inspiration from the walls and the stone, to be creative with our presentations."
But even the dishes mean O'Neill and his team at The Villa have to be incredibly creative beyond even the usual architectural flourishes of find dining.
"We have a lot of custom china, and all our china is hand-washed. So to create dishes that actually match the china we have to use it's a great experiance but it paints me into a corner... If you have a plate that's black and gold, 90 percent of the dishes you would do on a white plate now don't work."
But work, The Villa does. Watch above as O'Neill talks through the menu, the presentation, and how he keeps this fresh at one of Miami's most storied hotels.
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