chef najat kanaache of piripiPiripi, by Moroccan-Basque chef, Najat Kaanache, is the collaborative brainchild of AKA Hospitality (named for its partners Teo Arranz, Najat Kaanache and Gus Abalo). At the 200-seat indoor/outdoor concept with garden, lounge, blown glass chandeliers and private room, Chef Najat and her team are serving up authentic Spanish and Basque dishes, melding her culinary experience with the rustic flavors and fragrant spices she grew up with in the Spanish countryside.

Chef Najat honed her skills at Michelin 3 stars Noma, French Laundry, Per Se and Alinea after spending the final two years of El Bulli working directly with Ferran Adria until the restaurant closed. The culmination of Najat’s journey through the world of gastronomy and the fragrant flavors of her upbringing inspired the creation of Piripi which is Spanish slang for “happy”, “tipsy” or “feeling a little bit buzzed.” The restaurant echoes this sentiment throughout – from the witty and whimsical menu to the moving glass floor to ceiling doors that blur the lines between inside and out. The restaurant was created to bring a distinct dining experience with an emphasis on sharing to South Florida diners, inviting them to celebrate and explore the essence of legendary Spanish cuisine.

The menu at Piripi is divided into several sections, allowing diners the opportunity to create their own one-of-a-piripi_ 6136 1kind culinary adventure. Specifically, guests can look forward to Piripikoteos – Piripi’s take on small bites, derived from the Basque word Picoteo which means to snack. Each section of the menu is headed as follows:

·        Piripikoteos

·        Pure Blood – house-cured cuts of Spanish meats

·        Oh Que So – cheeses

·        Appetite’s Hers – appetizers

·        Solid and Liquid Salads – gazpacho and greens

·        Coca de Vidrio – Catalan flatbreads

·        Sea Bocaditos – sharable bites from the sea

·        Salteados y Plancha – delicious grilled and sautéed dishes.

Whether it be Patatas Soufflé, light-as-air potatoes and a spicy brava sauce; “Navajas con Horchata, razor clams, cilantro and tiger nut milk or Crema Mejillon Cronuts, “croquettes” of shrimp and mussels, there’s a perfect Piripikoteo to delight any taste bud.

For those seeking more sustenance, guests can select main dishes, which vary in both proteins and preparation styles. “Del Norte” features main plates from the
 sea  such as “Pulpo Paul,” slow-cooked octopus and peasant potatoes, or Gambas del Paraiso, gigantic head-on prawns cooked traditionally a la plancha with sliced garlic.  “Tierra! Tierra! Tierra!” meaning from the earth, showcase selections such as Chuletón de Buey con Piperrada, a 28 oz. ribeye with onions, peppers and tomatoes symbolizing the colors of the Basque flag or El Cordero Paciente, a 36-hour roasted saddle of lamb accented with rosemary.

There’s a plentiful selection of rice dishes, or Arroces,  o ranging from Conejo y Pollo, with wild rabbit and chicken to Negre De Txipiron, with calamari and squid ink. Not to be missed are the Cataplanas a riceless, Portuguese seafood dish cooked in a copper “clam-shell-like” pressure cooker such as Cataplana de Marisco, with steamed langoustine, crawfish, monkfish and cockles, unlatched and served table-side for a steamy, dramatic presentation. To end the meal on a sweet note, irresistible desserts, or PiripiPostres, range from Crema Catafrita, melt in the mouth fried crema Catalana to Torrijas Vasco Frances, a Basque take on torrejos, in addition to Chuches, homemade Spanish candies, and house-churned helados.

With the belief that you are only as good as the team behind you, Chef Najat called upon her vast network of colleagues from the world’s finest restaurants to assist in her mission to make culinary magic. Piripi’s beverage director Matt Reiser, former wine director at Boston’s Upstairs on the Square, and renowned Spanish sommelier Ferran Centelles, who spent thirteen years at El Bulli,  put together a wine list of boutique Spanish wineries and selected American vineyards. Fifty of the bottles on the wine list are priced under $50.   With seven signature cocktails and five signature Spanish “gin tonics” , the central bar offers herbaceous craft cocktails as well as wines by the glass and craft and Spanish beers.

Piripi is located in the Village of Merrick Park, 320 San Lorenzo in Coral Gables, Florida.  Dinner is served nightly Monday –Sunday from 5PM – 11PM.  For more information and reservations visit or call 305-448-2423.