Down to Earth

Wynwood Yard’s first full-service restaurant keeps it green

Words like “sustainability,” “green” and “urban gardening” have been around for a while, but even with rising popularity, it’s hard to find sustainable food that’s not only delicious but cool.

But Ken Lyon, owner of Lyon &  Lyon catering company and previous owner of the now-closed Lyon Freres et Compagnie on Lincoln Road, brings sustainable ultra-cool to life at his new restaurant, Charcoal Garden Bar & Grill at Wynwood Yard (82 NW 29th St., Miami)—the first Miami restaurant to be built from modified shipping containers. Many of the dishes are cooked in one of two Josper ovens, the expensive and enclosed Spanish grills that burn charcoal at temperatures reaching 800 degrees.

Charcoal’s menu rotates with the seasons to take advantage of fresh and local produce. Animals are sourced from family farms in Florida, and seafood is local or from the North Atlantic. Vegetables come from the edible garden at Wynwood Yard, which is managed by Little River Cooperative.

The vibe recalls a time when our ancestors told stories around the fire while eating the catch of the day—only Charcoal has way better adult beverages. The cocktail menu features drinks like the Batched Sazerac (cognac, absinthe, bitters and demerara sugar) and the Blanco Maria (habanero- and horseradish-infused vodka, clear tomato water, lemon bitters and celery leaves). For summer, nothing’s better than Charcoal’s take on the Classic Pimm’s Cup, featuring vegetables from the garden.

Pimm’s, of England, produces the popular gin-based Pimm’s No. 1, which is infused with herbs and spices. It’s used to make fruit cups—not a fruit salad served in a small serving dish but a refreshing “long drink” meant to be savored slowly while enjoying the weather. It’s the perfect drink for a balmy Miami night at Wynwood Yard.

Classic Pimm’s Cup


1 ounce gin

1 ounce Pimm’s No. 1

.75 ounce lemon juice

1 ounce strawberry/black pepper syrup

2 dashes celery bitters

2 cucumber slices

3 mint leaves


Muddle mint, cucumber and syrup. Add bitters, juice, Pimm’s and gin. Shake and double strain into Collins glass. Garnish with mint sprig, cucumber peel, strawberry chunk and lemon wheel.

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