Jillionaire opens Caribbean restaurant in Miami Beach FL

DJ and producer Christopher Leacock, aka Jillionaire, has opened Clyde’s Caribbean at Time Out Market Miami.

For Christopher Leacock, the desire to feed people started with family.

The electronic dance music (EDM) producer and DJ, also known by the stage name Jillionaire and his past work with the group Major Lazer, has opened a new Caribbean concept at Time Out Market Miami in Miami Beach, just in time to celebrate Trinidad Carnival this weekend.

Clyde’s Caribbean relies on Leacock’s background in the hospitality industry — he was co-owner of another Clyde’s, a now-closed Trinidadian cocktail bar adjoining the Caribbean restaurant Pearl’s in Brooklyn — and a Trinidadian family that loved to cook.

“I have my mother and grandmother as influences,” he says. “My grandmother used to cook a big Sunday lunch with all the traditional dishes. My mom learned from her. My mom could cook for 4 people or 40 people. We were always having a party — in Trinidad, we call that ‘liming’ — and she prepared these big meals for everyone.”

Named for his grandfather, a “fascinating man … a man of integrity” who was the first Black Registrar General in Trinidad, Clyde’s Caribbean is just “the natural extension of what I grew up on,” Leacock says.

Leacock moved to Miami about four years ago and has been looking for a place to open a Caribbean restaurant. When the opportunity came at Time Out Market Miami, he jumped at the chance.

“Miami has a big Caribbean community,” he says. “But our food and our culture is still largely underrepresented.”

Oxtail grilled cheese, codfish fritters and pumpkin corn soup are just some of the Trinidadian specialties on the menu at Clyde’s Caribbean at Time Out Market Miami.

Clyde’s Caribbean, which joins such vendors as Pho Mo, 33 Kitchen, Bubusan, Square City Pie and Chick’N Jones, offers a variety of dishes that pay tribute to the Caribbean. There are starters like codfish fritters, pumpkin corn soup and jerk wings and entrees like jerk chicken, jerk salmon and coconut curried shrimp. Weekend brunch specials include curried crab and dumplings, oxtail grilled cheese and ackee and saltfish.

But ask Leacock what his favorite menu item is, and he doesn’t hesitate: It’s the Bake & Fish sandwich, made with lightly fried mahi mahi with pickled slaw and homemade tamarind, cilantro or garlic sauces.

“It’s tough to make,” he said. “You have to make sure you season the fish. You have to brine the fish overnight, at least. We brine ours for one or two days. Then you have to lightly bread it. You don’t want it to be too bready on the outside, so when you bite into it, it’s juicy and tender. It’s sort of an art, but when you get it right it’s one of the best things you can eat.”

And he’s not afraid to throw out a challenge to all purveyors of fried fish sandwiches in Miami.

“This is a controversial opinion,” he joked, “but we have the best fish sandwich in South Florida.”

In honor of the opening, Time Out Market Miami and Clyde’s are hosting a three-day Trinidad Carnival celebration with costumes, characters, music and live DJ sets throughout the weekend.

Jerk salmon is on the menu at Clyde’s Caribbean (as are jerk chicken and jerk chicken hash).

Clyde’s Caribbean

Where: Time Out Market Miami, 1601 Drexel Ave., Miami Beach

Hours: Noon-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, noon-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday

This story was originally published February 25, 2022 6:00 AM.

Connie Ogle loves wine, books and the Miami Heat. Please don’t make her eat a mango.