Marisa Nuñez, Marisa Hair, Long Island City, NY

Maximiliano Waicman and Gladys Arneri


Key Biscayne, FL

“We wanted to bring the best quality of ingredients with food that can be eaten for the whole family, and that can be had at an affordable price.” – Gladys Arneri

How Gladys and Max Brought Gourmet Family Dining to Miami


Gladys and Max, a husband-and-wife duo, moved to Miami from Argentina ten years ago with the idea of opening a restaurant. In Argentina, Max studied Business Administration and Gladys studied Marketing. Max was working as Business Administrator when he decided to switch careers into something more aligned with his true passion: food. He studied to become a chef and worked his way up to being a chef on television in Argentina.

When Max and Gladys moved to Key Biscayne, Max was working as a restaurant manager at Benihana. He fell in love with the fast pace and diversity of the restaurant industry. He decided to take his experience and love of food and open his own restaurant with Gladys. Although they loved all the diversity of cuisines and flavors that Miami had to offer, they noticed there was a key part missing in the restaurant mix: delicious, affordable, family-oriented restaurants. In Argentina, food was centered around sharing a meal with your loved ones, while in Miami, Gladys and Max often found it difficult to find a restaurant that had great food and was convenient for children. “I remember I went to a restaurant I was so excited try. I didn’t have a babysitter, so I took my son, but the restaurant didn’t have highchairs. I had to leave.”


Max and Gladys wanted to change that. “We wanted to bring the best quality of ingredients with food that can be eaten for the whole family, and that can be had at an affordable price.” When thinking about the core values and roots they wanted to instill in the restaurant, they thought of one dish that they missed the most from Argentina and were unable to find in Miami. “In Argentina, a milanesa is something quite common to eat. It’s like French fries or pasta. You can eat it four times a week and it is for the whole family.” They decided to use that, and bring milanesa to Miami, but to make it gourmet. Thus, the name of their restaurant was solidified.

The beginning of opening their restaurant was difficult. “The hardest part was finding good employees because we didn’t have the funds to pay them as much as the luxury restaurants in town.” It took them years to get the menu right and understand what their customers wanted. Eventually, they were able to build a solid community of supporters and increase the wages for their employees. When the pandemic happened, the restaurant was hit hard. “We were heavily impacted by shutdowns, curfews, and seating restrictions.” They created a food delivery platform and an online grocery store to try and mitigate the loss of some of their sales, but it still wasn’t enough.


To combat seating restrictions, abide by guidelines, and to create a safer environment for their customers, they decided to open an outdoor space for their restaurant. The space would include a DJ booth, couches, and supply an atmosphere of fun and relaxation. They reached out to Ascendus for funding and received a $100,000 loan from the Southern Opportunity and Resilience Fund. They were able to buy new decorations, tables, chairs, expand their outdoor space, and renovate their kitchen equipment for the restaurant.

Today, they predict that the outdoor space has helped their sales increase by 35%. They are back in full operations, and even plan to expand to a second location. Gladys and Max never forgot the support they received and have invested their revenue back into the community. Once a month they close the restaurant and cook with 50 kids in the Key Biscayne area. They prepare meals for those less fortunate in the community, and in four years they have served over 3,000 meals with the help of over 500 kids. “We are so grateful to our community; they gave us so much and we hope to continue giving back as much as we can because of the help we have received.”

To learn more about Max and Gladys, visit:

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