The charges pending against Jonathan Eismann in the hit-and-run killing of a passerby Wednesday in Miami could provide a stunning exclamation point on the fall-from-grace for a man who once ruled Miami Beach’s restaurant business.
Eismann is accused of crashing into a pedestrian about 9 a.m. while allegedly driving away from the scene of another crash he was involved with minutes earlier.
In the late 1980s and 1990s, however, Eismann could do no wrong – especially when it came to whipping up good foods in a place where there wasn’t much of it.
“He became very important with places like Pacific Time,” said Larry Carrino, a restaurant publicist for more than 20 years. “You can call it iconic!”
Said longtime SoBe magazine publisher Jerry Powers: “Jonathan was among those who introduced a more sophisticated cuisine here. For a short time, he was the main man.”
But if Eismann was a great chef, Powers added, he wasn’t the showman that the beach was looking for, and that began his downward slide.
“He’s not a warm-and-fuzzy guy, and that prevented him from going to the next level,” Powers said. “He was a pioneer but he quickly got outsmarted by places like Nobu.”
Besieged by creditors, according to records, Eismann became a realtor earlier this year.
And, until Wednesday, his financial situation started looking up, too.
County records show he was able to stave off foreclosure on his home a month ago.
Miami cops are continuing their investigation in the hit-and-run.