Sunday, May 3, 2015

Miami Beach, FL (Apr.-May 2015)

I just returned from another long weekend in one of my favorite cities.  Regular readers know that, among Miami Beach's many first-class restaurants, I also love the city's casual, family-owned Cuban restaurants (click here for my previous Miami Beach posts).  For years my favorite was David's Cuban Cafe, which sadly closed last year after nearly four decades in business.  This weekend I learned, however, that the family decided to reopen on Alton Road, which is a bit off the beaten path for tourists and in a much more affordable rent district for the restaurant's owners.  David's Cafe Cafecito is a smaller version of David's Cuban Cafe, but still serves all of the great vegetarian Cuban staples that I love. 

Cuban black beans, white rice, fried yuca, sweet plantains, and salad at David's Cafe Cafecito

After getting my fill of casual Cuban food, I was ready to find that perfect first-class dining experience.  I could not have been more pleased with the food and elegant atmosphere at Oolite, just off Lincoln Road.  This beautiful restaurant by Chef Kris Wessel specializes in fresh and healthy regional cuisine, which includes influences from Florida, the Caribbean, the Gulf, and the American eastern seaboard.  The restaurant is 100% gluten-free and offers a number of vegetarian options, including a separate vegan tasting menu.  The items from the tasting menu also are available a la carte, so I mixed it up a bit and ordered a vegetarian appetizer from the regular dinner menu and a vegan entree from the tasting menu.  Both dishes were delicious.

Fried green tomato arepas

White chayote stuffed with red rice and mushrooms over a black bean and grilled corn guajillo

Oolite Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon