The recently opened Oolite Restaurant & Bar from chef Kris Wessel has taken a previously unlucky South Beach location and turned it into one of the city’s top spots for true food-lovers — including a 3.5 star review from the Miami Herald.
Located just off Lincoln Road, the eatery combines Wessel’s impressive technique with modern cuisine, as the menu is gluten- and saturated fat-free. “I am showcasing what I love,” says the James Beard Award-nominated chef and Chopped winner. “Regional, local cuisine concentrated in simplified plating of land and sea protein-driven offerings.”
The true surprise is that one would never know the food was free of anything, as the flavors are fully present. Fans of Wessel have not been surprised by critical acclaim he and Oolite has received, as the chef retains something of a cult following after his successful stint at the beloved and now closed Red Light Little River, as well as opening Florida Cookery. “This is Regional Florida Cooking 3.0 and the evolution is healthy components,” he explains.
The kitchen’s locavore cuisine, which uses natural flavors instead of chemical enhancements, presents unique dishes such as the famed barbecue shrimp, coconut water poached Florida grouper, and rotisserie duck. The gluten-free breads such as the roti and buttermilk biscuits are must-tries, if only to learn that gluten-free bread can be absolutely delicious. The bar is stocked with a full selection of bitters (with descriptions) and boasts unique cocktails like a quinoa whiskey sour and the sunset margarita, made with local fruits.
With the restaurant just steps away from New World Symphony, the Oolite dinner-and-a-show combination is something every local and visitor should experience.