Oolite Restaurant - New from Kris Wessel - SoBe near Lincoln Road
Hoping to make it down to Oolite this Saturday before the Ray Lamontagne show at the Fillmore.
Any early word on best bites etc?
I hear the famous BBQ shrimp will be available.
Laine says: "First and foremost, the restaurant will feature healthful dining. Wessel will show his love for regional, local cuisine by concentrating on "simplified eating with plant, land, and sea-based protein-driven offerings... the kitchen will adhere to the limited use of processed ingredients, gluten, and saturated fats. In other words, the restaurant will offer true locavore cuisine that uses natural flavors instead of chemical enhancements."
Website has no info really
But you can find more on FB
1661 Pennsylvania Ave
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
(Former site of Cooper Avenue)
Big Wessel fan. I've been 2x now and had 2 great meals. They have a bar menu available from noon to midnight that has lots of good dishes too.
His BBQ Shrimp are always a must get. Creole oxtail was outstanding. I highly recommend the conch-coconut corn chowder too.
It's Red Light flavors with full bar and a/c.
I would call the restaurant and see if the bbq shrimp is included in their happy hour because those items on the "small bite" menu become half priced.This turns possibly 5 shrimp for $14 at lunch into possibly 2 orders at happy hour (10 shrimp) for $14.I believe happy hour is 3-6.Check it out.Food is good ,but pricy for the portioning.Happy hour brings it down to good value.
With the understanding that some of this boards most respected and valued members like this place, my experience was pretty poor. It was only one visit and ten plates,so I think of this as just a report of my visit. The classic line,your mileage may vary,certainly applies.In addition to food that was merely decent at best,service was terrible and sitting outside to dine was a huge mistake. Here goes....
Do not sit outside. We had a view of a four story parking garage and the sound of car alarms every few minutes. There was a non stop procession of valets running by our table and the all too frequent car rounding the corner and having its lights in my eyes. Stay inside. Our waiter was horrendous. Promptly took a drink order,returned ages later to take our dinner order, without our drinks. Forgot one of our sides, which had to be reordered by the busser because our waiter never checked how we were doing. Water glasses were only refilled when we flagged down an employee. The place was pretty empty. On to the food.
Had the bbq shrimp and even my young son asked why the shrimp seemed different then the ones he had the day before at Michaels Genuine. I told him because the shrimp at Oolite were badly overcooked to the point of being rubbery.The bbq sauce was excellent and following the sage advise of tpigeon, I saved some for the ribs. The "best house salad ever" was not nearly so. My wife flagged down the waiter to point out there were no visible hearts of palm, A few scattered tomatoes and some brussels sprouts leaves. That's it. Mains were equally disappointing. My ribs had barely a whiff of smoke,nothing guanabana tasting,and no rosy pink or smoke ring.The bbq shrimp sauce saved it from complete disappointment. I know Chef Wessel has been widely praised for the shrimp and rib dishes but these were not his best effort. He was not in the kitchen so that may have been the problem. The duck dish was fine. Not to be too picky, but the citrus sauce was an excellent idea but the execution was lacking. Not bold or bright or particularly interesting. My wife's fish dish,the halibut,was boring and in a murky oily broth. GOD ( greens of the day) were a few hunks of zucchini, and green beans oiled and grilled just long enough to mark and then scattered on a plate. The two biscuits were dry as dust. Desert was underwhelming. Cobbler was a hot fruit soup served in a mini Lodge skillet with some unsweetened granola type mix on top. The Angel Food cake, sort of deconstructed, was good when we took a spoon and put it back together. The cheese plate was a few strawberry's and three cheeses. A Fontina, pretty run of the mill nothing interesting and a few small shards of parmesan cheese. Really? On a cheese plate, parmesan? There are like 20 billion cheeses they could order and serve and this is the cheese plate?
My experience was pretty poor and there are many dishes on the menu that others have enjoyed. So all I can finish with is, forewarned is forearmed. Fire away!
From the timing of your post it seems likely that you were there this past weekend while the SOBE Food and Wine Festival was ongoing (and where Kris Wessel was a participant chef). I learned a lesson years ago: don't try out a restaurant when the named chef (and the best assistants) are likely not to be in-house -- after all I'm usually going for their food, not just be be at the restaurant (boy was that driven home a few years ago when I had an over-priced and worse than fast-food meal plopped onto my table by a surly waiter at Barbuto in NYC when Jonathan Waxman was apparently away).
As with any business, sometimes the failures of the "second-line" aren't completely evident until they're temporarily in charge without being over-shadowed. Sorry you had that experience.
Yeah I agree with what you wrote but it was the Monday before the start of the festival. The day before I had another great brunch at Michael's Genuine and Mr. Schwartz was seated at a nearby table with a group, which no doubt ensured the kitchen staff performed at their best. There are so many restaurants built on a chef's reputation, when the chef no longer cooks that actually eating food by Chef Wessel was part of the draw. The Bazaar the next night was also,again,spectacular and who knows when Chef Andres was last there.