By Melanie Garcia
The Design District is slowing acclimating to the idea that it is now the go-to spot for restaurants and high-end shopping, but Chef David Bracha (of River Seafood & Oyster Bar fame) got an early start with his latest restaurant venture, Oak Tavern, and its modern American menu. The restaurant reigns a celestial outdoor atmosphere, alongside a beautiful Oak Tavern tree for which the restaurant was named.
With a comprehensive menu, offering a selection of small plates, snacks, pizzas, house-cured charcutrie and large plates, we were excited to enjoy our meal on a breezy Tuesday. We began with a few selections from the small plates menu, which included the Pork Belly Bahn Mi ($10) and Tuna Poke ($15). The Pork Belly Bahn Mi was an especially delicious sandwich that brings foei gras mousse and picked vegetables. The soft creaminess of the foei gras mousse accompanied by the crispy pork belly and vegetables bites – all neatly compressed on crispy, buttery bread – was undoubtedly setting high standards for our meal. The Tuna Poke was an appetizer that falls on the other end of the flavor spectrum – which really helped us taste Chef Bracha’s culinary versatility. It brought poke tuna (Hawaiian for “small pieces”) bathed in a sweet caramelized drizzle (think eel sauce) that was accompanied by seaweed avocado. The tuna was very fresh and the dish felt light, despite its sweetness.
Because we were terribly intrigued by the Duck Pizza ($15), we couldn’t help but make it one of our meal selections. The thin crispy crust pizza brought mushrooms, fontina cheese, and truffle. The duck taste was not incredibly overwhelming and the truffle made it exceptionally tasty and fulfilling. It was definitely a home-run pick. We also had the Yellowtail Snapper Filet ($25) which came with toasted faro grain, fava (broad bean) and pistou, which is a cold sauce made from cloves of garlic, fresh basil and olive oil. The fish was cooked to perfection with exquisite taste although it must be mentioned that it’s served as a whole fish, which can turn some people off. It was fresh and juicy and when laid on a bed of faro and fava, the dish really had a great combination of flavors. We guiltily also indulged in the Smashed Potatoes with rosemary ($5) because carb overloading tends to be our second hobby. And we’re glad we did, because the potatoes were soft and creamy and a perfect side dish to our delightful meal.
Per the aforementioned sin, we also unapologetically ordered the Chocolate –Peanut Butter Mousse Pie ($8) to finish our meal. Although nothing inclusive of chocolate and peanut butter could possibly taste bad, this was especially good. Light but satisfying, it had all the ingredients needed to please those who love sweets.
It must also be mentioned that the staff here is amazing. Not only was our waiter, Sergio, friendly and full of great food recommendations, he was also nice enough to put our phone away when we unnoticeably left it behind after our meal. We came back a few hours later to find Sergio with a warm smile and our iPhone in hand. Bravo for a great menu and impeccable service!
Address: 35 NE 40th Street, Miami, FL.
Hours of Operation: Brunch: Sunday 10:30am- 2:30pm
Lunch: Mon-Fri 12pm- 3pm
Bar & Snacks: Mon-Fri 3pm-6pm
Happy Hour: Mon-Sun 4:30pm – 7pm
Dinner: Mon-Thurs 6pm – 10:30pm Fri & Sat 6pm – Midnight Sunday 4:30pm-9:30pm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OakTavernMiamiFollow @greatfoodlist