Miami's restaurant scene is loaded with cuisine from the world over, and in an endless variety of styles. You'll find greasy spoon diners, craft burger bars, lunchtime salad joints, French bistros, Nicaraguan fritangas, Thai/Japanese fusion spots . . . and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
One genre that seems to be slowly gaining popularity is the healthy eating concept restaurant. All over Miami, health-conscious folks are opening up new restaurants that cater to plant-based diets, organic inclinations and seasonal and local dietary preferences.
Oolite Restaurant and Bar is one such addition to the health food game, and it's already making waves.
Enjoy gluten-free, protein-specific delights at South Beach's Oolite — Photo courtesy of Oolite Restaurant and Bar
This 100% gluten-free and protein-specific restaurant is unique among its healthy concept eatery peers. While many other local restaurants like Green Gables Cafe and Temple seek to feed organic and seasonal chow to the masses, Oolite is cornering a few new health markets: those with Celiac disease and/or folks who do not tolerate gluten very well, as well as paleo-diet fans and vegans and vegetarians who all may find themselves in search of diet-appropriate protein sources.
Flavor is never compromised at this healthy eatery — Photo courtesy of Oolite Restaurant and Bar
The South Beach restaurant resides on the popular Pennsylvania Avenue, just a short distance from the Lincoln Road Mall shops and the Fillmore. Outside tables allow for fantastic people watching. But when it gets too hot or rainy, Oolite's interior is beautiful and bright and makes for a wonderful setting for the restaurant's first-rate cuisine.
Patrons of Oolite are treated to fresh, gluten-free, healthy foods that have been poached, smoked, steamed, grilled, slow cooked and dehydrated, keeping their nutrient levels as high as possible.
Menus are diverse and extensive, featuring sandwiches, soups and salads. Protein-based meals include the likes of Creole roasted oxtail (from the animal protein section); Florida spiny lobster with calabazza-asparagus hash (sea protein); and a three-squash hash (from the vegetable protein selection).
Take a bite out of their juicy fruit platters during brunch — Photo courtesy of Oolite Restaurant and Bar
Brunches are delectable and nutritious, with healthy spins on old favorites like flax-seed buttermilk pancakes and a "Cuban soul" eggs Benedict with a mojo hollandaise sauce.
Go for lunch or dinner, or opt to try their vegan tasting menu, which includes a vegetable lasagnetta and baked cho cho blanco (white chayote squash) with black bean guajillo sauce.
Chef Kris Wessell keeps things interesting in the Oolite kitchen — Photo courtesy of Oolite Restaurant and Bar
You'll recognize popular "healthy" ingredients like kale and quinoa being used in new ways by Chef Kris Wessell, who blends Caribbean and local Florida flavors into a unique cuisine all his own. The James Beard-nominated chef keeps things extra-fresh at Oolite by cooking his gluten-free dishes with seasonal ingredients.
The only items with gluten on the menu are some of the craft beers and cocktails. Even then, Wessell makes sure to include some gluten-free options, making this a true haven for anyone with gluten intolerance.
Thanks to restaurants like Oolite, it's slowly becoming easier to maintain a healthy diet when eating out. With zero processed sugars, oils or grains, progressive restaurant Oolite will leave you feeling delightful.
These gluten-free pastries are sure to please — Photo courtesy of Oolite Restaurant and Bar