The latest craze in the Miami restaurant scene is to serve locally grown produce and that is what chef David Braca does best at Oak Tavern. As you walk through the vine arch of this ever so quaint eatery, you’ll stumble upon an open area reminiscent of a mediterranean patio surrounding a large old oak tree. Indoors, stands an open kitchen to your left and a nicely stocked bar to your right. In the center, reclaimed wooden tables and soft lighting surround a large communal slab in case you’re in the mood to make new friends.
A nicely selected wine list offers glasses between $9 and $12 and bottles priced between $30 and $150. We opted for one of the more modest offerings: a bottle of Lagar de Cervera Albariño for $34, one of my favorite Spanish whites, fruity yet dry. The menu was also extensive consisting mostly of tapas, pizzas, seafood and house made charcuterie as well as several main courses.
Even though the place wasn’t very busy, the service was a little slow. While waiting, I asked another server for some bread who kindly brought us some amazing homemade buttermilk biscuits with a side of butter, warm, flaky and absolutely divine!
As soon as we got to order, we picked the local beet salad for $9, sweet roasted beets covered with arugula and a whipped goat cheese cream. The ever so light dressing was a smooth vinaigrette made with tiny bits of pistachios. The perfect starter: chunky, creamy and crunchy.
The grilled octopus with smoked potato salad for $14 was a a little less exciting. The serving was very small and although it was very tender, a little too much “pimentón picante” (hot paprika) overpowered its flavor. Another choice we made was the roasted artichokes for $10. A large artichoke split in half with a side of citrus aioli, very delicate and sweet, barely needing any dressing. Unfortunately, being all women who shared a bottle of wine, we had to skip dessert this time! I will be back if only for the beet salad!
35 NE 40th Street
Miami, FL 33137
Open Monday thru Friday:
Friday and Saturday until Midnight
11 am-3pm (Brunch)
Happy Hour: Monday through Sunday