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Soul Tavern Has Heart

New Sunset Harbour Restaurant Aims For Optimal Health

Ed Fisher

Described as Miami's first vegetarian gastropub and elixir bar, Soul Tavern welcomes its guests in to the most extraordinary setting. The exterior encompasses a Zen atmosphere with copper spinning prayer wheels, pergolas, wooden trellises, and benches amidst lush landscaping.

LEFT: Welcoming Zen entrance, RIGHT: Lush patio.

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LEFT: Welcoming Zen entrance, RIGHT: Lush patio.

Soul Tavern opened to the public Friday, July 14 in the trendy Sunset Harbour neighborhood, immediately east of Fresh Market. Stepping inside, you will find an interior that is rustically elegant with a balance of vibrancy and calmness.

LEFT: Interior bar, RIGHT: Indoor seating.

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LEFT: Interior bar, RIGHT: Indoor seating.

Soul Tavern owner, Jason Gordon, has created a unique concept focused on the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Gordon has a doctoral degree in Chinese medicine, and the menu's design is intended to incorporate these elements for optimal health balancing the body, mind, and spirit.

Executive chef, Kristof Czartoryski, has international culinary training and injects unique influences from America, Asia, Italy, and France to create a unique and diverse experience for the palate. Soul Tavern takes pride in using fresh, whole foods. Preservatives, additives, refined sugars, and genetically modified foods are carefully avoided.

The opening event for invited guests occurred the day before the public opening. Passed food samples included items that would be appearing on the menu, and some that the chefs were considering for future additions. Eggplant medallions with ratatouille and macadamia nut, and kabobs crafted with dates, lychee, and grapes were unique to the evening. There was also a spicy gnocchi, which they described as Gnocchi On Fire. 

Eggplant medallion.

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Eggplant medallion.

LEFT: Gnocchi on fire, RIGHT: Kabobs.

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LEFT: Gnocchi on fire, RIGHT: Kabobs.

We tried hemp crusted edamame cakes, which are featured on their menu as the first on a list of ten small plate choices. Black tahini, fennel, green apple, celery root, pomegranate and herbs infused the soft textured edamame with robust flavor.

LEFT: Hemp crusted edamame, RIGHT: Maki.

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LEFT: Hemp crusted edamame, RIGHT: Maki.

Six sushi maki choices are available. The one we tried was Crunchy Forest, crafted with avocado, butternut squash, asparagus, portobello mushrooms, spinach, and crispy shallot encased in brown rice.

Returning the following night, we had a lovely time outside by the patio. Five salads represent the elements, and our choice was "metal." Mustard greens, watercress, black eyes peas, cauliflower, daikon, and turnips were lightly tossed with a mint blue/green algae dressing creating a mélange of fresh essence.

Metal salad.

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Metal salad.

Pizza options also invoked the elemental themes. Gluten free and vegan options are available on request. Our earth pizza, prepared in a wood fired oven, had a perfectly textured thin golden-brown crust topped with miso sauce, mushrooms, chickpeas, caramelized onions and mozzarella. Complementary flavors blended into lusciousness in the unique pie.

Earth pizza.

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Earth pizza.

We also sampled "water" inspired pizza the prior evening. This pizza, with yellow beet sauce along with lotus root, beet, black sesame, arugula and mozzarella, is pleasingly exotic.

Water pizza.

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Water pizza.

Ten main entrees described on the menu as "Substantials" included among others: Soulful Ramen, Roasted Oyster Mushroom Taco, and Naughty Gnocchi. A choice from these enticements will await a return visit.

Impossible Mousse.

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Impossible Mousse.

Soul Tavern's bar menu is curated by author and sommelier Dale Thomas Vaughn. Eight beers on tap, sake, wine, and a full bar provide opportunities for guests to toast to good health and connect with one another. Gordon has also created an extensive Chinese herbal elixir menu. 37 formulations exist to help with mood, sleep, aches, and workout recovery. These are served hot in a tea-like infusion or cold with sparkling water. Jason willingly offers his expertise and professional counsel.

Our serene and delectable evening finished with one of Soul Tavern's six dessert options. We chose Impossible Mousse with chocolate chia and dried berries. Chocolate notes were abundant in a creamy decadence.

Soul Tavern adds a unique sparkling star to the evolving Sunset Harbour galaxy.

Soul Tavern is located at 1801 West Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139.
Call 305-925-0799
Reservations taken by phone or Open Table.
  • Takeout available.

Hours:

  • Sunday through Wednesday,  6 p.m. to close.
  • Thursday through Saturday,  6 p.m. to close.
  • Lunch hours following shortly.
  • Parking is available on the street and a nearby garage.
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