Nothing at Oolite, Kris Wessel's new place just off Lincoln Road, contains gluten — including the toothsome cornflour penne pasta encased in a gooey cheese sauce. It's a big bet on a huge space by an established chef in the midst of a rough run. Wessel took over the restaurant's lease from Gigi owner Amir Ben-Zion, who for a short while ran the space as Cooper Avenue.
Its 5,000 square feet holds more than 200 seats. It would be even larger if Wessel hadn't turned half of it into a bar and nightclub. It's only a few steps from tourist-flooded Lincoln Road, but once the outdoor mall's din fades, Oolite feels miles away. Wessel, however, says he's confident his menu — tropical, healthful, and satisfying — is a good fit for body-conscious South Beach. He's also hoping to lure private parties after they've spent the day across the street at the Miami Beach Convention Center. To see if Wessel's new spot makes the grade, read the full review of Oolite, now posted on Short Order.
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