Step up to the counter and order a burger or slider and perhaps a side salad or some charcuterie. Grab a craft beer and a seat, and your food arrives on oversize wooden cutting boards.
This is Over the Counter, or OTC for short. Father-and-son team John and Michael Sullivan opened the gastropub-style restaurant in early November on South Miami Avenue. The two worked with restaurant consultants David Napolitan and Ephraim Kadish, who have advised China Grill, Asia de Cuba, Blue Door at the Delano, and others. The kitchen is helmed by Tara Abrams, a former sous-chef at Tap 42 in Fort Lauderdale.
The menu here is split into 11 sections, each with items priced around $10 and sized for sharing. A couple could make an ample dinner out of about four items.
Short rib and Brie grilled cheese came as a big-kid rendition of the childhood classic. The meat was fall-apart tender, and Brie added plenty of tang. Other grilled-cheese choices include a goat cheese and bacon jam sandwich and a chicken Parmesan sammie.
This has to be Miami's cheapest portion of foie ($8), the offal now banned in California. A dish arrived full of silky-smooth mousse but not enough bread on which to smear it all. It didn't have quite the livery punch you expect when you order foie. If you're not in the mood for fattened duck livers, you can opt for prosciutto or the always-over-the-top bone marrow.
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OTC's Israeli couscous is a happy diversion from the traditional, bacon-heavy gastropub fare. An orange vinaigrette gives the dish a fresh pop that perfectly balances the Brie grilled cheese sandwich. Other popular health-conscious grains, such as farro and quinoa, can be had for $6.