Sunset Harbour's long-awaited vegetarian gastropub has arrived: Soul Tavern is open for business. Owner Jason Gordon describes the new spot as "where healthy meets the hang," and it all revolves around a carefully curated meat-free menu.
"Soul Tavern is a plant-based gastropub with gourmet food, craft cocktails, draft beer, a robust wine list, and an extensive line of proprietary Chinese herbal elixirs to address our modern-day needs," he explains. "The patio and garden oasis are reflective of the importance of nature and the elements, as the concept balances all five elements from the 5,000-year-old system in all of its food menu items."
The eatery has been in the works since it was announced in September 2016. Everything on the menu is vegetarian, and about 80 percent is vegan — and almost anything can be made vegan.
"Ninety-five percent of the menu can also be made gluten-free," Gordon adds. "It’s a unique mix of gourmet and healthy." The lineup includes small plates such as mango avocado tartare ($10) and jackfruit gyoza ($10); salads; "substantials" such as yuca-encrusted tofu quiche ($18) and soulful ramen ($18); maki; an array of "soul-fired" pizzas ($16); and desserts. Libations and elixirs round out the offerings.
"It’s difficult to choose two dishes to highlight, but the Naughty Gnocchi and the Soulful Ramen are divine," Gordon says. "The Naughty Gnocchi showcases cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, chilies, shishito peppers, and a mac/nut-cream cloud. The Soulful Ramen features plant broth, yam noodles, mushroom, seasonal vegetables, sesame paste, and a marinated organic, pasture-raised egg which can be removed for vegans."
As far as the 37 elixirs, Gordon created the formulas himself. He has a doctorate in Chinese medicine, and the creations do everything from help people sleep to soothe muscle aches to calm mood swings.
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Atmosphere was also a major focus for the team, and Gordon has previously described the vibe as "soulful, sophisticated, rustic, warm, relaxed, and inspiring."
"The food is amazing, and the environment has been curated to be a retreat in an urban setting," he says, "but the hospitality is the touch point where we can really have an impact on someone’s day."
Soul Tavern. 1801 West Ave., Miami Beach; 305-925-0799; soultavern.com. Opens nightly at 6 p.m.