Like a traditional gastropub, Soul Tavern will be all about indulgent comfort food, excellent liquid refreshments, and a chill, comfortable atmosphere. But at this spiritually inspired spot, there's no meat on the menu.
The eatery, set to open at 1801 West Ave. in South Beach's Sunset Harbour neighborhood this fall, will offer plant-based comfort food, craft beers, Chinese herbal elixirs, and cold-pressed juices. The menu will feature items such as mushroom-based burgers, quiche tofu tots, 11 varieties of pizza, maki rolls, and an array of other internationally inspired dishes — all of which happen to go great with beer.
"I’m a vegetarian — vegan actually — and gluten-free, so I pay close attention to the places geared toward the veg persuasion," founder Jason Gordon explains. "There are some great options, but the demand for high-quality vegetarian exceeds the supply. So there was a business opportunity, and it’s an extension of my lifestyle. I made it vegetarian and not vegan because it’s a larger market and more people can relate to it."
According to Gordon, 85 percent of the menu is vegan, but almost everything vegetarian can be made vegan and vice versa. Eighty percent of the menu is also gluten-free.
Some specific menu items will include hemp-nut-encrusted edamame cakes with black tahini and a lotus root fennel salad; raw carrot bisque with cashew cream; yuca-encrusted tofu quiche with cumin black beans, coconut rice, and blood orange salsa; a wood-fire-roasted oyster mushroom taco with roasted vegetable salsa, avocado crème fraîche, roasted corn, and Brussels sprout crisps in a corn tortilla; and a sloppy zhou with diced smoked porcini and shiitake mushrooms. As far as prices, entrées range from $10 to $25, finger foods and sides go for $4 to $10, and juices and elixirs run $5 to $12.
The bar, curated by Dale Thomas Vaughn (author of Beer Snobs Are Boring and Wine Snobs Are Boring), will feature eight beers on tap, wine, sake, and a full bar.
Gordon has also used his doctorate degree in Chinese medicine to create 37 herbal elixirs formulated to help customers sleep, soothe aching muscles, calm mood swings, and aid in workout recovery. Each can be taken hot or cold with sparkling water and one of Soul's five element syrups. Plus, they'll have 25 cold-pressed juices.
So what will the vibe be like at this one-of-a-kind gastropub? "Soulful, sophisticated, rustic, warm, relaxed, and inspiring," Gordon says. "I like to call it relaxed and rugged sophistication for the body, mind, and spirit."
Soul Tavern is estimated to open in late November or early December.