Openings

David Grutman's Cafe OTL Opens Quietly in Design District

Pear and manchego sandwich at OTL.
Pear and manchego sandwich at OTL. Photo by Valeria Nekhim Lease
click to enlarge Inside OTL, a collaboration by David Grutman, Craig Robbins, and the Smile in New York City. - PHOTO BY VALERIA NEKHIM LEASE
Inside OTL, a collaboration by David Grutman, Craig Robbins, and the Smile in New York City.
Photo by Valeria Nekhim Lease
OTL, a casual spot serving breakfast, lunch, and coffee, has quietly opened in the Design District (160 NE 40th St., Miami). The café, whose name is an abbreviation for "Out to Lunch" and whose slogan is "Everyone welcome," is set to officially open Tuesday, January 10.

The new place is the brainchild of Miami nightlife kingpin David Grutman, in partnership with real-estate developer Craig Robbins and the folks behind Manhattan's popular restaurant and takeout concept the Smile.

The spacious and bright café features pale blue and pink accents against a mostly white backdrop, plus wood furnishings and high ceilings. The concise menu is divided into three categories: breakfast, sandwiches, and salads. Prices aren't available for any of the dishes yet. Breakfast items include overnight oats, avocado toast, and an egg and cheese sandwich, while lunch options range from a grilled cheese sandwich to a kale salad. You order at the counter and are a given a domino wood block instead of a number to identify your order.
click to enlarge Inside OTL in the Design District. - PHOTO BY VALERIA NEKHIM LEASE
Inside OTL in the Design District.
Photo by Valeria Nekhim Lease
Grutman is best known for his nightclub LIV, the highest-grossing club in Miami for five years in a row and one of the most successful in the nation. He's also at the helm of the South Beach disco Story. Last year, he burst onto the restaurant scene with his glamorous 275-seat Brickell eatery Komodo.

Now, with OTL, he boasts a second food concept in his portfolio. Meanwhile, Robbins is credited with rehabilitating a sizable portion of South Beach and the Design District. As for the Smile in New York, the restaurant has been a favorite of locals and celebrities since opening a handful of years ago. Customers clamor for chef Melia Marden's familiar homestyle fare.
click to enlarge Pear and manchego sandwich at OTL. - PHOTO BY VALERIA NEKHIM LEASE
Pear and manchego sandwich at OTL.
Photo by Valeria Nekhim Lease
OTL's manchego and pear sandwich is served with plantain chips, and the baby greens and citrus salad comes topped with pickled onions. Both are light yet full of flavor, and the attention to detail is evident. It's a lovely place to have lunch or catch up on some work while enjoying some tea and a cookie.
click to enlarge Baby greens and citrus salad at OTL. - PHOTO BY VALERIA NEKHIM LEASE
Baby greens and citrus salad at OTL.
Photo by Valeria Nekhim Lease
The Design District needs some more informal and well-priced lunch and coffee options to join the likes of Michel Schwartz's Ella and Michelle Bernstein's Crumb on Parchment. OTL is a welcome addition.


Correction: The article originally mention a free meal promotion at OTL. The restaurant is no longer offering free food. The offer was good only for one day as an introduction to the eatery to neighboring residents and workers.

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Valeria Nekhim was born in the Ukraine and raised in Montreal. She has lived in Manhattan and Miami. Her favorite part of food writing is learning the stories of chefs and restaurateurs.