First Bites

Mmmm Now Open in Wynwood: Open-Faced Sandwiches, Soups, and Salads

A joint project between Cathy Vedovi and chef Alan McLennan, Mmmm in Wynwood is officially open for business. The casual eatery serves fresh salads, soups, and open-faced sandwiches known as tartines from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ice cream from the popular Azucar adds a nice touch, and almost everything is available to-go as well.

The décor is hipster-meets-Jungle Island, with vintage banana-leaf wallpaper, hanging wood lanterns, bamboo chairs, and green banquettes. It's vibrant, comforting, and fun, much like the food I tasted during a recent visit. Here's what I ordered:

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After a few sips of the refreshing homemade hibiscus iced tea, I ordered half an artichoke tartine with butternut squash soup ($10 special). Here, they use Poilâne, a variety of sourdough from the eponymous Parisian bakery. Chef McLennan crowns the toasted bread with artichokes, herbs, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, olive tapenade, and pesto. The multitude of textures and flavors is well balanced and tasty. Meanwhile, the soup is velvety and delicious.

A soothing soup with a slew of al dente vegetables accompanies half a tuna tartine ($10 special). The open-faced sandwich is squiggled with a sharp olive mayonnaise and topped with well-seasoned chunks of tuna and artichoke slices. It's a perfectly light yet filling lunch.

No offense to the coconut cake on the menu, but it's tough to resist a scoop, or three, of Azucar ice cream for dessert. The Abuela Maria flavor boasts guava, cream cheese, and Maria crackers and is especially decadent ($3.50 for one scoop). It's reminiscent of cheesecake, crumbly cookies, and the comfort of Grandma's house. Mmmm, indeed.

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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.