First Bites

The Garden Serves "Mediterranean Food With a Kick" at Boulan South Beach

Lamb chops
Lamb chops Courtesy of the Garden
click to enlarge Outdoor dining at the Garden. - COURTESY OF THE GARDEN
Outdoor dining at the Garden.
Courtesy of the Garden
A courtyard eatery with seating for 200, the Garden debuted last month in Miami Beach with a Mediterranean-inspired menu, late-night dining, and live entertainment.

The restaurant is nestled inside the art deco Boulan South Beach. "We wanted to create a concept that highlights the best of what South Beach has to offer," says Shawn Vardi, CEO of Think Hospitality, which owns the restaurant and the hotel. “We wanted to create an outdoor setting with an innovative menu, a lounge atmosphere, and interactive entertainment to bring it all together.”

Vardi says the group planned the venture for a few years before launching it. "We've always wanted to do something with the space; it just took us some time to build it into a garden to walk into and feel like you could be anywhere in the world."

The 5,000-square-foot space is enlivened with a jungle-inspired look combining palm trees and related decor. Red lighting reflects off the over-water stage at the restaurant’s center, where interactive performance artists and musicians create a multisensory experience.

The menu, which Vardi describes as "Mediterranean food with a kick," is curated by chef Genry Garcia, who's been helming the kitchen at Think Hospitality's Orange Blossom since 2013.

The Garden's menu opens with an appetizer list including oysters ($3.50); tuna tartare, tossed in soy sauce, sweet chili sesame oil, lemon juice, and mango and served on a bed of seaweed salad ($16); and salmon tartare, served with Indian curry aioli and naan bread ($15).
click to enlarge Lamb chops - COURTESY OF THE GARDEN
Lamb chops
Courtesy of the Garden
The three-mushroom risotto main course — including portobello, crimini, and shiitake mushrooms; truffle oil; and Parmesan ($28) — is a standout. Other notable dishes are lamb chops ($38); mussels with white wine, shallots, garlic, and hand-cut fresh fries ($28); and salt-crusted whole branzino for two, which is deboned and filleted tableside ($65). Another highlight is the pasta pomodoro, prepared tableside in a Grana Padano Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese wheel ($26).

Desserts at the Garden include a 24-karat coconut crisp, topped with pineapple marmalade, cinnamon crumble, and coconut chips ($18), and chocolate mousse served in a martini glass ($15).

Pair your meal with a bottle from the extensive wine list or a cocktail such as the Amazonian, made with Leblón cachaça, lime, and fresh jalapeño; and the Wild Thing, a mix of Grey Goose vodka, peach purée, lime, and cranberry juice ($15 each).

The Garden also offers bottle service, as well as a live DJ after 11 p.m.

The Garden. 220 21st St., Miami Beach; 786-860-7178; 6 to 11 p.m.Thursday, 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
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Juliana Accioly
Contact: Juliana Accioly