There's a new gastropub in town, and its chef and owner was the former toque at the Local Craft Food and Drink.
Andrew Gilbert, who also worked the kitchens of Michy's and Sra. Martinez, quietly opened the Seven Dials last week on a quiet street in Coral Gables.
"My wife and I have been looking for a restaurant space for four years, and we found it on the same street we live," Gilbert says. "We didn't even realize the street went down this far."
The Seven Dials is open for lunch and this week has begun serving dinner. "The plan was to open for dinner first," Gilbert says. "But we've had some ventilation issues, so we've had to adapt."
No more than 50 seats, including the bar, occupy the space that was formerly the Unemployed Chef. Gilbert's British roots are evident throughout the room and the menu. A figurine of Queen Elizabeth is by the bar, along with wallpaper imported from the UK decorated with reading raccoons, eye-patch-clad pandas, and harmonica-playing bats. Most of the tables were built by Gilbert himself, and if you sit at a hightop by the window, brass poodles double as purse holders.
The restaurant's name comes from an intersection in London where seven streets converge.
As for the menu, lunch is pretty straightforward -- soups, salads, and sandwiches. There's corn soup; tomato soup with grilled cheese; Gorgonzola salad with walnut brittle apple and arugula; chicken bánh mì with organic poached chicken; cauliflower and cheese falafel; and roast beef with horseradish aioli, demiglace, and caramelized onion. All-day breakfast is also available and includes bacon, sausage from Proper Sausages, omelets, and maple butter. Prices range from $8 for soups to $12 for salads and sandwiches.
For dinner, expect hanger steak, roasted bone marrow, duck confit, fried kalamata olives, roasted eggplant, fish 'n' chips, and a Seven Dials burger. They also plan to serve charcuterie boards, terrines, and pâtés. Think chicken liver and foie terrine served on Zak the Baker bread. (Zak happens to be a friend of Gilbert's.)
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Joining Gilbert in the kitchen as chef de cuisine is Hugo Perez, who was sous-chef at the Local Food & Drink. The duo plans to get inventive with menu items and specials during dinner service.
There's no liquor served here, but a carefully curated wine and beer list includes Cigar City, Wynwood Brewing Company, Stella Artois, Lazy Magnolia Lazy Saison, Wells & Young Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale, and Lefthand Milk Stout.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha