WD555: A New Bottle-Fed Bistro on Fifth and Jefferson

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Located at 555 Jefferson Ave., Miami Beach, WD555 is a revamped South Beach gem soon to be a local hot spot. The former Wine Depot is under new ownership and has undergone a vibrant redesign with a fresh feel. Driving up, one spots a boring box of a building, but a right turn reveals the first of many pleasant surprises: ample free parking.

Once you step inside the box, you appreciate its open layout and expansive wine displays. A sleek bar blends seamlessly with the warm wooden wine shelving. Take a few more steps to find a serene outdoor space filled with tables and chairs.

Considering the spot is touted as a wine store first, wine bar second, and bistro third, you might expect subpar fare. But as we said, WD555 is full of surprises. Enjoy tantalizing tapas like halloumi cheese a la plancha ($12), heirloom tomato bruschetta ($9), and Merguez sausage brochette ($12) with Harissa potatoes, greek yogurt, and scallions. Better yet, stop by for lunch to munch on any of those delectables along with a glass of wine and dessert for $15.

Making dinner at home? WD555 stocks more than 300 bottles. It has a generous selection of bottles, ranging from $7 to $30, all rated above 80 points. The 90-under-$30 program allows anyone to enjoy a quality glass without breaking the bank. If you decide to imbibe onsite, don't expect the huge markups you see at most restaurants. A modest $7.50 corkage fee is added to the price of your bottle, which is poured by educated staff. Not sure what to choose? The in-house sommelier will guide you through pairings whether you're picking up or drinking there.

Interested in a low-key dinner with a little romance? Head over during dinnertime and enjoy daily features along with regularly featured bistro fare. Pasta dishes -- such as mushroom ravioli with a nutty sage butter and pappardelle with tender veal shank -- pair well with a myriad of wines and are reasonably priced at $18.

Follow Arlyene Marie Ponce on Facebook and on Twitter @UltimateFoodFan

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