Good news for those lamenting the absence of ex Red Light and Florida Cookery chef Kris Wessel, who officially announces the debut of Oolite Restaurant & Bar, a “healthy dining concept” scheduled to open May 30 at the ex-Cooper Avenue space at 1661 Pennsylvania Ave. in Miami Beach.
Wessel, who has partnered with Roman Cherstvov, the former partner of Cooper Ave’s Amir Ben-Zion, will feature a menu that “captures the essence of simplified eating with plant, land and sea-based protein offerings.” Wessel fans will rejoice in the fact that these offerings will be rooted in “the regional palate and local culture of the area as well as adhere to limited use of processed ingredients, gluten and saturated fats.”
And for those foodistas who freak when they hear the word healthy, fret not. Wessel, whose signature dishes have included BBQ shrimp, gumbo and rabbit crepes that he cooked for the win on Chopped, isn’t on some crazy gluten free kick; he’s just going in the direction in which he feels food is evolving. “It is the natural progression of where food is going,” Wessel says. “You see fine dining taking a nod to this at even the very highest level. With Oolite, we are bringing this concept to a ‘local favorite’ restaurant level.”
As for the name? It pays homage to the limestone and coral rock foundation at the southern tip of our fine state. Later in the year, Wessel and Cherstvov will launch a lounge concept in the same space.