The goods: A stylish nod to the archetypical garden, Eden has plenty of greenery to back up its name plus a menu by Christopher Lee, a James Beard Award winner and Top Chef Masters competitor. (Lee, the executive chef at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole in Manhattan, is expected to stop by from time to time to keep an eye on things.)
Ambience: A facelift has given the former Talula space a new quartz bar and a revamped patio blooming with rosemary, mint, basil and Meyer lemon trees. Chairs covered in faux python skin and wallpaper in a kaleidoscope of arugula leaves give the place a textured, trippy look. The garden in back has plenty of tables shaded by green umbrellas, a few private cabanas outfitted with sheer white curtains and another bar serving organic cocktails.
The grub: Eclectic, with globe-trotting items like hummus and jerk fries, miso-glazed scallops and Moroccan-inspired rack of lamb in harissa jus. Prices are on par with neighbors Mr. Chow and STK, with starters $7-$18, mains in the low $30s and desserts $8. The wine program has four options: sip (2 ounces), taste (6 ounces), drink (a “bottomless” pour) and savor (the whole bottle).
Dinner starts with crab dip and toasted flatbread. First courses include an heirloom tomato salad plated with burrata and house-made pesto. Tuna tartar comes with three petite scallion pancakes and house-made kimchi. Don’t miss the apple and chestnut ravioli , an autumnal dish made richer with mascarpone cheese. Mains include macadamia-crusted salmon with a bright lemongrass coconut sauce and braised short ribs in a white wine sauce The signature dessert is warm apple tart topped with crème fraiche and candied ginger. There’s also a passion fruit cheesecake with macadamia nuts and caramelized bananas to tempt sweets lovers.
Verdict: Eden is a sexy little bit of heaven on South Beach.