Venezuelan chef Carlos Garcia has made his Miami debut with the opening of his first U.S. eatery, Obra Kitchen Table. A well-known chef in his native Venezuela, Garcia’s Alto in Caracas held a spot on Latin America’s “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list from 2013-2016.
A modern-yet-intimate space in the Jade building in Brickell with an expansive open kitchen that features a 25-seat wrap-around bar giving a majority of diners the opportunity to have a “chef’s table” experience by watching the culinary action up close. Designer Alejandro Barrios Carrero (Juvia, Sushi Garage) outfits the space in white oak plank floors, aqua-colored subway tiles and large black and white photographs.
Be prepared to eat
Modern Latin American cooking, or what the chef calls “cocina sabrosa,” which means delicious, enjoyable food prepared with recognizable, seasonal and local ingredients, presented in the most unpretentious and creative ways. Prices are reasonable given its Brickell location and the pedigree of the chef, with starters $7-$18 and mains $18-$40.
Start off with light dishes like the tuna tiradito with fried kale, the roasted vegetable quinoa salad, or the Brussels sprout and kale salad. Adventurous diners will go for the spaghetti with octopus carbonara and the uni (sea urchin) atop a fried egg served over crispy fries – mash it all together for a decadent and briny dish.
The Josper grill is the star of the kitchen giving its trademark heat and char to dishes like the rack-of-lamb with plaintain mole, the homemade arepas stuffed with chicken and avocado and the short-rib asado.
Don’t understimate Garcia’s chicken soup, a hearty bowl of the class comfort food and a reference to Barriga Llena Corazón Contento, an initiative Garcia founded in 2016 to feed soup to children at a local hospital in Caracas.
Desserts include a pineapple upside down cake with coconut ice cream, a choco flan and a coconut tres leches cake.
A celeb chef from Caracas plants his flag in Miami with an ambitious-yet-approachable menu.