Posted March 5, 2014
By NATALIE GOENAGA
I decided to take one of my girlfriends along with me to eat at R House, a new restaurant in Wynwood that opened Jan. 16.
We were both excited to try what R House describes on its website as a, “contemporary and eclectic mix of modern American dishes with Mediterranean, Asian and Latin twists.”
I have lived in Miami my entire life and don’t believe I’ve run into a restaurant that has even attempted to incorporate so many different flavors and cooking styles into a single menu.
We arrived in Wynwood around 7:15 p.m. and immediately knew we would have a hard time finding parking. About15 minutes later, we found a spot and proceeded to walk up to R House.
The entrance was on the corner of NW 28th Street and NW 2nd Avenue and reminded me a bit of Wynwood Kitchen and Bar’s entrance. As we walked in the hostess stand was to our right and the place oozed of a cool, relaxed kind of sophistication. It definitely fits right at home in Wynwood with its modern open space and dim lighting.
Art hung on some of the walls with information on the artist and how much the pieces are if you wanted to purchase them. There were only two other parties seated when we arrived — a couple at the bar and two people at a table outside. We first asked to be seated outside since it was a beautiful night.
R House has a small patio with a side used for chic lounge couches with small tables and candles and other side used for dining tables and a concrete wall that wraps around it with artistic graffiti painted on. We were first seated at a small two person table, but my friend found it to be cold and, after a server came and took our drink order, we asked to be moved inside and were moved with no problem.
We were given our menus, which listed a variety of eight appetizers typical of what you would find I most Miami restaurants — a variety of ceviche, fish, salads and soups. A different server took our food orders right away and I ordered the heirloom tomato salad that came with cucumber, manchego cheese, garlic focaccia croutons and balsamic vinaigrette costing $9 and what stood out to me as the most interesting appetizer: the duck confit spring rolls with ginger-orange-plum sauce and baby greens for $14.
My friend ordered only the baked goat cheese salad as her appetizer, which featured baby arugula, fennel, endive, pine nuts, crostini and lemon vinaigrette priced the same as my heirloom tomato salad.
Our cocktails came before our appetizers and my R House Margarita was amazing. As a huge advocate for anything with a kick, it was the perfect mixture of tequila, pineapple, jalapeno, triple sec and lime.
My friend ordered the Basil Mojito, which was the simple combination of Bacardi, muddled basil, lime and sugar, but was not a fan. I asked to try it and although it was very refreshing, the basil overtook the drink and made it extremely earthy. She instead asked to order my drink after having a sip. Both drinks cost a typical Miami price of $12, which is expensive but what we (unfortunately) expected.
Before our appetizers arrived, we were given three pieces of bread that had pieces of onions and peas in them with olive oil. We enjoyed the bread and (even though I really dislike peas) thought it was extremely delicious and the right amount of bread so we wouldn’t fill up before our meal.
Our appetizers came out shortly after. My heirloom tomato salad came in a bowl and was extremely fresh. The cheese came in long slices, which I did not expect and I felt the croutons were very hard to grab with your fork and eat, but they were seasoned to perfection with the garlic, which made up for it.
My friends’ goat cheese salad came with the goat cheese melted on the crostini and we both felt that there wasn’t enough cheese or that they should’ve added more crostini’s with goat cheese on them. She was not a fan of the lemon vinaigrette and felt it to be to overpowering and citrus-y. After trying her salad I understood why although the greens tasted extremely fresh and we both loved the goat cheese crostini’s!
The star of the show was the duck confit spring rolls, which were delicious by themselves but to die for with the ginger-orange-plum sauce. Only two spring rolls came in the appetizer so we each had one, but even after it was gone the bed of baby greens they came on was devoured by us as we mixed them in with the incredible sauce. It was around 8:15 p.m., now, and we noticed the restaurant slowly filling up with more and more people.
We both ordered our entrees at the same time as our appetizers and felt the timing of all the food being brought out was executed perfectly. For dinner most of the options were offered as half or whole portions with significant price changes.
Most dishes had very interesting flavor combinations and I choose to go with the most expensive item on the menu that did not offer a half portion: the braised lamb shank with forest mushroom-cinnamon-coriander rub, arugula pesto, Israeli couscous, roasted baby carrots and port reduction costing $27.
My friend ordered the full portion of the braised short rib in a coffee-chili powder rub, jalapeno, scalloped potatoes, crispy shiitake mushrooms, green beans and molasses reduction.
Both presentations were lovely and the meats were both so tender, mine literally was falling off the bone.
The Israeli couscous was delicious as was the lamb and carrots although I was having a hard time trying to find the cinnamon flavor. My friend loved her short rib and finished it so quickly I almost didn’t get a bite. The meat was so tender and cooked perfectly and the flavor was amazing.
Our waitress came over and asked us if we were interested in coffee or dessert, but we were both stuffed. R House does not have a separate dessert menu, but she listed off the three items featured: a flourless chocolate cake, tres leche and a lemon banana bread pudding. Our bill came to about $74 each, which was a little too expensive for our taste considering only the drinks, one appetizer, and one entrée truly stood out to us, and tip was not included.
All in all I would definitely go back again for appetizers and drinks!
- 2727 NW 2nd Ave., Miami, Fla. 33127
- Hours: 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.
- Type of Cuisine: American, Latin, Mediterranean, Asian fusion
- Price Range: $31 to $60
- Dress Code: Business casual, dressy casual, semi formal
- Credit cards accepted
- Overall rating: 6.5/7