At the L&R, Bread is the Common Theme in a House of Inventive Cuisine
After having my heart stomped on by a disreputable actor between my last Dinner & A Date story and this one, I told our editor-in-chief I was done with dating. To which he, with his characteristic level of never-ending sympathy, replied, “We’re going to turn that heartbreak into copy, Kylie!” and then barked, “That’s what Taylor Swift does!” And really, is there any reason why I shouldn’t try to be more like Taylor Swift?
So, still singed from my last encounter and looking for something a little easier, I reached into my bag of previous dates and pulled out… a corporate lawyer!
The lawyer and I enjoyed a three-date spree a few months ago that ended after his Golden Retriever may or may not have attempted to murder me (true story). But here we went again, and this time I was the one doing the wining and dining– or, technically, Chef Michael Bolen was.
Bolen is at the helm of Lion & The Rambler, which serves “Californian cuisine.” According to their website, this means “the belief that ingredients should be used at their peak, in-season, and… served in creative and delicious ways.” Hence, his seasonal menu, comprised almost entirely of locally sourced, fresh ingredients. The dishes, most of which are tapas-style, are constantly changing, as we discovered upon seeing that our menu was literally stamped with that day’s date. I can only hope you arrive in time to enjoy the October 11 menu items, dear readers.
Bread is the name of the game at The Rambler. It’s all made fresh, in-house, and almost every dish we tried had a side of it. For starters, we tried the yecora rojo focaccia ($8) with butter and whipped ricotta ($4). Pro tip: combine both. Then, we had the steak tartare ($18), my favorite dish of the night, which came with sourdough bread and green blueberry capers. The blueberries were an odd but appetizing addition that left my date and me both questioning what other carnivore dishes would benefit from their presence. Should steaks have blueberries on them? Should pork chops?
The maitake mushroom dish ($21), locally sourced from Gratitude Garden Farm in Loxahatchee Groves, may have changed my mind about mushrooms. I’m usually not a fungus fan, but the delightfully vibrant parsley and garlic sabayon sauce (accompanied, of course, by a side of Sonora wheat brioche) is thick enough that the fungi are swimming in it.
Besides the incredibly creative food menu, the other genius of Lion & The Rambler is its drink menu. The restaurant doesn’t have a liquor license, so there’s no full bar, but they still have cocktails. Each one is made with a sake, prosecco, or wine base, none of which require a license. They’re slightly small but delicious. My favorite: “the Angelina” ($16), a sake-based drink with lemon, strawberry, and egg whites that managed to be sweet without sacrificing the sake flavor.
And somehow, throughout all the eating and drinking – or maybe because of it – I forgot all the reasons I broke things off with the lawyer in the first place. It’s like Ms. Swift says: “We never go out of style.”
Lion & the Ramble
804 Ponce de Leon,
Coral Gables, FL 33134