A new Coral Gables restaurant has expanded its offerings to feature a la carte menu items, a recent deviation highlighting the most popular dishes from its tasting menu only format.
Lion & The Rambler officially opened its doors in early June, a culmination of a lifelong dream of for chef and owner Michael Bolen, who designed Lion & The Rambler to be a bastion for technique-driven, detail-oriented cuisine infused with whimsy and served in a cool, laidback space.
And indeed it is just that, having opened in the former Eating House space at 804 Ponce de Leon Boulevard and quickly wowing diners with its culinary pyrotechnics. And though initially conceptualized as a tasting-menu-centric eatery, Bolen has expanded his offerings and, by popular demand, launched an A La Carte Menu. Rolling out officially on Friday, June 24, 2022 the expansive new menu gives guests an opportunity to curate their own Lion & The Rambler experience.
Designed by Miami interiors guru, Paula Lemme, the intimate, 42-seat restaurant located in the former Eating House space, has been transformed into a sultry, sophisticated dining lair. Here, hand-painted lion frescos by Canadian muralist, Derkz, adorn the walls exuding a sense of eccentricity. Ambient lighting and dark, moody tones are paired with warm woods, creating a polished, inviting atmosphere. A wall lined with cozy banquettes and walnut tabletops provide ample indoor seating for guests, and plateware is all uniquely handcrafted by independent ceramists hailing from New York City and Los Angeles, while the pink-and-purple cutlery is French-imported.
The six-course tasting menu, offered at $85 per person, is perfect for those seeking the ultimate Lion & Rambler gastronomic adventure. Inspired by the chef’s life in food, fueled by South Florida’s local bounty and executed with masterful technique, seasonality and a sense of play is the name of the game at this eclectic eatery.
Bolen, who did most of his culinary training at both Sel de la Terre and L'Espalier in Boston and, most recently, at Mister A's in San Diego, is excited about his first venture as an owner/operator. To that end, he understands listening to his customers is key — evidenced with his addition of the a la carte menu.
“So many of the most passionate and engaged guests we’ve had told me how much they enjoyed the restaurant and did like a tasting menu experience, but that having the option of ordering what they wanted off the menu made such a difference to them," Bolen tells News Break. "It turned a special occasion dinner spot into an ‘any night of the week’ spot.”
Beyond the nightly-changing tasting menu offering, guests now have the flexibility to order from an expansive menu of tasting menu favorites as well as special creations in a number of sizes; perfect for mixing and matching, sharing or solo dining.
Notable new selections sure to wow include Spiced Lamb Ribs; Golden Tilefish served with white asparagus and a Vin Jaune sauce; Foie Gras Torchon with oats and pickled peach and Crispy Sweet Potato with aioli and pickled red onion. Tasting menu favorites now offered a la carte in expanded serving sizes include the must-try Boniato Pelmeni (think of a Polish wonton stuffed with boniato puree) and New York Strip served with a charred onion sauce and tempura watercress. To drink, guests can indulge in an a la carte selection of low-proof, rare and imported spirits including beer, sake, wine and house-made kombucha.
Lion & The Rambler is located at 804 Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables. Reservations are available via Resy. Current hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 pm. to 10:00 p.m., and a daily happy hour available from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with special pricing on wine and drinks. For additional information visit lionandtherambler.com or follow at @lionandtherambler.