Go all natural at Organic Bites in Miami

Organic Bites photo by Linda Bladholm for the Miami Herald.
Organic Bites photo by Linda Bladholm for the Miami Herald.

The motto at Organic Bites in Miami is, “once upon a time, all food was organic.” Open since May, the mom-and-pop café offers almost entirely organic food, covering all bases, from meat and dairy to vegan and vegetarian. 

The idea is to work with ingredients like they were back in our great-grandparents’ days, before pesticides and chemical fertilizers, when all food was “natural.” The way of the future seems to be moving back toward organic, with more folks adopting a plant-based diet. 

Eating at Organic Bites is not an exercise in deprivation. Get a burger with caramelized onions and smoked truffle mozzarella on a brioche bun or creamy polenta with shiitake and oyster mushrooms with truffle essence.

The husband-and-wife team of Andre and Anna Reid runs the place in the former Taperia Raca space at 70th Street and Biscayne Boulevard. Inside there’s a small counter facing the semi-open kitchen and a few tables plus a covered patio. 

Andre Reid is from Porto, Portugal, and is a wealth manager for private investors. He also analyzes food trends and sees organic as a growing force in the market. After a divorce, he moved to Miami to be near his two kids, and he met Anna through a friend in 2013. She is a fashion model from Rio de Janeiro who spent years based in Milan. 

The couple imports organic olive oil and wildflower and rosemary honey from Portugal and organic chocolate and macadamia-nut spread from the Dominican Republic (for sale in the restaurant). 

They hired chef Gonçalo Costa, who also is from Porto and previously worked at The Bazaar by José Andrés. 

Start the day with a yogurt parfait with honey and homemade granola; pancakes with berries, cream and maple syrup; or an omelet with a green juice made from kale, cucumber, parsley and celery or a pink juice with watermelon, tomato and lemon. 

Appetizers include locally made burrata with red and yellow tomato salsa; bruschetta with brie, pecans, caramelized onions and slices of green apple drizzled in balsamic vinegar; vegetable carpaccio with paper-thin slices of zucchini topped with arugula, shaved parmesan and basil oil; salt-cod fritters with black-eyed pea salad; and butternut squash and carrot soup with ginger and cilantro. 

The rocket salad combines arugula, beets, pine nuts and goat cheese, while the grain salad tosses spinach with quinoa, mango and black beans in lemon-honey vinaigrette. 

Mains include grilled tofu, shrimp, steak, salmon and a veggie patty made from black beans, mushrooms and carrots, all good with sides such as brussels sprouts caramelized in honey with dried cranberries and bits of bacon; spaghetti made from strips of zucchini; kale sautéed with nutritional yeast; and mac ’n’ cheese enhanced with carrot and orange juice. 

Sandwiches (lunch only) rotate to include ratatouille with goat cheese; smoked salmon with cream cheese and spinach; chicken breast with avocado and aioli; and a BLT with a sunny-side-up egg and truffle mayo. 

Sweet bites include the chef’s grandmother’s Belgian chocolate cake; crème brûlée; and cheesecake made from stracciatella cream with a layer of pumpkin jelly and cookie crumbs.

It’s good to be organic.