David Grutman’s Planta makes vegan dining cool (and mainstream)

Plant-based dishes at Planta.
Plant-based dishes at Planta.

Nightlife guru (and now restaurateur) David Grutman opens an outpost of Toronto’s popular Planta, a vegan restaurant, with its own rooftop garden in South Beach. Executive Chef David Lee leads the kitchen.

The space:

Undeniably chic, the airy and whitewashed compound in South of Fifth has soaring ceilings, black and white flooring, skylights, an indoor courtyard and a bar adorned with copper pineapples.

Healthy cocktails?

Well, yes. Concoctions blend vice with virtue by using cold-pressed juices and healing ingredients like activated charcoal in the Charcoal Bourbon Sour or the kombucha-spiked mojito.

Be prepared to eat:

Plant-based dishes that appeal to the uninitiated. Effort is made to cloak the plant-based cooking in familiar ways – “crab cakes” (made with hearts of palm), a variety of pizzas and things like cauliflower tots and coconut ceviche. This SoBe outpost also features a plant-based sushi bar with things like dehydrated watermelon nigiri. Prices are on par for South Beach with starters $11-$18 and mains $19-$25.

Start things off with the cauli tots and the charred “octopus,” really oyster mushrooms festooned with edible flowers, pico de gallo, chulpe corn and coconut milk.

12197283_whats-on-the-menu-at-planta-a-plant-based_t993f6e0f.jpgThe Habibi bowl at Planta.

Watermelon poke is dressed with smashed avocado and nori chips while the coconut ceviche comes with corn nuts, lime and taro chips. The “Habibi salad bowl” is a Middle-Eastern melange of cauliflower couscous, split pea fritters, lentils, parsley, mint, coriander, currants, sumac, za’atar and tahini dressing.

VegNewsPlanta1.pngThe burger at Planta.

The burger is a hefty patty made of black beans, mashed lentils and beetroot and comes with a nice portion of fries. Meat and cheese-less pizzas include the The Frenchie made with mushrooms, squash, eggplant, olives, cashew mozzarella and basil and a “Meat Lovers” topped with mushroom “bacon” and farro that’s supposed to resemble crumbled fennel sausage.

Desserts are righteous-yet-indulgent with The Chocolate Terrarium made with dairy-free chocolate mousse, peanut butter cream, chocolate cake, salted caramel and a cashew milk softer serve topped with berries.

Bottom line:

Proving that veganism is definitely cool (and now mainstream?), Grutman’s Planta is a buzzy spot for virtuous plant-based food.

Planta, 850 Commerce St., Miami Beach; 305-397-8513

850 Commerce St., Miami Beach