Down a dead-end alley on NE 24th Street, spitting distance from Biscayne Boulevard, is Miami’s Sacred Space, a passion project of Karla Event’s Karla Dascal. Part of that is a very unique raw, vegan restaurant: Matthew Kenney’s Plant Food + Wine. The airy, upscale dining establishment spills out onto the Sacred Space’s beautifully designed courtyard with outdoor seating and even boasts a raw-vegan cooking school in the back.
In the same way that JugoFresh totally changed the juice bar game by elevating the experience from aromatically-challenged and dubiously-designed health food stores, to marble-laden, high-design venues with—gasp—great branding.
But Plant Food + Wine offers more than smart branding. It offers a stylish refuge for Miami’s healthy set. The kind of place you have to know is there because no sign is going to tell you.
For those not familiar with “raw cuisine” – first know that it is always plant-based—sorry, sushi doesn’t count. You’ll find no animal products on the menu anywhere, and everything should not have been heated above 106 degrees so as not to kill living, active enzymes in the food. In-tact enzymes mean the food is easy to digest and of its energy is given back to you—not spent on digestion.
The menu, which can be seen in it’s entirety here, includes fancier takes on raw food staples. Examples include the Artisanal Cheese Plates, with creamy “cheese” made out of macadamia nuts and the Zucchini Lasagna, which is rich and filling and includes a fresh take on the traditional Italian flavor profile.
The Cacio E Pepe is made with kelp noodles, watercress and green olive puree and offer up a creamy experience that is satisfying, if not quite like the Cacio E Pepe you might be used to. Therein lies the trick with raw food, although they have assigned it names to evoke cooked dishes, they are generally very different and best taken as their own entity, rather than versions of something already known.
This axiom doesn’t hold true with dessert, where the raw versions are similar to, if not better than, their known counterparts. The Banana Split features ice-cream made with a nut base and goji berries, hemp, maca, chocolate and strawberries. Don’t even get us started on the Strawberry Hibiscus Cheesecake.
Next up, we’ll tell you more about the magical, wellness-centric place where Plant Food + Wine resides- The Sacred Space Miami.
Photos by Hadley Henriette and Adrian Mueller