Sun-Sentinel, September 15, 2010: (click here to view online)
Best reason to go: For the sheer experience of taste, ambiance and elegance. We didn't just go out to eat. We dined. We had cloth napkins, which our server replaced—along with cutlery—after each course. Sublime is a culinary wonderland. Aside from phenomenal presentation, much of the food appears to be meat-based, but is actually vegan and made with all natural ingredients.
But this is no gimmick. The real meal plan is based on purpose and that's another reason to go. Owner Nanci Alexander, who greets each diner, is founder of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. And proceeds from the restaurant support organizations that promote animal welfare and a vegan lifestyle.
The idea of all-vegan ingredients doesn't appeal to everyone. Along with no meat or fish, there are no eggs or dairy products. So that's not really cheese and sour cream drizzled on the enchiladas. This is heaven for the lactose allergy/intolerant. Seafood, meat and dairy flavors and textures are accomplished with the use of organic vegetables, sea vegetables (seaweed) or gardein—a protein alternative made from wheat and soy.
For the kids: They'll eat their vegetables – and like it! My son ordered Crispy Eggplant Rollatini ($11), two rolled pieces stuffed with a "ricotta cheese" brown rice mix. His also loved his mushroom ravioli ($17) entree.
For the adults: We shared the crispy cauliflower appetizer called Frito Misto ($12). I had a Caesar salad $8 and enchiladas with black beans $16. My partner ordered the Sublime Picatta ($19), gardein cutlets with linguini in a delicate lemon caper sauce. We all snagged bites of one another's meal (discreetly, of course). My son liked the enchiladas best. The adults favored the picatta. For dessert, we ordered chocolate cake ($11), the Sublime Sundae ($6) and very good coffee.
Kid comfortable: They'd better behave. People pay good money to dine here. Kids are certainly welcome, but be prepared if they get fidgety. Bring a small tote of paper and crayons to keep them busy. Or go for a walk along the canal in the back parking area. There are even picnic tables reserved for Sublime guests. (For a treat – take them to the restroom. Seriously! Upon entering, a happy, upbeat, kid-appealing song about washing hands begins to play. For the littlest ones – that may well be the highlight.)
Sublime reminded us to take the time to pause and enjoy each other's company. Our quiet conversation centered mostly around our discovery of things we tasted—the look and texture of the food—as well as the beautiful simplicity of our surroundings. This is a special place. Reserve it for date night, birthdays, good report cards rewards or to impress out-of-towners
Service: The friendly attentive wait staff educates customers about ingredients; and the restaurant's mission and philosophy.
I'd rate what we ate as one of my top five meals this year, and that includes haute, chichi edibles at some of the best restaurants in the country . . . . Flavors that shake your taste buds awake . . . . The presentation of everything was exquisite. - Gail Shepherd
4 out of 4 stars. If you're a card-carrying member of the meatless crowd, you know Sublime has been through some ups and downs in the last few years. First there was the departure of co-owner Terry Dalton, the food service veteran who spawned the original Unicorn in North Miami. Then there was that visit from Wilma, causing extensive damage and five months of being closed. That said, I'm happy to report that sole owner Nanci Alexander, the animal rights activist whose personal vision created Sublime, has put the restaurant back on its healthful happy feet, pushing dimensions by spicing and packaging the restaurant's trans fat free vegetarian/vegan wares in wonderful ways. The sounds of calming water cascade down a focal water wall and daylight or moonlight stream in through skylights. And, you can't ask for more than a staff commendably well versed in the food -- some of which looks like something other than what it is.
What tastes and looks just like black caviar is fashioned from sea vegetables -- that's seaweed for the uninitiated. This amazing creation -- 1 ounce for $19 -- comes with traditional accompaniments -- diced red onions, mini pancakes called blini, and the Sublime touch -- chopped tofu. Or, up the ante and have the mock caviar on excellent flatbread with roasted garlic, chives and house-made "ricotta," at an eye-opening $40. Other flatbreads ring up at $11 and $12. A likable, quichelike caramelized onion and potato tart ($8) is layered with roasted tomatoes, sliced rosemary red skins and caramelized onions atop a flaky crust, zigzags of soy sour cream and microgreens. Or, have spicy raw mushroom ceviche ($9), a blend of assorted veggies with forest mushrooms and diced mango in refreshing citrus marinade. For more electric flavors, start with the pickled/sweet/sour hearts of bamboo salad ($9) -- cucumbers, carrot batons, bok choy, napa cabbage and scallions.
I've eaten portobellos all over town and have yet to find anything as enticing as the portobello "tenderloin" here. For $17, the earthy delight is filled with a divine slightly sweet tomato confiture, capped with a tower of onion rings -- as perfect as they get. The kitchen cuts large onions about 2 inches thick, dredging them in panko crumbs before a quick dunk into the deep fryer to give them their gorgeous golden crispness. They arrive stacked high on the portobello surrounded by a rich delicious au poivre sauce, wilted garlic spinach and whipped potatoes. If I didn't know better, I would have sworn I was eating a real piece of veal in the Sublime piccata ($17). The "meat," actually gardein, a protein alternative made from transformed wheat and soy, is floured and sauteed until a gentle crust forms, then combined with a well-balanced lemon caper sauce.
Pasta lovers will take to the spinach and eggplant ravioli, ($14), cooked al dente, alternately filled with spinach and an eggplant mixture. Slow roasted tomato sauce, garlic confit and fresh herbs marry the ingredients. The kitchen doesn't slack at dessert time either. Brown rice pudding ($6) with puddles of soy whipping cream is terrific; the apple napoleon ($7), tasted like the best filo-based apple strudel we ever ate, and sugar-dusted doughnuts filled with non-dairy cream and lots of coconut have a little fun with your taste buds ($7). The goal of Sublime is to show that plant-based foods can be sublime and there's no doubt that vegetables are treated with great respect on these premises. Personally, I like to think of it as more like a delicious day at the spa. - Judith Stocks
The place is beautiful, prices are well within reach and the food is great!
Superb . . . . Affordable . . . . Elegant . . . . Eclectic fare . . . . The name says it all. Calming surroundings complete with cascading waterfalls . . . . There’s something for everybody here. Voted Top Restaurant Decor. Vote for Sublime in the Zagat Survey.
Absolutely the best! And the desserts are out of this world!
I'm in Heaven . . . and it is Sublime.
Once in a rare while, a restaurant truly lives up to its name – and its press. Sublime is simply that!
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