Lauded Venezuelan chef Carlos Garcia has officially debuted his first stateside restaurant, Obra Kitchen Table (1331 Brickell Bay Drive), in Brickell. Garcia boasts an impressive resume, doing stints at renowned restaurants like El Bulli, El Celler de Can Roca, and Mugaritz before returning to his hometown of Caracas. There, he opened Alto, a contemporary Venezuelan eatery that earned a spot on Latin America’s 50 Best list from 2013 to 2016.
The South American flavors on which he built his reputation can also be found on the Obra menu. The kitchen centers around dishes made on the Josper grill, like raw vegetable tartare, roasted clams, spaghetti and octopus carbonara, grilled rice with squid, and pork pernil, plus desserts like tierra de cacao and tarte tatin made with coffee and bananas.
For lunch, guests are offered a condensed a la carte menu or their choice of a $21 prix fixe; the latter begins with a cup of Garcia’s “Barriga Llena” chicken soup and a choice of a protein, two sides, and a dessert. For each prix fixe menu sold, $1 will be donated to Garcia’s foundation, Barriga Llena Corazón Contento, which helps to feed soup to the hungry children of Hospital J.M. De Los Ríos in Caracas, as well as the nurses, doctors, and family members of these children.
The 3,015-square-foot restaurant features seating around a large wrap counter and an open kitchen where guests can literally get a front seat to the action. Designed by architect and interior designer Alejandro Barrios Carrero — the same guy behind the design of Juvia, for which he won a James Beard Award for “Outstanding Restaurant Design” in 2013, and Sushi Garage — it showcases aqua green subway tiles lining the walls, white oak plank floors, and a ceiling accentuated with wood strips painted in white, inspired by the Perez Art Museum’s ceiling.
The restaurant is now open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner at 1331 Brickell Bay Drive on the first floor of the Jade building. For more information, call 305-846-9363.