Friday, July 12, 2024

Restaurant Review: Ravish Off Ocean

It’s all in the name. Ravish Off Ocean is a delightful dining experience less than a mile from the powdery sands of South Palm Beach. The name might sound familiar to some. Ravish opened in 2019, but when the pandemic hit, Chef/Owner Lisa Mercado decided to close up shop. Enter current Co-owner/Managing Partner Alexandra Dupuis, who had worked with Mercado and added “Off Ocean” to the marquee upon taking over the location.

The coastal vibes are evident here with sea-inspired options like local fish ceviche, tuna tartare, fish tacos, and a daily catch. Leading the kitchen, Executive Chef Johnny Demartini has a playful sense of tackling the menu with items like bang bang cauliflower and Cuban sandwich empanadas (more on those later). And don’t sleep on its happy hour specials for several reasons. It’s available all week. Yes, even on weekends. Beer, wine and liquor are half off. Its shareable bites menu includes a few regular menu items at markdown prices, like the tuna tartare and Brussels sprouts, as well as happy hour-only dishes.

Ricotta gnocchi

The Cuban sandwich empanadas ($14) called my name instantly. A warm Cuban sandwich and toasty empanadas are quintessential comfort foods for me. I figured combining them could only exponentially make them even better. And it did. Seasoned mojo pork, ham and melted Swiss cheese are stuffed into a warm pocket and served with pickle relish. Demartini properly honored a Cuban sandwich’s DNA while also putting a fun twist on it. The second appetizer we tried was the bang bang cauliflower ($14). An Asian take on cauliflower, the tempura vegetable had a lovely light batter and a lightly fried consistency, but I wish the spicy aioli was drizzled on all the pieces evenly. Only a couple had aioli on them, so little that I almost asked if the kitchen had forgotten to add it to the dish.

We ordered the lamb lollipops ($38) and the ricotta gnocchi ($38) for entrées. The lamb was extra tender and juicy. The chermoula marinade transported me to Morocco with its herbaceousness, which added so much flavor and yet allowed the distinctive lamb essence to come through. The gnocchi were fluffy pillows of Maine lobster topped with crispy bacon bites and melt-in-your-mouth leeks in a cream sauce that was thankfully light.

Cuban sandwich empanadas

We ended the evening with a bread pudding ($12) unlike any bread pudding I’ve had. It looked like a baked Alaska when it arrived with its towering, browned meringue icing. Inside, it was a surprise each time my spoon came up for air—the warm pudding came with candied pecans, chocolate chips and a banana maple bourbon sauce as decadent as it sounds. I think that’s the overlying theme at Ravish Off Ocean: The dish names and descriptions on the menu sound appealing, and they deliver on their promise once they hit the table.

IF YOU GO

210 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana; 561/588-2444
PARKING: Street parking, parking lot
HOURS: Monday – Thursday: 4 – 9 p.m.; Friday – Saturday: 4 – 11 p.m.; Sunday brunch: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Sunday dinner: 4 – 9 p.m.
PRICES: $14 – $38
WEBSITE: ravishkitchen.com

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Christie Galeano-DeMott
Christie Galeano-DeMott
Christie is a food lover, travel fanatic, bookworm, Francophile, and she believes art in all its forms is good for the soul. When she’s not writing about the incredible dishes, people and places that capture South Florida's culture and vibe, Christie is irresistibly happy in the company of her husband and a glass of red wine.

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