The Moore Building has had many lifetimes over its 100 year history and with Elastika, this incarnation is its most delicious yet.

The Moore Building holds the unique distinction of being the first and oldest standing building in the Design District. Impeccably preserved, it’s been a venue of rotating uses in recent years, for art fairs and private events, public markets and chic parties. But today, every inch of this 90,000–square-foot building is getting put to good use; especially the first floor with Elastika, an architecturally stunning restaurant with flavors to match. 

No matter where you sit, you’re treated with an amuse-bouche of eye candy (as well as an actual amuse-bouche that can only be described as a gelatinous bite-size margarita).  The walls feature a collection of fun facial expressions on bright gradient canvases, setting up the table topic: “Which one are you?” 

The abstract floor tiles, curved sage seating and Taj Mahal quartzite on every surface evoke a feeling of serene playfulness, but the true star of the entire room is Elastika itself, a sculpture by Zaha Hadid commissioned for the inaugural Design Miami in 2005 for which the restaurant is named. There is no feeling quite like sitting under it, imagining it expand and contract like putty as it stretches from the bottom all the way up to the fourth floor of this light-filled space. 

The restaurant describes itself as modern American, which is to say, a little bit of everything from every corner of the world. It’s helmed by Executive Chef Joe Anthony, who led the team at Gabriel Kreuther restaurant in New York during the years it won two Michelin Stars and a ton of other accolades, including a coveted AAA Five Diamond award, and Chef de Cuisine Seth Blumenthal, who worked under Brad Kilgore at Alter.

Elastika is fine dining that feels fresh, partly due to Chef Anthony’s commitment to source ingredients from farms throughout his native Florida, like French Farms and Paradise Farms.This is apparent in dishes like the Florida Tomato Gazpacho, made with pickled tomatillo and accompanied by fennel focaccia you’ll want to save for the next course, and the aged Kingfish Crudo, cut in sashimi-like slices that sit stoically over a puddle of cucumber agua chile. For a meatier start, the grass-fed Bison Tartare comes sizzling hot in a skillet, minced and topped with an escabeche sauce and umami crumble that deliver savoriness, saltiness and sweetness at the same time. 

We then went for the Raviolis, each dumpling-like pocket filled with savory eggplant and sheep’s milk, and an east coast Mussels curry that balanced the acidity of blistered tomatoes with the lightness of coconut carrot broth. Another bright seafood dish we enjoyed was the lemon jam-topped diver Scallops, which sat like monoliths over a sweet sea of snap pea purée. And for our final mains, we opted for miso marinated grilled Bavette (a chicer word for flank steak), delivered almost rare and dignified, complemented by spiced dates and pistachio-topped greens, before moving on to our favorite portion of the meal: dessert. 

You wouldn’t be wrong in ordering the deconstructed Pavlova, with a tropical twist of guava jam, but the most entertaining and surprising element of the meal was the appearance of a stylish cheese cart that allowed us to sample some funky things like a Shabby Shoe from up in Wisconsin. 

Like the dishes, the drinks disguise their underlying complexities with artfully minimal presentation featuring, usually, no garnish at all. Beverage director Nick Nistico and his team have devised a creative menu, like a hazelnut brown butter Airmail, which brings rich, nutty flavors to this sparkling Champagne cocktail, or a kiwi & fig leaf Spritz that’s as delightful for lunch as it is a pre-dinner starter. Here, we traveled the world in wine – a rare 2020 grand cru from small Champagne house Jean Milan to welcome in the meal and a 2020 Vosne-Romanee from winemaker Albert Bichot, made from grapes grown where Burgundy’s rarest wines come from. 

We took a tour of the Moore’s private members club, which is an ongoing labyrinth of rooms that include five bars, a game room enveloped in burlwood, a lounge to watch games, a soon-to-open hotel and a karaoke room enveloped in wallpaper depicting pandas in an orgy. You’ll need a few grand to access those. But only a couple hundred and an appreciation for good food to enjoy Elastika. 

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