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Restaurant Reviews

Sweet Nectar Serves Comfort Food for an International Neighborhood

The friendly bucolic motif of Sweet Nectar is a stark departure from the space's former inhabitant, arctic-themed Tundra Restaurant -- and the rest of Las Olas, for that matter.

Contrasting weathered x-back and lacquered wood chairs sit under slatted wood tables topped with sturdy bistro glasses and simple, blue-striped white napkins. Exposed Edison bulbs hanging in vintage-looking metal pendants light the large bar of warm wood and black stone that extends from the patio into the interior of the restaurant.

Tundra -- the gimmicky concept dubbed "the nation's first ice art-themed restaurant" -- shuttered its doors this fall after a mere two years in business. Before that, the location housed Mancini's, an upscale Italian eatery catering to local politicians, developers, and wealthy residents for the better part of a decade.

See also: More local restaurant news and reviews from our print edition.

The newest concept from Trust Hospitality Group, the team behind Rouge Waterfront Dining and C-Lounge Cigar and Hookah Bar in Sunny Isles Beach (as well as three eateries in New York), Sweet Nectar is aiming to give Las Olas locals a laid-back neighborhood dining option.

Owner Alex Podolnyy and Director of Operations Peter Cumplido (who has spent time in the kitchen of the Ritz-Carlton South Beach and as a consultant for James Beard-recognized Miami Beach gastropub Pubbelly) wanted to open a place that mirrors the way they prefer to eat.

"We like to try a bit of everything, small plates," says Cumplido. "Las Olas was lacking outdoor bar seating; we wanted to get away from the pretentious-restaurant vibe."

For Sweet Nectar, that means scaled-up comfort foods with an international flare, like boneless, skinless chicken thighs marinated in a secret recipe, tossed with flour, deep-fried, and served with a piquant Jamaican jerk vinaigrette. In another signature dish, Brussels sprouts are roasted and tossed in a spicy kimchi vinaigrette for a new take on conventional Korean kimchi cabbage.

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Sara Ventiera

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