Art you can eat at R House

Wynwood inspires newcomer chef Rocco Carulli

There's a new artist in town, but his work isn't what you might expect.

"I looked for this place for a year," says chef Rocco Carulli of his canvas–an industrial, loft style gallery/restaurant hybrid at the mouth of the neighborhood's main street.

"I try to capture the spirit of Miami–the different tropical trees, the colors, the cultures, the eclecticism–with my food," he explains. "But honestly, it's Wynwood. If I were doing this elsewhere, the inspiration wouldn't be there."

Swiveling wall panels for different layout options

And inspired he is. R House's menu showcases an array of locally sourced ingredients that come together like vibrant brush strokes on a plate.

Take, for instance, the crispy seafood cakes on a bed of bright corn relish, blotted with the spicy mustard aioli ($14) or the sweet pea falafel with heirloom tomatoes ($12 to $18). "It's usually done with chickpeas, but the brightness of the green and the sweet peas' crunch add a different element," Carulli explains.

After sampling the bar's pineapple and jalapeño margarita, we're anxiously awaiting the cocktail menu–featuring drinks made with house-infused spirits–that promises to have the joint swaying to the sounds of local DJs.

What would be the best time to stop in? Perhaps next Saturday's Art Walk. It feels fitting.