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Restaurant review: Oak & Ember

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

We arranged for a couple to dine at Oak & Ember, so that we can present to our readers a unbiased and real review of their experience. This is our first ever restaurant review, and we hope to feature other establishments in the future as well. Hope you enjoy.

 

Dinner at Oak and Ember was a luxury experience - from the entryway with it’s moody faux-flames, to the final bites of our exquisite meal, and every moment in between.

The location at the Fountains affords the convenience and hometown beauty we’ve come to know and love in Boca, but Oak and Ember’s entrance is tucked around the corner, giving it a more private, exclusive feel. Upon entering, we immediately felt the calming ambiance of high ceilings, warm lighting, fine furnishings and delicate music.


The service staff was friendly and knowledgeable, and in my case specifically, incredibly accommodating. I have very limiting dietary requirements and they took it in stride, offering an array of options and suggestions, as well as modifications to any dish I requested.


They started us off with toasted fresh baked bread and balsamic vinegar with olive oil and sesame seeds, while we settled in and enjoyed the lush atmosphere. One wall boasts a fully stocked, gorgeous glass enclosed collection of kosher wines- reputed to be the largest in any restaurant in South Florida. Another wall, dark blue with rich wood accents, hosts the bar, inviting with its array of glasses and bottles. The far wall is entirely open to the terrace, which perfectly strikes the ideal indoor-outdoor balance. Out there you feel the warm breeze, hear the fountains bubbling happily, but you’re surrounded by beautiful plants and a half wall that gives just the right feel of privacy and exclusivity.



We soon received our beef tartar (with it’s garlic bread toasted to perfection) and “O & E slider” appetizers, recommended by the charming and helpful manager, Breon, and his guidance did not disappoint. The presentation itself was photo-worthy, and the taste was out of this world. It’s rare in this day and age to have a dining experience where you truly feel you’re tasting divine dishes you’ve never had before, but that is what we had at Oak and Ember.





The comfortable, lush setting made us feel so unrushed and relaxed, and we took our time getting to the main course. The acoustic music was subtle, but every now and then we’d pick up notes and realize we knew the song, and smile. The warm staff would pop by at just the right intervals - not too pushy, but not absent when you want a refill or to ask a question. Conversation flowed easily, because, unlike some eateries in which voices carry and dishes clank and clatter, the acoustics at Oak and Ember make you feel as though you are the only people there, enjoying a private evening of luxury.


Eventually it was time for the main course. My Chilean sea bass (modified to accommodate my dietary specifications) was buttery soft, with the perfect crispy crust outside, while my husband's pepper crusted steak was out of this world in tenderness, spice, and texture. On the side I had the best mushrooms I have ever encountered - and I always - *always* order mushrooms. The fingerling potatoes had just the right softness on the inside, salty crispy outside, and of course, beautiful presentation.



At the very end of our meal I realized there was no salt and pepper on the table, and I also realized why - it hadn’t even occurred to us to ask for it. Each dish had the perfect blend of flavors that hit all the right notes. When we finished our meal we didn't want to leave. We walked around the terrace a little, checked out the wine wall, and took some pictures in the beautiful entryway.


The comfortable environment, the beautiful aesthetics, the subtle fine aromas, the pleasant acoustics and the exquisite tastes, all build a truly elevated dinner out. While Oak and Ember is certainly in a higher price bracket than some of the other local restaurants, it’s in another echelon entirely in terms of experience. I certainly am looking forward to spending an evening there again.