Oak Tavern, opened in November 2012 by chef/owner David Bracha, has been a standout hot spot in Miami’s Design District for guests craving Modern American bites. With a large welcoming bar, a communal table perfect for imbibing and sharing bites, as well as a spacious outdoor patio, the restaurant is perfectly designed for socializing and people watching. Already known for its daily Oyster Happy Hour, Oak Tavern is giving patrons even more reason to celebrate with a new cocktail menu spearheaded by new head bartender Anthony ‘Tibor’ Vecsesi.
Tibor joins the Oak Tavern team with 20 years of experience in the beverage industry as a manager, bartender and sommelier after spending the majority of his career in New York, working at Café Deville, Halo and The Standard Grill. In 2013, Tibor created libations at Khong River House and later as bar manager at Michelle Bernstein Catering before assuming the role as head bartender at Oak Tavern. Inspired by his time in the Big Apple, he has introduced time-honored classics to the Oak Tavern bar program, hoping to bring a greater appreciation and following to cocktails that have been around as far back as the 1800s.
“When I sat down with David we agreed that the most important thing was to feature a solid bar program. Going with classic drinks was a natural option, and now it’s time to raise the bar,” says Tibor.
Vecsesi, who preps hours before the restaurant opens, prides himself on using the best ingredients. This means house-infused fruits and herbs, fresh-squeezed juices and no processed sugars. Just in time for summer, the new Oak Tavern bar menu is divided into two sections – Tavern Cocktails ($12) and The Classics ($12-$14). Tavern Cocktails, which include tried and true favorites, such as The Green Mile – featuring Plymouth Gin, cucumber, chile and lime; The Oak Tavern – made with lemon-thyme infused Tito’s Vodka, Yellow Chartreuse and lemon juice; Dublin (one of Tibor’s favorites) – Jameson Irish Whiskey, Carpano Antica Vermouth, Green Chartreuse; and the refreshing Watermelon Martini – with Chopin Wheat Vodka and fresh pressed watermelon.
The Classics, featuring hand-selected and perfected cocktails from Tibor’s arsenal include the popular Moscow Mule – born at an old English style pub in Hollywood to promote vodka to bars in 1939 and made with Absolut Elyx Vodka and ginger beer; and Bramble – a modern classic made famous in the mid-80s in London, with Plymouth Gin or Chopin Vodka, lemon juice and black and blueberries muddled with St. Germaine. The Vesper, better known as the Original James Bond martini, includes Aviation Gin, Ketel One Vodka and Cocchi Americano; while another screen legend is immortalized in the Mary Pickford – a blend of Plantation 3 Stars Rum, fresh pressed pineapple, Maraschino Liqueur, and house-made Grenadine, and pays homage to the silent film actress.
Already a popular event at Oak Tavern, Oyster Happy Hour offers half price East and West Coast oysters and daily drink specials every evening from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Tibor’s back-to-basics cocktails are already a hit with diners at Oak Tavern, as more and more opt for a cocktail instead of the traditional wine to accompany their meal.
Oak Tavern is located at 35 NE 40th Street in Miami’s Design District. Telephone: (786) 391-1818; for more information please visit www.oaktavernmiami.com