Barock, a new addition to the ever-exciting Ocean Drive scene, boasts a diverse menu and wonderful atmosphere, and it’s no mistake given owner Leif Tommy Sjoo’s impressive international restaurateur experience. Barock is open for business at 1412 Ocean Drive in South Beach while Sjoo puts the finishing touches on the restaurant’s design and décor. Barock’s grand opening is scheduled for late March—don’t miss it!
I recently visited Barock for an evening meal. I chose to indulge with the Miami Mai Tai, which captured the tropical essence of the drink’s namesake and included a strong spice component that combined perfectly to also embrace an Asian influence. My table’s appetizers were Tartar 2 Ways and Rice Paper Spring Rolls—both were delicious, but the tartar, which brings both tuna and salmon tartar, is unique, fresh and perfect for Ocean Drive seated across the Atlantic Ocean. For my entrée, I chose traditional and American, but in true Barock fashion, there was a twist; the Creekstone Organic Burger is dressed with a pineapple Chimichurri sauce and served on a brioche bun with perfectly fried shoestring fries. The burger is perfectly priced and perfectly prepared. It is not always easy to do classic well, but Barock succeeded. To finish off a wonderful meal, the table shared the Ginger Crème Brulee and the Chef’s Daily Chocolate Desire; the crème brulee melts in your mouth and leaves a faint ginger kick, while the chocolate desire is a flourless and therefore fudge-full delectable chocolate treat served with fresh strawberries. All the guests at my table enjoyed a wonderful meal of exquisitely prepared seafood and meat dishes—all while seated outdoors for a beautiful Ocean Drive evening just North of South Beach’s wildest blocks.
Barock brings a unique twist to the more relaxed and tranquil northern blocks of South Beach’s famed Ocean Drive. The restaurant’s menu combines Asian, Latin American and American influences to create a tastefully crafted tropical cuisine that is well suited to its location. The Tom Yam Soup, a spicy soup with fresh Thai vegetables, fresh fish, tiger prawns, coriander and chili pepper, has already gained considerable notoriety within the hard-to-conquer Miami Beach restaurant scene.
Leif Tommy Sjoo, originally from Gothenberg, Sweden, began his restaurant career with a successful Italian restaurant in Denmark’s capital city of Copenhagen. From there, he began the very successful Pravda Group in the Czech Republic, eventually establishing more than 14 restaurants in the Eastern European nation. However, the success did not end there; Sjoo went on to expand to other European nations, including a restaurant in Marbella, Spain. South Beach’s Barock will make more than 20 restaurant openings for Sjoo. Sjoo’s restaurants are no stranger to celebrities either, throughout Barock, there are photos with celebrities and dignitaries including Hilary Clinton, Matt Damon and Arnold Schwazenegger.
Leif Tommy Sjoo knows how to run a restaurant. He has been in Miami Beach only since December full-time, but he has captured the tropical, seaside, multicultural essence of the city without problem. With sidewalk seating in an area of Ocean Drive with less hectic pedestrian traffic, the outdoor seating is a pleasant way to take in the sunshine, ocean breeze and delicious cuisine that Barock has to offer. The interior is stylishly designed with modern seating and a very bright and inviting décor. The restaurant transitions into a nighttime retreat with dimmer lighting and more music, great for dinner or a delicious cocktail.