Kool Beanz is very eclectic; the walls are a colorful backdrop for local artists to hang their work. It’s almost always crowded, and people always seem to be having a great time. They have a small but serviceable wine list that is printed as a label on an empty wine bottle, and their beer selections are listed the same way on an an empty beer bottle. The menu changes daily to take advantage of fresh, seasonal ingredients. If you want to watch your food being made, you can take a seat at the small bar right next to the kitchen. Sometimes, the restaurant is so crowded, sitting at the bar might be your only option. The restaurant is small, so come prepared to wait a while if you visit during high-traffic time periods. I dropped in at 1:00pm on a Friday afternoon, and I didn’t have to wait at all for a table.
I started off with a salad with heirloom tomatoes, eggs, and a lemon-feta vinaigrette. The dressing was super tangy, and I loved the home-made croutons. My only complaint: I wish there were a few more heirloom tomatoes. Those that I did get were delicious, juicy, and ripe, but there were so few that they didn’t even begin to satisfy. My entrée was a panéed chicken breast with fried eggplant, fresh mozzarella, and a stewed tomato jam.
The combination of flavors was interesting; at first I thought the stewed tomato jam was a bit too sweet, but the more I ate, the more I liked it. In fact, everything on the plate tasted better smothered in the jam. I only wished that they had sprinkled the fried eggplant with a little salt when it came out of the pan.
For dessert, I had key lime pie with orange liquer marinated strawberries. It was a beautifully presented, individual tart. The filling was super smooth and creamy, and the strawberries were a nice accompaniment. Light and refreshing; a great way to end a great meal.
Final Impressions: Delicious food, and impeccable service in a casual atmosphere. Oh yeah, and spring the extra dollar for the bread and butter basket. It’s addictive. I wouldn’t go to Kool Beanz Cafe for a romantic date night only because it’s small, crowded, and can get a bit loud. But, if you’re hanging out with a few friends and looking for good food and a good time, it’s a great place to go.
Kool Beanz is just the best. From brunch to dessert there is absolutely something to enjoy here. While the menu changes, there are some recurring favorites like the steak and mashed potatoes (or onion rings at lunch) and the mojo chicken- both are always delicious. Don’t let the right bar scare you, it’s a super fun spot to sit and watch the crew work in the open kitchen!
Kool Beanz is def a Tallahassee fave. If you’re looking for nice food and a laid back atmosphere you found it. The menu changes daily but is always great. Save room for dessert because, you don’t want to miss their tasty sweets!
This place is one of the best restaurants in Tallahassee. I have been here on several occasions for lunch and dinner and have never had a bad meal. I love how the menu changes according to what’s fresh and in season. All of the side dishes are amazing as well.
Gourmet food without the pretentious attitude! Expensive, but worth it for special occasions or when you just want some actual fine dining in Tallahassee. The atmosphere is pretty casual. For dinner, make sure you get there early and put your name on the list, because this little restaurant is in high demand.
Since the menu changes daily, it is possible to return every day and manage to find something that sounds so good you just can’t resist. The food is a fusion of world influences that is often skewed towards Southern cuisine meets Caribbean, and although some of the ingredients may appear low-brow, the spectacular presentation proves there is nothing backwater about it. Examples from lunch include a linguini with crawdads, tasso ham, mushrooms, in a roasted garlic cream sauce with asiago cheese, and a jerk spiced chicken skewer with tropical fruit salsa, maduros, black bean sauce, and coconut rice.
As for dinner, trust me when I say the appetizer portion of the browned gnocchi with applewood bacon, caramelized onions,snd spinach, with sherried gorgonzola cream is sufficient on its own. However, choices like the lime-basil chicken with a veggie stir fry in Thai curry with peanuts, frizzled leeks, and shiitakes on a ginger risotto cake are hard to pass up. Other entrees include sesame crusted salmon in an orange-almond-hoisin sauce with asparagus, shiitakes,and sweet potato fries, and a Indian spiced shrimp with cashew “methi malai”, onion chutney, lentils n’ rice, and flat bread.
As interesting as each choice sounds, they taste even better, with every fish being tender and fresh, and the pasta served perfectly al dente. If at all possible, save room for dessert since these too are a far cry from your average key lime pie and chocolate cake selection. The last lunch I enjoyed almond lacy cookies with peach and white miso ice cream. Sweet and yummy juxtaposition in one generous portion, it was a phenomenal finish!
I’ve always had good service, and really enjoyed my experience. Definitely kreative and kool, I look forward to returning with regularity whenever I’m in town!
While visiting FSU this week we ate here two nights in a row. This place serves up some fantastic food. It has a cool vibe with some hipster chefs and a laid back attitude. Service is friendly and efficient and wine by the glass and beer are priced quite reasonable.
Over the two nights tried six different appetizers/salads. Everything is fresh and served with a creative flair. I understand the menu changes regularly but some of my favorites included the falafel, the pan browned gnocchi and the clams. Entrees were excellent highlighted by a mussel/scallops dish which was amazing, a great sliced duck and risotto and the seared tuna. Entree sizes are large and are good for sharing.
The best part! Desserts are off the charts. The coconut creme meringue cake was a repeat both nights. Not too sweet with incredible flavor and texture. And one piece is massive. Also tried a brownie and ice cream dish that was very good but the coconut cake was the star. Eat inside and watch the chefs work their magic or eat at the counter and watch up close. This place was the highlight of our trip.
I am giving them a 5 because the price quality service is great. This is like an LA mashup menu – everything is fresh and the flavor combinations are clever without being cute.
The menu changes often, too. This is my “first night” every time biz takes me to Tallahassee.
Trust me, this is good food. I’m not going to write a long review, because 1) they change the menu regularly, and 2) you’ll either take my word for it or not, because 3) long foodie reviews are about the writer, not the food. This place has great food. Looking forward to dinner up at the bar makes the 5 hour drive to Tallahassee one of anticipation.
This tops my favorite restaurants in Tallahassee. Why not 5-stars? Cos Kool Beanz is still not fantastic when compared to food outside Tallahassee. Anyway, you have got to give this place a try if you are in Tallahassee! Where else can u eat anyway? This is one of the best!
Really kicking myself for taking so long before trying this place out. The price is good, the food is creative and tastes really delicious!
We had such a hard time choosing our food both times we were there cos everything sounded delicious! They change their menus daily so u can be a regular and still be surprised which is what I like. I like my food journey to be varied, creative and surprising.
I am not going to make any recommendations since the menu changes so GO! You’ll have yummy food!
Kool Beanz Cafe was recommended to us by the locals, and I must say, it did not disappoint. I love that the chef inspired menu changes daily, and that the staff is more than willing to accommodate any substitutions. I highly recommend the crab cakes with the jalapeño tartar sauce. Amazing!
Talk about understated! The first thing you notice when arriving is the really small sign in front to a building that looks nothing like a first class restaurant.
The menu, which changes regularly, is eclectic – appetizers like fried bayou gator, panko fried calamari, tandoori spiced lamb patties and others too numerous to list.
Dinners like Coffee rubbed pork chop, Buttermilk-tabasco chicken and Mojo chicken are just part of an amazing selection.
Come prepared for a great meal and a bit of a wait (or so I’m told – we didn’t wait at all). Definitely worth a try when you are in Tallahassee.
Kool Beanz is just the best. From brunch to dessert there is absolutely something to enjoy here. While the menu changes, there are some recurring favorites like the steak and mashed potatoes (or onion rings at lunch) and the mojo chicken- both are always delicious. Don’t let the bar scare you, it’s a super fun spot to sit and watch the crew work in the open kitchen!
This highly talked about joint had been one of my bookmarks for awhile, and talked up by many folks in the area, so our expectations were pretty darn high going in.
We arrived just in time (probably around 6 pm on a Tuesday) so there wasn’t a wait just yet, but the place was packed by the time we left.
The place is decorated by art for sale, whimsical pieces that I couldn’t help but get out of my seat and check out. There is one particular painting of a dog in the hallway to the bathroom that I’m crossing my fingers will still be there by our next visit.
I don’t give a lot of 5 star ratings. One of the best meals I have had in recent memory has certainly earned that rating for Kool Beanz Cafe.
The menu (which I understand changes regularly) was fascinating, with a amazing choice of seafood, chicken, pasta, lamb and beef. I asked the server for recommendations, and I wasn’t disappointed. I started with a browned gnocchi for an appetizer, and it was wonderful. My entree was a duck breast with Brussels sprouts, sweet potato and black eyed peas. Very rustic, very hearty. The flavors blended and complimented one another perfectly. My server recommended a good cabernet, and it was an excellent match.
I honestly cannot say I have had a better meal in years.
The place was fairly crowded, even on a Monday night. Nevertheless, I was seated with almost no wait, even as a single, and the service speed was fine.
The decor is young person hipster, and it fits perfectly. I was surprised at the prices; for this quality of food, I would have expected higher prices.
My only regret is that I do not travel to Tallahassee on business more often. I will go back to the Kool Beanz Cafe the first chance I get.