Oran Mor has been fine temple of New American Cuisine for years and was taken over by chef/owner Ned Claflin three years ago. After a shake-down period the restaurant is humming along nicely with excellent service and quite a varied menu of interesting items.
The lovely restaurant on the second floor at 2 South Beach St seems airier than it used to, and the staff is unfailingly helpful and friendly. They now ask if you want bread (it’s free) and you should ask for it, because it is delicious. The waitress told us that they only make the Pretzel Bread on Mondays, and this is a shame because it looks as tastes like pretzel, but is as tender as any dinner roll. The other bread was rosemary focaccia, which was also very good. Both were served warm.
I took a risk and order an interesting but odd appetizer called Spanish Octopus and Pork Belly ($18). This was what my wife would call a “novel idea.” They were served with Putanesca sauce, Niçoise olives, fried capers, white anchovies and Mizuna (Japanese mustard greens). The pork belly was nice and tender but there was so much octopus on the plate that we couldn’t finish it. It was an interesting idea, but I don’t think it worked that well.
On other hand, my wife ordered an appetizer sized portion of Lobster Gemelle with chanterelles, corn, leeks, lobster, cream and tarragon ($19). This was elegant and delicious with quite a bit of lobster and quite a bit of pasta for a half-portion. Actually, she found it too much for an appetizer, but you may love how generous this dish is. The flavor is rich, and with umami flavor of the chanterelles quite stunning.
For my main entrée, I ordered Long Island Duck Breast ($34) with honey glaze, warm duck confit and potato hash, spring onion, peach and Calabrian pepper salsa. This was a great success, with the duck and peach interacting with the terrific potato hash. Top notch.
My wife’s entrée was a Smoked Half Chicken ($34), Pickle Brined with pimento cheese grits, braised greens and white barbecue sauce. This was tender and juicy and not the least dried out as roast chickens often can be. The pimento cheese grits (which the waitress identified as polenta [close!]) were a little overpowering, but overall this is a really excellent dish.
Oran Mor has again come into its own and you should give it a try. As far as we can tell, there is no handicapped access to this second floor restaurant, but they may have a way if you ask in advance.