Nestled among the office buildings on historic Coral Gables’ Alhambra Plaza is Spain’s latest import to South Florida, Lizarran. The first Florida location for the very successful Spain-based restaurant concept, with more than 200 locations worldwide, Lizarran Coral Gables strikes the perfect balance between Spanish gastronomy and happening bar scene.
Since its first restaurant opened in 1988 in Spain, the company has successfully launched more than 150 locations throughout Spain including U.S. locations in California and New York as well as 50 others throughout England, Italy, Portugal, Russia, China. The brand plans to expand its franchise, with 20 Florida locations in the works.
The 6,500 square foot venue seats 200 inside (35 outside) and features a crave-worthy and affordable menu showcasing countless pinchos, tapas and main dishes combining authentic Spanish flavors and traditional favorites. The pinchos – meats, cheeses, fish, and egg creations atop crusty bread – cost only $2 each, a delicious bargain. Patrons are billed by how many of the toothpicks (the literal meaning of pincho is “thorn” or “spike”) they collect. Boasting complex flavors created from simple, high-quality ingredients and peppered with traditional Mediterranean condiments, the pincho choices, which change daily, range from jamon Serrano to Manchego cheese topped with quince and mint leaf. The pinchos at Lizarran are legendarily good; so much in fact that even before the Coral Gables location opened the company was tapped to supply pinchos for Kyma, the recently-launched, luxe lounge at the Epic Hotel in downtown Miami.
Tapas offerings at Lizarran include patatas bravas ($6), croquetas ($5), ensaladilla Rusa ($7), pulpo a la Gallega ($12), gambas al ajillo ($10), alcachofas con jamon ($5). Main dishes include sepia a la plancha ($14), entrecote con salsa ideazabal ($24), solomillo de cerdo al jerez ($18). Lizarran’s paella’s include Paella de Marisco ($18), Paella de Carne ($16), Paella Mixta ($17) and Arroz Negro ($17). Desserts include the classic crema Catalana ($5), tarta Santiago ($6) and leche frita ($6).
With Spanish-trained chefs creating countless menu items during lunch and dinner daily and a full bar featuring nightly Happy Hour specials from 4 to 7 p.m., the Mediterranean import is sure to please foodies and barflies alike.
Executive prix-fixe lunch specials, perfect for the Coral Gables business crowd, include two options: three courses (an appetizer, main dish, dessert and one non-alcoholic beverage) for $15 per person or the express menu: one main plate or all-you-can-eat pinchos for $10 along with a non-alcoholic beverage. Both menu prices exclude tax and gratuity.
Lizarran’s décor meshes Spain with modern Miami that captures a Vicky Cristina Barcelona vibe with dark wood accents and a vintage-inspired pinchos bar that evokes the mood of casually cosmopolitan tabernas that can be found on every corner throughout Spain. Sepia-hued wallpaper enhances the background and planters line the aisles to create a cozy intimate setting and a special wine tasting room features rustic wine barrel tables. On certain days of the week, patrons inside can enjoy the sounds and sights of live Flamenco and Spanish guitar (full schedule in the works). Cigar lovers are invited to enjoy a cigar on the breezy patio. Cigars are available for purchase and kept in Lizarran’s on-site humidor.
Positioned to become Miami’s next sports and event-viewing headquarters, Lizarran boasts multiple flat screens ready for nail-biting game viewing alongside drink and menu specials for sports aficionados.
Lizarran Coral Gables, located at 65 Alhambra Plaza in Coral Gables. Lunch and dinner served Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. until 1 a.m.; Saturday from noon until 1 a.m. and Sunday from noon until 11 p.m. Telephone:
(786) 588-8539. Metered parking available, valet service forthcoming. www.lizarranfl.com