June 03, 2014

Top Restaurants for a Coral Gables Dinner

It can be hard to choose where to eat when in the area, so these are the places we suggest for a Coral Gables Dinner

Ortanique on the Mile

One of the more established restaurants in the Coral Gables area is Ortanique on the Mile. Open since July 1999, this restaurant is known for serving cuisine of the sun, meaning that it comes from a blending of nations with the freshest ingredients available. Cindy Hutson, owner and chef, has implemented a Caribbean-focused menu built upon Miamian influence. Walk into the red building and take in the tropical colored checkered floors, mahogany doors, and sunset-like curtains as you prepare yourself to indulge in a diverse dining experience. While you cannot go wrong with their most popular dish, the Jerk Chicken Penne Pasta ($23), served with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic Cloves, Shiitake Mushrooms and Fresh Torn Basil in a Light Cream Sauce, we recommend the West Indian Cornish Game Hen ($26), Marinated in Traditional Jerked Spices Topped with a Piquante Brown Stew Sauce with Jamaican Rice “n” Peas and Sautéed Broccolini. The wine list at Ortanique is impressive, allowing for pairings with each and every dish. Many people believe this cuisine does not pair well with wine due to its complexity in flavor, but the staff at Ortanique is trained well enough to offer suggestions.

278 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 446-7710

Bread + Butter

Miami is known for its high concentration of Cuban culture throughout its streets, and you can see this influence especially in the restaurant options scattered everywhere. We even have local chains dedicated to this cuisine, but the thing is that they all focus on serving Cuban cuisine in a classical sense. No one had tried to update Cuban cuisine until Bread + Butter showed up, and this restaurant made it its duty to fuse the rustic and homey sense that comes with Cuban food with the modern and more ambitious style of Americana food. Walking in, you get the impression that this restaurant is proud of its roots, with a chalkboard wall along the entrance covered with gray photographs and an excerpt of Jose Marti’s poems, but the atmosphere of an American gastropub is still ever-present, making Bread + Butter a hip and chic place where you want to hang out. This restaurant has become famous for their upscale take on the humble croquette, similar to a fritter. By combining the Cuban Medianoche Sandwich and Croquetas in general, Bread + Butter has created the Media Noche Croquetas ($8), served with soda crackers and mustard aioli. These croquetas differ from your traditional rendition in that they are also made with cheese and pickles (like the sandwich), making you wonder why no one thought of doing this before. Place a croqueta between two soda crackers, dip it in the aioli, and have one of the best bites you can find in the city at the moment.

2330 Salzedo St, Miami, FL 33134
(305) 442-9622


Being the newest restaurant on this list with heavy hitters is somewhat of a deal, but we’d be mistaken not to include the less than two-month-old Uvaggio. The goal that Heath Porter, the sommelier and Co-Owner, is trying to achieve is to encourage people to have fun through the menu offerings that are available at his restaurant. Yes, the food is gourmet, and wine list is highly respectable, but Uvaggio manages to achieve this without displaying the pretentiousness that some restaurants sometimes extrude. The Octopus “Naranja Agria” ($17) is the item to get at Uvaggio. This dish is created through a multiple day process where the octopus is left to marinade in a vacuum sealed bag for a couple of hours and then pan seared to achieve a blending of textures and flavors. Served with patatas bravas, this highly elevated execution on Peruvian cuisine is seldom seen. Just when you think things can’t get better at Uvaggio, you will see that the wine offerings are nothing like other Miami restaurants. Here, you will find bottles unique to this place, both affordable and upscale. Unless you see something on the wine list that you HAVE to have, we would suggest that you let the employees guide you through your meal.

70 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Eating House

What once began as a pop-up for Gorgio Rapicavoli has become the most talked about restaurant in the neighborhood and maybe the city. This young and talented chef is a Food Network Chopped Champion who made it his mission to travel the world, learn as much as possible, and transfer his knowledge to diners in ambitious and creative ways. After a few months of operating his pop-up, Giorgio sadly closed the doors to Eating House in hopes of further exploring the culinary scene worldwide and eventually moving on to bigger and better things. Little did Giorgio know about the attention his restaurant had garnered, basically giving him no other option than to reopen Eating House as a permanent location in the middle of Coral Gables. To put the menu into one word is hard, but if we were pressed do so, it would simply be “exciting.” Rapicavoli and his team use their talent to bring levels of sophistication to normally rustic and homey cuisine. Take the lamb “vaca frita” ($27) for instance, served with plantain, onion, and sour orange jus. This take on the Cuban dish normally found in your grandmother’s kitchen is elevated by substituting lamb for beef and the mojo with sour orange jus. The star on the menu is the pasta carbonara ($23), which may be the best rendition of the dish you can find in Miami. Made with bacon and truffle, this typical Italian dish is comforting and soul-satisfying with every bite.

804 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 448-6524

Swine Southern Table and Bar

Whether you’re headed to Swine for cocktails, delicious food, or the atmosphere, you are making a good decision. Created by the same people that brought Yardbird to South Beach, Swine is the company’s BBQ concept. The menu is downright basic, with elements being your typical BBQ joint food, such as hearty ribs, pulled pork, or succulent brisket. Everything is smoked in house for around 12 hours, leaving the area with an intoxicating smell of wood, meat, sweetness, and bourbon. In an essence, you could come in here and just sit down to enjoy the smell from how good it is. Luckily, the flavor of the food actually manages to supersede the smell it emits. The 12-hour slow smoked pork shoulder ($20) is tender, juicy, flavorful and falls apart effortlessly. It is served with Tomato-peanut relish and Paradise Farms honey glaze, giving you that sweet flavor and crunchy texture to counteract the richness coming from the pork. The interior of the restaurant is decorated in wood, with pigs lining the murals, and live music on most occasions. This place is always prepared for a good time, so if that’s what you’re looking for, head to Swine.

2415 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134
(786) 360-6433

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