South Florida is a mecca for great food and trendy restaurants. Many of our chefs are culinary rock stars. I am never at a loss for somewhere to go eat but, like everyone, I have my favorite Coral Gables and Coconut Grove haunts which I go back to again and again. While at dinner the other night with friends, we were listing our favorite “go to” spots and I thought I would mention seven of my favorites.
Besides hosting my “Coffee with Carole”, I often go to the Peacock Cafe for lunch or dinner. I am a sucker for vintage photos of Coconut Grove and many of them are hanging at the Peacock Café. The ambiance is delightful (reminiscent of David Harris’ Food Among the Flowers). The owners, Lalo and Ismelda Durazo have done a wonderful job preserving the spirit of the Grove in a charming setting, with excellent food and great music. Don’t miss this spot.
Greenstreet Cafe is a Coconut Grove institution. Situated on the corner of Main Highway and Commodore Plaza, Sylvano Bignon runs a tight ship and it shows. The food is consistently good and it is always fun to people watch and say hi to friends as they pass by and pull up a chair to join you in a glass of wine. Breakfast is always delicious and, of course, this is the site of 30 years of King Mango Struts. What memories!
Another fave is Lulu’s (also owned by Sylvano Bignon) located across the street from Greenstreet Café. The menu is fun and the outdoor couches are inviting to sit with a group and linger for hours. I have done that on several occasions. Who knew brussel sprouts could taste so good?
An institution I must mention… I mean how can you not love Scotty’s Landing? Located right on the bay with live music, a cold bucket of beer and the breeze blowing in your hair…who cares if the food is ho hum…the experience is heavenly.
Red Fish Grill is a preferred spot. Now where is this place? Really? It is hard to find but so worth it. Travel down scenic Old Cutler Road and turn into the entrance of Matheson Hammock Park. Drive East for a mile and there, on the tip of the inlet, is the most charming and romantic spot imaginable. The building is historic and the beach views are breathtaking. The food is excellent also.
A guilty pleasure… I know Seasons 52 is a chain but with the live music in the bar in the evenings, the warmth of the kitchen in eye sight, the wood beamed ceiling, the yummy flatbreads, the great cocktails, the delicious but low calorie menu and some of the cutest deserts on the planet, who cares. Oh, and the staff is excellent.
Neiman Marcus Dining Room: When I grew up in Miami, it was a Big day to have lunch at Burdines or Jordan Marsh. We wore our best clothes (and, if I recall, little white gloves) and were feted like royalty. The dining room at Neiman’s is reminiscent of days gone by…there is something so civilized about the experience…the demitasse of chicken broth to awaken the appetite, the brioche with the special butter, and then the delicious lunch. Often there is jazz in the evening’s.
Hmmm….I wonder where I put my gloves.
These are some of my favorites. Any you want to share?
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