Best Restaurant in Coconut Grove (2006)

Ginger Grove

In past years, this category has operated much like the Democratic presidential primaries, the winner plucked from a weak field of uninspired contenders. Ginger Grove has uprooted that notion, planting itself firmly as one of South Florida's sassiest Asian options. And prettiest, too, with floor-to-ceiling windows wrapping around the curved perimeter of the room, which is outfitted in bamboo, weaves, natural wood, and a cool collection of hanging Buddha heads. Chef Christian Plotczyk made his mark with China Grill Management, and the menu here presents a similar sampling of modernized, Americanized, highly inventive Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cooking. Seared Szechuan pepper duck breast is tantalizingly glazed with tamarind sauce. Miso-marinated butter fish is contrasted with tempura shisito peppers. Braised Kurobuta pork belly -- simply and unspeakably delectable. Every dish is a winner, and entrée prices peak at an extremely reasonable $21. Service shines too, and the eclectic wine list is rife with distinguished vintners. All of the above make Ginger Grove a landslide choice as the finest dining destination in the area. Now if only the Democrats could come up with so strong a contender.


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