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Carmen the Restaurant

700 Biltmore Way Coral Gables, FL 33134 | Coral Gables/South Miami | 305-913-1944
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Location Description:

Simply, chef/owner Carmen Gonzalez's new place is the most exciting restaurant to open in South Florida in years. The eatery is actually three distinctly different experiences in one: regular restaurant, chef's dining room, and casual European-style wine bar with some unusually sophisticated bottles, 14 available by the glass, and an absolutely knockout menu of bar bites. Although strongly Latin-accented, Gonzalez's food is post New American rather than Nuevo Latino, with an insistence on fresh flavors (everything at Carmen is housemade from scratch, from the the catsup accompanying the shoestring potatoes to the pickles). It additionally reflects Latin America's increased influence over the past two decades since North America's food revolution first exploded. Highlights include a roasted duck tamale with vintage port wine sauce, sirloin and mango dumplings with a 17-ingredient AmerAsian sauce, lobster/avocado terrine with key lime mayo and plantain fritters, grilled whole pompano with nouvelle-ishly luscious takes on classic Puerto Rican mofongo and mojito, designer mini-sandwiches of adobe-rubbed roast pork, and the Ultimate chocolate soufflé.


Related Stories (13)

Details

  • Cuisine(s): Fusion, New American, Puerto Rican
  • Hours: Tue-Fri noon - 2 p.m. (lunch), 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. (dinner); Sat 6 -11 p.m.; Sun 6 - 9 p.m.
  • Price: $$$$
  • Serving: Dinner, Lunch
  • Reservations: Recommended on Weekends
  • Parking: Free, Valet
  • Payment Types: All Major Credit Cards
  • Attire: Casual
  • Extra Info: Recommended for Friday and Saturday eves

Related Stories

  • Short Order: Television Chefs
    The only chef with a Miami connection in the second season of Bravo's Top Chef Masters won last night's episode. After a bout of unlucky events, Carmen Gonzalez seemed an unlikely winner in...
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    Birthdays are important in the restaurant business. Celebrating your first full year signals that you have a chance of succeeding in the long term. Making it to five means the community has...
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    To paraphrase an old folk song: Where have all the pastry chefs gone? A decade ago, having a pastry chef on staff at a South Florida restaurant was both de rigueur and a badge of honor. It...
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    In gastronomy, there are numerous prestigious awards, but none comes close to the celebrated status of being inducted in the "Choucroute Halles of Fame," as the Coral Gables-based national...
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    A new year and it's new times at New Times. If you skipped Lee Klein's review this week, allow me to be the first to tell you: The esteemed Mr. Klein has left the building. But not the...
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    When people ask me about my approach to reviewing restaurants, a quizzical look of dismay inevitably crosses their faces as I offer my stock reply: "Everywhere is somewhere else, and you get...
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    Trivia Pursuit Take this easy quiz and get a grip on the gossip: 1. You know it's starting to be a good season when: a) Carmen the Restaurant is forced to add 30 seats. b) License plates...
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    I was attending an advisory board meeting for the newly launched Feeding the Mind project, whose mission statement is "to provide culinary education to women who are interested in the...
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    I wish to retract the following statements: "Hardly anyone has come out of [Miami's] noted kitchens and opened, to either local or nationwide acclaim, an innovative restaurant. Yes, many of...
  • Dining: Columns
    It's official -- and it's Esquire: Food critic John Mariani named Carmen the Restaurant one of 2003's "Best New Restaurants in America" in the magazine's 22nd annual survey. About the eatery...
  • Dining: Reviewed
    There is a big problem with chef/owner Carmen Gonzalez's new restaurant Carmen. The problem is that there are no problems. Who is going to believe a review that says something like that?...
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    Pay close attention to the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order: Carmen's. Chispa. Elia. Il Giramonde. Isabela's. Locanda Sibilla. Mundo. Pao. The Prime Grill. Talula. Taverna...
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    "Spin? There's no spin. Things were not working out and it was a mutual, agreed-upon departure." That's the answer I got from China Grill Management reps when I asked about the replacement...

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