Coco Bambu, an award-winning Brazilian restaurant, is officially open in South Beach (955 Alton Rd.). Because of Hurricane Irma, the restaurant was forced to close Friday, September 8, hours after its grand debut.
Though the storm littered Miami with fallen trees, snapped power lines, and other debris, the restaurant did not suffer physical damage.
As the first U.S. outpost for the Latin American concept, Coco Bambu is reportedly now the largest seafood establishment in the nation. The tropical-designed restaurant, which opened in 2001 in Brazil, seats 450 customers. The two-story space offers private dining rooms, event areas, and a 2,500-bottle wine cellar.
The massive menu, with more than 100 plates, encourages customers to share, because many dishes are too large for one person to eat in one sitting.
Some of the best-known offerings include crisp, savory pastries stuffed with shrimp, lobster, beef, or cheese ($7 to $22); gratins filled with meat, shrimp, beef, or bananas ($10 to $15); lobster tails served with creamy rice, basil, and mozzarella shoestring fries ($52); shrimp and lobster rolls ($11 to $19); and grilled steaks, chicken, and other meat dishes such as beef Parmesan ($12 to $77).
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The menu also lists mixed seafood dishes such as paella made with shrimp, calamari, fish, and mussels ($36 to $68), as well as ten fish plates, such as mango mahi-mahi and roasted sea bass, 14 lobster and shrimp dishes, and stone crab, crab stew, and crab mac 'n' cheese ($24 to $85).
The restaurant serves vegetarian dishes too, including ratatouille with tomatoes, eggplant, red onions, and zucchini ($13), and eggplant lasagna, which is breaded and baked in tomato sauce with mozzarella and Parmesan ($15).
Be sure to order one of the restaurants 15 desserts. Highlights include churros with dulce de leche and lemon zest ($10), blackberry-topped custard ($6), and chocolate brigadeiros ($8).
Coco Bambu. 955 Alton Rd., Miami Beach; 786-348-0770; cocobambu.com. Dinner Sunday through Wednesday 5 to 11 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 5 p.m. to midnight. Happy hour Tuesday through Thursday 5 to 8 p.m.