The eighth-annual Coral Gables Restaurant Week actually lasts longer than a week. You have until June 28 to munch your way through 34 eateries, all of which are offering prix fixe menus of their best dishes at a discounted rate of up to 20 percent off (some even more).
So if you have lots of unchecked restaurants on your wish list, consider this the perfect chance to scratch them off. Whether you're looking for brunch (hit up Threefold Café), a fancy steak dinner (Morton's, Christy's, Fleming's, and Ruth's Chris), or pork (Swine), the roster of restaurants will please all palates.
To see the full list of participating restaurants and their menus, visit restaurantweek.shopcoralgables.com. A slew of events will take place throughout restaurant week, from a beer-pairing dinner at Ceviche Divino to a tapas feast at Bulla and even a lesson in Iberian ham at Bellmont. Particularly enticing is Uvaggio's the Lost Art of the Aperitif, cohosted by Chat Chow TV next Tuesday, June 23.
Can't make up your mind about where to go? New Times was invited on a bloggers' crawl, where we tasted some of the offerings at four participating restaurants. Perhaps some food porn will help you decide.
First stop on the tour: Bulla. Of course we had to start with sangria, and though the Spanish beverage isn't offered on either the special lunch ($19) or dinner ($33) menu, you should order it with your meal.
For dinner, you have the choice of one tapa, an entrée, and a dessert. For the tapa portion, go for the salpicon de mariscos, which not only took the title at Coral Gables Restaurant Week's kickoff event Taste of the Gables, but also give the Spanish classic some new flavor.
The famous huevos Bulla — a jumbo organic egg over homemade potato chips crowned with potato foam and jamón serrano, all drizzled with truffle oil — is one of the lunch tapas offerings.
Complete your lunch with the Bulla burger. We noshed on sliders for the purpose of the crawl, but you'll get a decent-size veal-pork-and-beef patty with piquillo peppers, cipollini onions, tetilla cheese, and honey-thyme glaze.
Next up: BrickTop's. If you've never been there, it's almost a replica of Hillstone (except Hillstone is better) but still worth a try. And Coral Gables Restaurant Week is the perfect time to do so without breaking the bank. Even so, their offerings wage on the higher scale ($25 for lunch and $45 for dinner). Menus are the same. Choose from one of the salads: hearts of romaine caesar, field greens, or blue cheese wedge. We tried all three, and the caesar is the way to go.
Entrées include baby-back ribs in a chipotle barbecue sauce.
Parmesan-crusted chicken is also on the special menu.
Specialty meatloaf looks like a giant meatball.
A newcomer to the Coral Gables restaurant scene, Obba Sushi opened at just the right time. To christen its new digs, the restaurant welcomed us with a lemon sorbet cocktail, made with sake and lemon sorbet.
Chef Walter Zapata gave us a condensed version of some of the appetizer, entrée, and dessert offerings. They included crispy rice with sun-dried tomato, cilantro, and ginger yuzu; the Obba sandwich (shrimp tempura, imitation crab mix, and avocado with spicy katzu sauce); yellowtail and guacamole tartare with microgreens, sesame sriracha, and cucumber in ginger; and banana tempura.
Books & Books, which was recently named number one independent bookstore by Publisher's Weekly, is changing up its menu every week. We noshed on the ultra-trendy avocado toast with shrimp and tomato, but who knows what you'll get during your visit.
For our last stop, we hit up the family-owned La Taberna de Giralda, which proffers a can't-beat deal for lunch, restaurant week or not: $13.95 for appetizer, main course, and dessert, with offerings changing daily when it's not restaurant week. Dinner costs $39 and includes croquetas de cabrales and pear as an appetizer choice.
Another app option is eggplant chips drizzled with honey. It might just become your newest addiction.
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Main courses include roast pork tenderloin with rosemary and caramelized onions, lightly drizzled with manchego cream sauce and homestyle stick potatoes.