Coconut Grove has always been Miami's brunch pioneer. Long before every restaurant in Miami found it de rigueur to host brunch, Grovites were enjoying mimosas and omelets at GreenStreet Café for more than two decades.
Now comes Glass & Vine, where diners can enjoy an alfresco weekend meal alongside mature trees. In fact, it could be argued that the restaurant, nestled in the Grove's Peacock Park, works better in the daylight. It's then that the full effect of children playing in the park, boats sailing on the horizon, and birds chattering in the trees can be fully appreciated. It's almost as if you're enjoying the best park picnic of your life without having to prep and schlep the basket of goodies yourself.
If you're worried about dining in the heat of a Miami summer afternoon, don't. Between the cooling canopy of oversize umbrellas, some Big Ass fans (that's the brand name) blowing cool breezes, and a few glasses of chilled rosé, brunch at Glass & Vine is as pleasant a Miami experience as it gets.
Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli created the brunch menu with simplicity in mind. "We wanted to create dishes that were not only meant to be eaten outdoors but also capture the classic brunch vibes. We tried taking a lighter approach to some dishes, like lightening up granola with lime and coconut, pancakes with semolina, and a burger where the broccoli is as important as the beef.”
Executed by chef de cuisine Adriana Egozcue, the menu is concise. You'll find no Benedicts, omelets, or stuffed French toast, but you'll hardly miss any of those old chestnuts. Instead, look for crisp salads that combine summer fruit with crisp greens and satisfying tartines made with Zak the Baker bread. If you do want more traditional brunch options, opt for the breakfast sandwich, a classic combination of sunny-side-up eggs, applewood-smoked bacon, and cheddar on brioche ($12). Or choose the wood-oven-baked eggs ($12) made with confit garlic cream, black pepper, and cauliflower. Add shaved ham for $3 or truffle sauce for $4.
Dishes are highly sharable, which is good, because you'll be hard-pressed to choose one item among the offerings. Start with the cooling watermelon salad made with lime crema, cotija cheese, cilantro, and a smattering of jalapeño for a touch of heat ($10).
The stone fruit salad ($12) is a true winner. Simple ingredients such as radicchio, grana padano, plums, Japanese mandarin, and basil work so well together you'll find yourself craving it during the week.
Whatever you do, get the ZTB tartine ($10) to share. Creamy local stracciatella is topped with jam, a sprinkling of sea salt, and a drizzle of California olive oil.
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Finish your meal with Rapicavoli's tropical version of the Eton mess. This traditional English dessert, served at Eton College's cricket matches, is made with meringue, cream, and bananas. Though it sounds as un-Miami as you can possibly get (with the exception of spotted dick or Yorkshire pudding), this rendition is made with sorbet, passionfruit, and condensed milk. Served in a giant bowl, it's surprisingly light and, when shared, makes for a sweet ending to a leisurely brunch.
Glass & Vine's brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 to 3 p.m.