Jean Paul Desmaison Opens Harbour Bites in Coconut Grove

Butifarra sandwich at Jean Paul Desmaison's Harbour Bites.
Butifarra sandwich at Jean Paul Desmaison's Harbour Bites.
Zachary Fagenson

Jean Paul Desmaison is back, for the moment, inside a stationary trailer in a Coconut Grove parking lot serving his beloved Manchego chorizo empanadas, slicked inside with a sticky layer of fig jam.

The former owner of the Peruvian bistro Jean Paul's House, which closed in late 2013, said he's been looking for the next project but in the meantime has rented a trailer and set up between the Fresh Market and the marina. Easily visible from South Bayshore Drive, Harbour Bites is open Friday through Sunday from noon to 3:30 p.m.

Mahi-mahi tacos
Mahi-mahi tacos
Zachary Fagenson

The single-page menu is a throwback to his time at his namesake Wynwood restaurant and at the long-shuttered La Cofradia in Coral Gables. A pair of ceviches -- one corvina ($9.50) and the other a mix of fish, shrimp, and octopus ($12) -- is served classically in an acid wash with sweet giant corn kernels and cubed sweet potato.

The ceviche's tang carries over to a pair of fish tacos ($8) that are topped with a smooth guacamole and a spicy sour cream infused with rocoto peppers.

There's also a Black Angus burger ($9.50) and a roast turkey sandwich ($9), but what you want is the butifarra sandwich ($7.50). More porchetta than the simple Spanish sausage, thick slices of chilled pork roast are layered with crisp sweet potato rounds between slices of toasted ciabatta, enlivened by salsa criolla and mayonnaise.

Desmaison's plans aren't hard and fast, so there's no telling how long this bayside stand will stick around. Let's hope he'll get himself into a permanent location soon and that butifarra sandwich will still be on the menu.

Harbour Bites is located at 2640 S. Bayshore Dr. in Coconut Grove and is open Friday through Sunday from noon to 3:30 p.m.

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