Vizcaya Museum and Gardens has finally opened a new cafe that's been six years in the making. Last week, the food truck that served as a makeshift home to concessionaire Joy Wallace Catering was finally gone and a smiling manager, John McPhee, proudly opened the refurbished glass doors that lead into James Deering's old smoking and billiard rooms. The bright rooms house a museum cafe and gift shop full of everything from replicas of the china used in the main house to glasses with the signature pineapple on them.
But, hey, it's the food you'll come for.
The cafe menu offers everything from prosciutto-fig salad ($13.95) and a signature tropical Floribbean salad of greens with goat cheese, grilled pineapple and strawberries topped with a passion fruit vinaigrette ($10.95) to a crispy mahi sandwich ($13.95) and grilled cheese stuffed with melted Swiss topped with grilled red onions and fig jam that makes it sweet yet savory at the same time ($9.95).
Most lunch items are made to order, but for those who are in a rush to get outside and enjoy the beautiful gardens there is a small grab-n-go section with homemade muffins ($2.25) and cookies ($1.25) or you can try a fresh fruit & cheese plate ($6.95) which goes perfectly with the "taste of the tropics" wine flight. For $7.95 they'll let you sample 4 different tropical, citrus and berry wines from Florida Orange Groves Winery.
So head over to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and grab a seat in a shady spot outside or next to the 3-foot wooden seahorse weather vane and enjoy your Vizcaya burger topped with caramelized onions, mushrooms and gorgonzola. ($12.95). On your way out be sure to grab some Deering Wine because this California nectar produced by descendants of the great man himself is only available to us locals at Vizcaya's gem of a cafe.
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You do have to pay the entrance fee to the museum to visit the cafe, but for a $50 annual membership you can come and go as much as you like. You can read more about the revamping of the place here.