For Chopped champion Giorgio Rapicavoli, brunch at Glass & Vine is about fresh ingredients served in a green and vibrant environment. The restaurant's location in Coconut Grove's Peacock Park sets the scene for a picnic-style meal, where dishes are best shared while rays of sunshine peek through oversize umbrellas and birds chatter above in trees.
The Grove has always been Miami's brunch pioneer. 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. Today restaurants such as Rapicavoli's serve a medley of breakfast-and-lunch-inspired plates to hundreds of diners each weekend.
At Glass & Vine, Rapicavoli authored 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," the chef says. "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.”
The restaurant swaps staples such as Benedicts, omelets, and stuffed French toast for crisp salads flavored with summer fruit and satisfying tartines made with Zak the Baker bread.
Dishes are highly sharable. Consider the cooling watermelon salad, containing lime crema, cotija cheese, cilantro, and a smattering of jalapeño slices for a touch of heat ($10); the ZTB tartine ($10), where creamy local stracciatella is topped with jam, a sprinkling of sea salt, and a drizzle of California olive oil; or the wood-oven-baked eggs ($12), made with confit garlic cream, black pepper, and cauliflower.
"The perfect brunch is a good mix of delicious food and a chill ambiance," Rapicavoli says, "usually due to lots of bloody marys flowing."
Glass & Vine, as well as a number of other great Miami restaurants, will be at New Times' Out to Brunch from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at Soho Studios. Tickets for this 21-and-over event cost $50 through May 19 and $60 at the door. Admission includes unlimited brunch, booze samplings, and more. Purchase tickets at newtimesouttobrunch.com. A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit Special Olympics Florida, and food will be donated to Camillus House & Health.