Top 5 Restaurants in Coconut Grove

We all hope the new Paragon Grove 13 movieplex has a reviving effect on the area's moribund dining scene. Yet even in its darkest hour, Coconut Grove still boasts a number of bright spots at which to eat. The following five, I think you will all agree, are the very brightest.

In alphabetical order:

• George's in the Grove: Whether it's the French bistro food, the festive ambiance, or chef/owner George-Eric Farge's outlandishly hospitable hosting skills that make dining at this bistro memorable is besides the point (although in truth, it is all three). The point: Patrons leave here wearing a wide smile, which makes this a very worthy restaurant. (3145 Commodore Plz.)

• Gibraltar: A talented young

chef (Jeff O'Neill), delectable Mediterranean/New American cuisine

(best food this property has seen in many a moon), and a breathtaking

vista of Biscayne Bay from indoors as well as from the incomparable

outdoor terraces. Plus it won our Best Restaurant in Coconut Grove award this year. (4 Grove Isle Dr.)

• GreenStreet Outdoor Lounge & Restaurant:  This Grove institution has, over the past 19 years, consistently

delivered fresh, solid, appealing, accessible American/global food in a

cheery indoor/outdoor environment. Moderately priced and great for people-watching, it's also a cool breakfast spot (winner of our Flapjack

Flip-Off VI). (3468 Main Hwy.)

• Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar & Latam Grill:  Let's start with the notion that no other restaurant in the Grove

goes by as lengthy a name. But what gets Jaguar on this list is its

clean, modern takes on traditional Latin American tastes -- from

churrasco to namesake and signature ceviches. Always pristine, always

tasty. It boasts a beautifully designed room and a bustling bar scene too. (3067

Grand Ave.)

• Le Bouchon du Grove: Formerly Mr. Farge's stomping grounds, Bouchon has continued to provide

traditional bistro fare in delicious and affordable fashion under the

deft orchestration of chef/owner Christian Ville and business partner Jeanne >.

Whether it's steak frites or duck confit, Bouchon never boots the

ball. Plus the environment is as close to a Parisian bistro as one can

get in Florida. (3430 Main Hwy.)

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