In the chic Miami enclave of Coral Gables, tree-lined streets, historical landmarks, green golf courses, beautiful mansions and architectural masterpieces enchant locals and visitors alike. The historic neighborhood is also home to Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Biltmore.
In recent years, this charming gem has blossomed into a cultural epicenter with more businesses, boutiques, bars and restaurants opening. New shopping mecca Village of Merrick Park also brought with it upscale shops such as Diane von Furstenberg, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., and Tourneau. Tucked in the heart of the Gables, you can take a stroll through downtown’s Miracle Mile, a pedestrian-friendly area with more than 70 restaurants and 160 shops. Along Restaurant Row, more than a dozen restaurants and bars dot the 100 block of Giralda Avenue (between Galiano Street and Ponce de Leon Boulevard), where every spot serves a different exquisite international cuisine and world-class spirit. Between November and April, locals head here the first Friday of the month (the final one is April 4, 7 p.m. to midnight), when eateries open their doors and take the dining experience outdoors for an evening of feasting, live entertainment and art that’s known as Giralda Under the Stars.
When it comes to dining (the main event here), take a culinary trip around the world — whether tapas or tacos, sushi or ceviche, burgers or pasta, whet your palate and satisfy every craving. Try savory Thai curries and noodles, and the house specialty roasted duck at Bangkok Bangkok. At Talavera Cocina Mexicana, you’ll find authentic street-food-inspired Mexican dishes from stuffed poblano peppers and Oaxaca queso fundido (fried cheese) to carnitas on handmade corn tortillas hot off the grill topped with black bean purée and braised pork shoulder smothered in spicy red mole. Newcomer Divino Ceviche serves fantastic Peruvian-fusion cuisine with more than 20 different styles of ceviche and tiradito (raw fish) to sample. Bite into a juicy burger topped with ham and Gruyère cheese, then wash it down with handcrafted beer and wine at The Local Craft Food & Drink. For the freshest Mediterranean fare, head to La Dorada for deep-sea lobster, Dover sole and namesake filets of dorada. Superior and attentive service adds to the ethereal moonlit experience.
Other participating restaurants include: Ikura Sushi Lounge, Miss Saigon Bistro, Pete’s Authentic Cooking, Spritz of Coral Gables, Spizzigo Ristorante, The Bar and Castelluccio Ristorante.
Restaurants coordinate their own music and each takes a turn throughout the night: Talavera boasts mariachis; The Bar hosts a local pop band; The Local has a jazz performer; and Spritz invites an opera singer to entertain diners. We highly recommend making reservations; simply call the restaurant of your choice to snag a table.
Aside from the cultural aspect of the music and food, you can also enjoy a bit of fine art. On Giralda Avenue, art galleries such as RDZ Fine Art and JSK Art Gallery hold different exhibits with paintings, prints, photography and sculptures as part of Coral Gables Gallery Night, also on the first Friday of the month. You stroll around to these various spots or hop on one of the two trolley routes and hit as many galleries and museums as possible. Gallery Night is from 6 to 9 p.m., so we suggest you go before dinner and work up an appetite before heading to Restaurant Row.
Photo Courtesy of Coral Gables BID