I have been a big fan of the Eating House for years so I had to try the new restaurant Glass and Vine in Coconut Grove, which opened in March. Eating House Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, a James Beard Award nominee and winner of the Food Network’s show, Chopped, partnered with Grove Bay Hospitality Group to open an indoor/outdoor 200 seat restaurant in the former Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce / library in the heart of Peacock Park. It works on multiple levels. There is a lovely playground on one side and a baseball field further down the hill.
The restaurant features large, garage-style glass walls, a vine covered roof, a large bar and an open kitchen. Everything is connected to a large tropical patio, set on a 7-acre property. It is the first restaurant in South Florida to open in a park, and as you can imagine, its opening was highly anticipated.
The meal is done family style, natch, and divided into three sections – Garden, Sea and Land. They use lots of local produce, some coming from the restaurant’s own garden. It’s hard to describe the cuisine here. Is it modern American, or global fusion? Let’s just say there is Peruvian, Mexican, Floridian, Italian, Mediterranean and American influences. The menu is contemporary and prices, for the most part, are not overly expensive. There is also a great list of cocktails and craft beers. The wine selection is varied and glasses come available in two sizes, small or large. They have a nice variety of wines by the bottle running for around $50.
Our server Veronica was engaging and intuitive and gave us excellent suggestions that we all found to be innovative and delicious. The watermelon salad is sweet and topped with a crunchy toasted corn, lime crema, cotija, and cilantro. It had all the elements of sweet, spicy, crunchy and juicy. Next was the Florida stracciatella, served on Zak the Baker‘s bread that was grilled and topped with a garlic confit, topped with the creamy luscious cheese, drizzled with California olive oil and sprinkled with black pepper. Next up was the local fish tartare, which was covered with these yellow pebbles made of ginger, garlic, lemon juice and amarillo and buttermilk that was frozen with liquid nitrogen. The dish is sprinkled with sliced jalapeno. It’s a creative dish – the fish is tender and the toppings made for a transporting new dish for Miami. There are a lot of good options for land, and on our servers recommendation, we chose the lamb loin. They recommended preparing it medium rare, it is served with a garlic yogurt, romesco harissa and a farro tabbouleh. They warned us that the meat is not served hot but just warmed because of the method of cooking. This dish is fabulous. We had it with a side of the most wonderful charred cauliflower topped with crunchy chick peas, green tahini, and dehydrated olives. The food was so good we asked for a doggy bag for the leftovers that wouldn’t spoil. For dessert, we had the best panna cotta we have ever had. It’s perfectly prepared vanilla panna cotta, topped with toasted hazelnuts, which made the dish perfection.
All-in-all our dinner was creative, the quality of the ingredients were good and the food did not disappoint. It’s a dynamic menu, and a welcome addition to Coconut Grove. The restaurant is open every day for lunch, dinner and for brunch on the weekend. Another three restaurants are in the works to open in the harbor nearby – a steak restaurant, a fish restaurant and a farm-to-table restaurant. The empire grows … Let’s hope they can keep up this quality once they expand.