Don't know the Gables well anymore. Have clients coming in from Panama. Can you recommend a few places for dinner. Thanks.
Houston's is always interesting....Very good food....chicy atmosphere....Christy's is still a Gables favorite....very traditional but still very good....Ruth's Chris is in the Gables and very reliable.....Graziano's in now in Coral Gables and that too is a wonderful place to eat.....Marooshka (on Valencia) is a Middle Eastern / Mediterranean eatery that's also quite good and a bit off the beaten path......There are some really good places in Coral Gables and these are but a few......
If you're looking for something on the contemporary side ->
Ortanique - excellent food, "Nuevo Caribbean". Dining room can get a little loud if you're looking to get business done.
Cacao - "Nuevo Latino", also usually pretty good.
Por Fin - just opened in the past month, Spanish with other various European influences (risottos, pastas). Loved the "eggs at por fin" app with serrano ham, potato foam, potato chips and truffle oil; good authentic paella too.
Cofradia - "Nuevo Peruvian," interesting food, a little pricey (though not particularly more than any of the others mentioned).
For more traditional ->
Pascal's on Ponce - upscale (not bistro) French
Graziano's - very good Argentine parilla; great wine list too
Anacapri - reliable Italian, nice roomy new space on Ponce
Francesco's - more traditional Peruvian, great black rice w/ squid. Place itself is nothing special if you're looking to impress.
I wouldn't exactly call Houston's "interesting" though the food quality is reliably good. Christy's had gone downhill on my last visit as well. I wouldn't consider Maroosh upscale enough (or good enough) for a client dinner. I'm not a big Ruth Chris fan, though Mrs. F is.
For business clients, I would recommend La Cofradia or Pascal's. If it must be steak, the Gables Ruth's Chris has better ambience than most of her "sister" restaurants.