I am from NY, and my brother is graduating from the university of miami shortly and I need to book a place to celebrate for dinner with the family afterwards.
Does anyone have any recommendations in Coral Gables or somewhere not terribly far from there?
There are virtually no places I can think of in Miami that require jackets any more. In Gables my top recs would be ->
Ortanique - upscale "Nuevo Carribean"
Pascal's - shoebox-sized French place - higher-class than bistro/brasserie, but not super-stuffy.
A slight step down but still interesting and good ->
Cacao - Nuevo Latino (more South American compared to Ortanique's more Caribbean Islands slant).
La Cofradia - Upscale Nuevo Peruvian (I've been a few times now, some things better than others but some have been quite good).
Por Fin - Spanish-ish, with other Mediterranean influences (though I've found the dishes that are truer to the Spanish roots are better).
Ortanique On the Mile
278 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134
139 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Pascal's On Ponce
2611 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, FL 33134
La Cofradia Restaurant
160 Andalusia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134
2500 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, FL 33134
How about Jaguar in Coconut Grove? Their spoon ceviche should be quite interesting and the review here is quite positive. They have a website too so you can check out the menu first.
Also a friend just told me about this place. Don't know how it is but sounds like fun.
As the OP said this is for a celebratory dinner for college graduation... it should be somewhere nice with great food and some atmosphere. While i personally like Jaguar, i would certainly not rec it for this instance. The OP also said they are ready to SPLURGE.
I'm curious as to if they really want to keep in the Gables?
Christabelle's is supposed to be one of the worst restaurants in the area, according to all accounts.
If it were me, I would take the middle ground and make a 15 min drive to Il Gabbiano in downtown Miami. It has amazing food, a spectacular view, great winelist, it is not a quiet or stuffy restaurant and is a much closer than having to go to the beach, deal with traffic, find parking, etc.
I will second both La Cofradia and Pascals. I've heard lots of great things about Ortanique but have not had the same luck. Also might look into Graziano's for a slightly different steakhouse element. Also, the Biltmore hotel has a very nice, very expensive small plates restaurant named Palm D'or. Also the Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne, (yes a little out of the way) now features the RumBar (http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Propert...), a very interesting little place I've heard good things about, with a jazz band playing on the weekends, featuring "52 rums, cachacas and piscos from 18 countries" which might be an interesting alternative that can make the tropical getaway feel complete.
Graziano In the Gable
394 Giralda Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33131
455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne, FL 33149