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Oct 2, 2008 05:00 PM

Any recommendations in Coconut Grove?

Just moved to Coconut Grove and looking for great non-chain restaurants. Passed by a couple French places on Commodore Plaza that look interesting. Any advice?

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  1. Try Le Bouchon du Grove on 3430 Main Highway, they have an awesome lobster salad. It is a small French bistro. They just opened a sister restaurant called Le Petit Paris (name?) that I will be trying this weekend. Happy eating.

    1. George's next to Moe's on Commodore is great. The owner used to own Le Bouchon. Everyone gets a complimentary glass of champagne or mimosa when seated. I've been there for brunch and dinner. It is very good!

      2 Replies
      1. re: jessicam29

        I really enjoyed Cita's Chop House. The service was great and the food was pretty delicious. It's a bit pricey.

        1. re: jessierandall

          good for you beacause i didn`t have the same experience
          i was one of thr first in that restaurant and in true i send a lot of people and friends because the food was spectacular out of the world but in the last 2 week somenthing wrong appened over there their fired the Italian Chef Replace it by a Venezuelan cook somebody told me was too expensive and ok
          this thing in restaurant appening but what about the server s i didn`t found back those two guy one from france Francoise and one Indian Riijid the y wasn`t there anymore the last 2 time i been served by carpenters
          and i ask for the manager to complain guest what?
          their fired the Italian Meatre D` too and replace with a new south american
          I have one question
          why all the people run away from there maybe they should be more carefull develop a restaurant because this one is an other clone of Cefalo

      2. Yes, George's and Bouchon du Grove are both good for French fare. Others to check out are Cita's Italian Chophouse (Across from George's - food is a little more pricey but its phenomenal and the back patio is a great place to dine), Jaguar (On Grand across from Sandbar - fantastic ceviche spoon bar and LatAm grill - I ate there last night - recommend the ceviche sampler and the Shrimp Trio), and Focaccia Rustica (On same side of Grand as Jaguar, away from Cocowalk - great for breakfast or lunch, dinner is uninspiring and the space is really not a place for dinner anyways).

        Another place to try, if only for the mojitos and view, is Panorama on the 8th floor of the Sonesta. Ive had one not so great meal there and one great one so I wont rave about the food but I often go on a Saturday afternoon for a mojito and a nice view of the bay.

        Basil in the Grove (Grand Ave next to CVS and across from the Farmer's Market thats held every Saturday) has also been getting some attention lately from the locals but Ive never been. I know they do lunch and I think they do dinner but they close early so its an early dinner service.

        Anohka (Virginia Street, across from Mayfair) is another one Ive never been to but simply because I have zero desire for Indian food. They used to have a good amount of traffic at their old location but this new location is struggling because they dont market themselves at all and foot traffic is minimal there. Based on the old location though, if you like Indian food many say this is the spot for it.

        Another place thats off the beaten path that does an ABYSMAL job of marketing itself is Pisco's (On the corner of Oak and Mary St.). Its really too bad too because they have fantastic food. I had the ceviche and the octopus in a black olive sauce and both were phenomenal. Friends had the frutti di mare and another fish dish that escapes my memory and both were very good.

        Ooh, and I almost forgot - Greenstreet is great for Saturday or Sunday brunch and people watching ;)

        Welcome to the Grove and enjoy!

        1. Thanks for the great suggestions. I'll report back once I go.

          1 Reply
          1. re: belocina

            Jaguar is a great recommendation....The ceviche is great....The owners are mexican and peruvian and they have some incredible mexican and peruvian favorites there as well....and the ceviche chef really creates some incredible dishes including one with a spicy guacomole dip that's to die for.....


          2. One place to avoid is Le P'tit Paris. I tried this French cafe/bistro for dinner after reading a glowing review by Urbandaddy. Unfortunately "Daddy" does not always know best. The evening started out with great potential as my party was seated immediately upon arrival in the warmly lit and cozy dining room. The rich red tones and elegant place settings were welcoming, especially with the pouring rain outside. Unfortunately by the end of the evening the prospect of walking in the rain to eat a Taco Bell burrito somehow seemed like a better option. We had been seated for an hour before having to ask for a basket of bread to appease our now growling stomachs. We should have known that the meal would go downhill from the bread, which was more suitable for use as pothole fillers. There's something almost sacrilegious about a French restaurant serving really bad bread isn't there? Noting our obvious discontent the manager sent over a bottle of champagne to apologize for the slow food service, and though it was a nice gesture, the champagne was unpalatable (and yes, I know it was free but still...). Our appetizers finally arrived and in spite of our hunger, they were disappointing and unsatisfying. I opted for the crab "croquettes" with aioli, which were actually 4 hockey puck-looking discs. They were mostly dry and bland with the aioli adding nothing more than much needed moisture. Others in my party had the crepes and foie gras, which I didn't try, but that left them unimpressed as well. After clearing our table, we were in for another wait before our entrees arrived. I chose another app of jumbo shrimp with pastis and garlic for my main course, accompanied by a side of creamed spinach. The shrimp was overdone to the point of being rubbery and if I were intended to taste any flavor other than an excess of salt, then the chef had failed miserably. My creamed spinach appeared to have been made in a microwave with a pint of half and half and something from my grocer's freezer. The French version of a German Flammkuchen (essentially a thin crust pizza topped with creme fraiche, onions and bacon) ordered by one of my tablemates was bland, with a pool of oil floating atop a largely uninspired soggy crust. We skipped dessert after 2 unsatisfying hours of dining. The pricing at face value seemed fairly reasonable until you consider the poor quality of the food presented. We could have had a far more satisfying meal at Jaguar down the street for far less than we paid here. To be fair, the service was pleasant, if not attentive. I really wanted to like this place since it is in my neighborhood and the space has such potential, but "Little Paris" is a big disaster.

            4 Replies
            1. re: cocoplum

              I walked by there Friday night and this afternoon and the place was packed both times. I imagine that was the case when you were there? Its a new resto in the area so they are going to have some woes in the beginning, especially since the Grove is hard to predict. Youre either packed or dead, there's no in between. They might not have been prepared for such a crowd? I plan on giving this place at least another month to work out the kinks before giving it a shot. Thanks for the heads up.

              1. re: Blind Mind

                My fiancee & I went there this weekend too & there are some items during the opening of a new restaurant that are forgiveable such as waiters not having knowledge of the menu & service being slow. Unfortunately, every meal we had was dissappointing. My crabcakes & fries were cold by the time they reached the table, plus there was not alot of crab meat in the crabcake. It is a great space with promise, but when the chef creates uninspiring meals then as they say "Houston we have a problem." I was considering throwing the chef in the dumpster down the alley. Having said that, if & when you go please update as I would love to see it do well albeit a new chef.

                1. re: Blind Mind

                  I understand slow food prep and service in a new place and I can even forgive an off dish, but there was not a single redeeming item served. The place was not packed on Saturday night due to the rain and I believe they have been open since May so they're not spanking new. If they don't get it right now, then when? I live in the Grove and really am pulling for local places to do well, but bad food is bad food. I hope you have a better experience when you go.

                  1. re: cocoplum

                    Yikes... After reading these accounts I am not likely going to give it a shot any time soon unless Im talked into it by others. I walked by one time and checked the menu and nothing really jumped off the page anyways. Thanks for the reports, I'll take your advice and stay away.