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By: Patricia Azze

For many, the name Coral Gables brings to mind streets lined with majestic oak and banyan trees, beautiful Mediterranean-style homes and a quiet residential vibe. For the foodie set, it’s the elegant eateries and memorable dishes that jump to the forefront when they think about visiting this lovely city. These foodies will be thrilled to learn that Miami Spice brings prix-fixe deals at fine dining restaurants throughout Coral Gables and Greater Miami throughout August and September.

In Coral Gables you can spend the day admiring rare plants at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, strolling along the iconic Miracle Mile or playing a round of golf. To make it a perfect experience, make a lunch or dinner reservation at a Coral Gables restaurant that’s participating in Miami Spice Restaurant Months.

Below, we’ve given you a sampling of typical entrees at some of the participating eateries. The prix-fixe menus for each location will be posted on the Miami Spice site when they are available.

Aromas Del Peru Coral Gables

Miami has a rich Peruvian food scene. One of the highlights is Aromas Del Peru Coral Gables. With five locations throughout Greater Miami, it’s safe to say that Aromas Del Peru is a local favorite for classic Peruvian dining with inventive twists. Papa a la Huancaina, tacu tacu and ceviche are mainstays of the regular menu, as well as Asian-influenced Peruvian favorites such as saltados and chaufas. You’ll also find a unique assortment of sushi, where Peru’s rich ingredients are rolled into sushi rolls, creating surprising combinations such as breaded prawns and scallops covered in passionfruit sauce.

Tapas at Bulla Gastrobar
Dine al fresco at Bulla Gastrobar in Coral Gables

Bulla Gastrobar Coral Gables

To do as the Spaniards do – and enjoy drinks, shareable plates and a lively atmosphere – head to Bulla Gastrobar Coral Gables. This two-story establishment has outdoor tables spilling out onto the sidewalk as well as an open-air rooftop lounge and dining room. It’s located on Ponce de Leon Boulevard, a stylish thoroughfare that runs through downtown Coral Gables. At this buzzy brunch, lunch and dinner spot, diners can indulge in the best flavors from Spain, from the seasonal menu of tapas to full-sized dishes. Whichever way you decide to dine, you may want to start with cured meats or fine Spanish cheeses paired with house-marinated olives and perhaps a pitcher of one of the signature sangrías.

Caffe Vialetto

Caffe Vialetto feels like a best-kept secret, but for the diners who’ve been regulars since the restaurant opened in 1999, it’s a romantic favorite where Italian food is reinvented with a tropical spin. Located near The Shops of Merrick Park, this intimate fine dining restaurant is the place for celebratory meals, when only the best will do. Try the indulgent risotto topped with truffle oil or scallops, an over-the-top pasta such as pappardelle short ribs, or spaghetti with porcini mushrooms and garlic olive truffle sauce. If you’re eyeing the house-made ravioli but can’t decide on just one version, you can order by the half portion or even by the piece to sample them all and discover your favorite.

Fontana

Dining at sophisticated Fontana, located in the palm-covered courtyard of the iconic Biltmore Hotel, is a Coral Gables must-do. The ambiance surrounding the fountain in this Mediterranean-style architectural beauty is a huge draw, but the Italian fare certainly holds its own. The menu is loaded with classics, from gazpacho with fresh tuna to a fritto misto and wide array of antipasti, followed by a variety of pastas and risottos. Protein-based mains include fish and steak options. Oenophiles will delight in the lengthy list of red, white and sparkling wines, as well as a full bar serving classic cocktails appropriate for this historic setting, such as a mojito or an Old Fashioned.

Pascal’s on Ponce

Pascal’s on Ponce transports diners to another place and time. Whether you’re sitting at a sidewalk table or indoors at this authentic French restaurant, you’ll treasure a true Coral Gables gem. Chef Pascal Oudin has won plenty of accolades over the years for his eponymous restaurant, where he serves dinner made to order with the freshest local ingredients. You may see diners enjoying the restaurant’s most popular appetizer, twice baked upside down Gruyère cheese soufflé with Parmesan fondue. Elegant main courses often include rack of lamb, beef tenderloin and crispy duck confit. If you’re lucky, you may even witness a wedding proposal – Pascal’s on Ponce is that kind of special place.

Remember to check out all the wonderful restaurants participating in Miami Spice during August and September.