5 New Places to Dine: From Brunch to Omakase

The spring season has brought numerous (and diverse) new restaurants to the city. Here are the five latest additions to the Gables food scene:

Nuevo Argentine Pasta

Walking along the south side of Alhambra Circle, you may come across the semi-obscure Altagracia, which occupies the space previously filled by Tapas Coral Gables, and, before that, Indian restaurant Mint Leaf. Not only does it have a refreshing modern décor, this Argentinian-Italian fusion restaurant brings a new and welcome twist to the city’s already plentiful pasta options.

Mix-and-match appetizers pay homage to the restaurant’s roots, including a pair of golden brown, hand-cut beef empanadas ($11.95) that can be dipped in a spicy tomato sauce with a recommended squeeze of lemon added on top. The meatballs ($13.95) are covered in a rich tomato blend that makes a perfect dip for the accompanying sourdough.

The stars here, however, are the three creamy raviolis to choose from: a pumpkin and cheese ravioli drenched in truffle cream ($18.95), a short rib ravioli ($19.95), and the ricotta ravioli in a four cheese sauce ($18.95). Both the pumpkin (topped with fried quinoa) and the ricotta ravioli (topped with almonds) have an added crunch that makes the taste experience delightfully complex.

We balanced everything with a bottle of Rutini Cabernet-Malbec ($38.25), a blend of fruity aromas, and closed out the night with a decadent dulce de leche flan ($11.95) — a heavenly ending to a flavorful outing.

276 Alhambra Circle

Puerto Rican Breakfast

The popular Puerto Rican restaurant Bistro Café has opened a location in the Gables following its stellar success in Downtown Miami. Lucky for us, they brought their upscale breakfast, right by The Shops at Merrick Park. All-day breakfast is never a bad idea, especially when it’s this elevated. The expansive menu has a huge list of savory and sweet options, from innovative plates to upgraded classics.

We’ve all had a taste of avocado toast in our lives, but you may never want to try another after Bistro Cafe’s burrata and prosciutto version ($28). Two pieces of toast hide below a mountain of generous ingredients: a thick base of avocado spread topped with slices of prosciutto, creamy burrata, rainbow cherry tomatoes, and sweet balsamic glaze drizzled throughout. Easily shared by two. The huevos rancheros ($19) come with two gooey fried eggs served over English muffins, surrounded by extravagant amounts of chorizo and cooked tomatoes, peppers, and onions.

For an indulgent dessert, order the Oreo pancakes ($15 for a side of two, $21 for a stack of five) – fluffy, golden-brown pancakes coated with cream cheese, Nutella, and Oreos. It’s as sweet as it sounds — in the best way possible.

The modern decor makes a fitting Instagram backdrop, with neon phrases and brightly colored seating throughout. Add to that their two-for-one mimosa deal ($15) on weekdays, and we’ve found our go-to brunch spot.

Bistro Café
4155 Laguna St

Upscale Burgers

Lots of buzz surrounded this newest addition to Miracle Mile, filling the spot formerly occupied by California Pizza Kitchen: The Capital Burger, owned by the same folks as The Capital Grille. This upscale burger joint – one of four locations and the first in Florida — delves into gourmet cuisine with signature burgers, boozy milkshakes, and craft cocktails.

Kicking it off with a kick, the flash-fried shishito peppers ($9), coated with spicy togarashi flakes, are made to be shared while sipping cocktails ($14) and waiting for the main event. The restaurant is known for its tender beef patties that blend short rib, chuck, and brisket, and you can’t go wrong with The Capital Burger ($20), a combination of caramelized onions, Wisconsin Grand Cru Gruyere, and shallot aioli.

If you’re feeling adventurous, the Roasted Wild Mushroom and Swiss Burger ($19) is the way to go, topped with roasted portobello mushrooms, Jarlsberg Swiss, 15-year aged balsamic, and truffle aioli.We recommend upgrading the sides of fries for an extra $3 to those with creamy smoked gouda cheese or parmesan truffle.

RELATED: Check out our Instagram reel for the full Capital Burger experience

Ordering one of the three spiked milkshakes ($7) is a must. The Stoli Doli combines vodka, vanilla ice cream, and candied pineapple to create a rich, sweet vanilla shake. Dessert is otherwise served in charming little mason jars – Key lime pie or Belgian chocolate mousse ($6).

The Capital Burger
300 Miracle Mile

Japanese Immersion

If you’re looking for a luxurious experience, consider the omakase menu ($180) at SHINGO. Located in the historic La Palma building, the restaurant is the brainchild of Michelin-starred Chef Shingo Akikuni. The multi-course menu prepared by Chef Shingo and his two sous chefs takes you through an authentic Japanese journey.

To start, you are served a Shigoku oyster, plump with a slightly brackish taste balanced by a refreshing cucumber mignonette on top. It pairs well with the complimentary champagne, served by the attentive wait staff. The second course is a seasonal sashimi beautifully presented with flowers and paired with ponzu sauce.

The show-stopping portion of the meal consists of the 11-piece nigiri. Each piece is individually served on top of custom, Miami-inspired ceramic plates made by Japanese artist Shin Murata. From grilled kinmedai to Japanese uni (sea urchin) your taste buds become enthralled in exquisite umami flavors. Afterwards, Akadashi soup is served to cleanse your palate for dessert, a soft dulce de leche ice cream with a hint of coffee sandwiched between crisp wafers.

Every element of the restaurant is carefully curated, from the pristine presentation of the 14-seat table to the order and method in which each course is served. The chefs are happy to talk about their techniques and the type of fish used. Over the course of the two-hour experience, you’ll feel immersed in Japanese culture.

112 Alhambra Circle

A Natural Wine Bar

Coral Gables’ newest wine bar delivers on everything you might expect. Inside Sospiro’s storefront tucked away on Ponce is a short bar and comfortable couches printed with grandmotherly patterns. You can sit by the window and take in the sun (which sets across from the restaurant) or take up one of the couches along the wall where the ambiance is slightly darker.

The vibe is somewhere between a Parisian and Italian wine shop, with an extensive list (over 300) of organic natural wines both bottled and by the glass, sorted by their country of origin. There are 30 different “orange” wines, which are made from white grape varieties that have spent time in contact with the grape skins – not something you can get anywhere else in the Gables.

The food menu is somewhat short, with dishes meant to be shared, but it features a delicious stack of truffle fries and peculiarly elongated gnocchi in a creamy queso fundido sauce (ask for bread to dip). It’s the kind of place you can take a date or meet some friends for a casual chit-chat over a shared bottle – and the ambiance will soon be even more elevated by cocktail nights and live music. Sospiro, which means “sigh” in Spanish or Italian, is open for lunch and dinner every day except Sunday.

2626 Ponce de Leon Blvd.