Brunch from the Mediterranean

La Dorada Has Been Serving Fresh Seafood for Decades. Now it Does on Weekend Mornings, Too

Having been on Giralda Plaza for 24 years, La Dorada is a Coral Gables institution. It has been recognized as a landmark by the City of Coral Gables, and in 2013 it won the Green Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.This signifies that it’s an environmentally friendly establishment. It is the first Spanish restaurant in the U.S. to have won this award. “That’s like an Oscar,” says Lilliam Gandara, who owns La Dorada with her husband Domingo.

The Spanish restaurant is known for its seafood and shellfish for good reason. Using local fishermen in Spain, the fish are caught in the Mediterranean Sea in the morning and are in Miami in the afternoon.

Now La Dorada is offering a seafood-infused brunch, taking advantage of the new outdoor seating on Giralda Plaza. The fixed price brunch menu is offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until… well, this is a Spanish place, after all. For $25 per person, choose two primer platos, or first courses, and one plato principale, or main course. It sounds like a lot of food, but the portions are just the right size to leave you satisfied, not stuffed. Don’t forget to throw in the bottomless mimosas, Bellinis and Bloody Marys for $15.

For the first course we decided on the Spanish omelet and the empanadillas de pollo. The Spanish omelet is comparable to a French quiche. The bits of chorizo add a welcome kick of flavor. The empanadillas are three miniature chicken empanadas – crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. Both come with an aioli sauce that we would put on everything if we could. Dying to try their fresh-from-the-Mediterranean seafood, we had the shrimp au gratin, or camarones gratinados. The shrimp did not disappoint; it was probably the freshest shellfish we’ve ever had. Accompanied with white rice and covered with warm, melted cheese, it was like a shrimp Mac and cheese with rice instead of pasta.

Being a Coral Gables mainstay for more than two decades and surviving the StreetScape project, La Dorada is obviously doing something right. Maybe it’s the extra friendly wait staff, the white tablecloth interior or now the comfortable outdoor seating. The mouthwatering food doesn’t hurt either. 

Shrimp au Gratin