Night Out on the Town: Plates, Wine & Wilde

The perfect night out in Coral Gables has three elements: delectable bites, good wine, and a captivating show. These three things are not hard to come by in the City Beautiful, as we discovered on a recent Friday night out.

Right after work, eager to let off some steam and satisfy our hunger, we headed to happy hour at Cebada Rooftop. Too early for a full-fledged dinner, we opted to combine cocktails with a selection of small plates to share.

Cebada Rooftop’s smoked cauliflower, “Peach Please” cocktail, and smoked prime rib carpaccio.

I had never understood the cauliflower craze until I dug into Chef Jorgie’s smoked cauliflower. Each crispy bite of the staple superfood was deliciously complemented by the salsa blanca and herb yogurt spread underneath.

We followed with the smoked prime rib carpaccio. Plated like a pizza, the tasty toppings highlighted the quality of the meat, from the flavorful horseradish crema and salsa verde to the textures of shallot relish and papitas.

After our second round of “Peach Please” cocktails, a refreshing peach and vodka concoction, we decided we needed more calories before our next stop. Enter the carbs. Chef Jorgie elevates the traditional pan con tomate with high-level ingredients: Spanish pan de cristal, roasted tomato, black garlic aioli, black truffle, and Stracciatella. We may never have pizza again!

Our final appetizer was Cebada’s take on the classic grilled cheese. One dip of the “bikini” grilled cheese — composed of truffle aioli, 500-day jamon serrano, and Havarti cheese — into the companion fig marmalade had our taste buds dancing. A perfect foodie pregame before a wine tasting on Miracle Mile.

Every Friday starting at 7 pm, Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe takes Gableites on a $25 journey through the vineyards of various countries. We had the pleasure of savoring Spain and Portugal. With eight bottles lined up and a homemade Spanish tortilla, owner Jeffrey Wolfe began walking us through the different wineries. From describing the flavor profiles to recounting engaging anecdotes about the winemakers (from personal experience or what he’s heard through the grapevine), Jeffrey entertained our intimate group of taste testers.

Join an intimate group of wine lovers for a delicious wine tasting at Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe every Friday night. (Photo courtesy of Diego Mallens)

If you’re a novice to the wine scene, this is the perfect place to develop your palate. Plus, with all featured bottles at $45 or less, it’s a good way to start your personal wine collection. For us, it was a no-brainer to leave with a red and a white from Portugal’s J. Cabral Almeida Musgo.

Last but certainly not least, we decided to get a little wild — that is, Oscar Wilde. Our final stop was the University of Miami’s Jerry Herman Ring Theatre to catch the season-opening production of “The Importance of Being Earnest.” We love a good romantic comedy, especially when it’s set in Britain.

Students Keenan Lyons and Owen Trawick playing Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff in “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

For a little over two hours, we were enthralled in the witty chronicle of two bachelor buddies, Jack and Algie, who devise double lives as a form of escapism from their responsibilities. As the classic goes, both take on the name “Ernest” in their quests for love. Chaos ensues. From the fantastic Victorian-era wardrobe (think corsets and frock coats) to the humorous timing of lines, the university’s student cast and crew delivered with memorable professionalism. We’ll be back for “The Threepenny Opera.”

Walking through campus and back to our cars in the moonlight, we felt fulfilled — and we never had to leave the city. Although each stop met a different cultural need, our time at all three places brought us closer to the heartbeat of the Gables — one bite, sip, and laugh at a time.

Read our previous night on the town, where we hit the streets on Gallery Night.