Coconut Grove has a special place in my college heart. When I would take trips back home from Gainesville, I could always find my tribe in the Grove. I probably drank one too many Moose Juices and Mr.Moe’s in my day, but The Grove sorta became the hangout spot when in Miami during my college days. In my adult life, I can probably count the times I’ve made it back to to little nook, and a handful of them have been for bridal showers at Peacock Garden Cafe. (I’m sure I’ve just aged myself.) Needless to say, all reminiscing aside, it has left a lot to desire for the grown up foodie in search of some good food.
So when we got invited to try a new, grown-up Peruvian dining spot, we were thrilled to see new life in one of our favorite corners in Miami. Yes, know that Peruvian in Miami is no new concept, and we recently told you all about a new Peruvian spot in Kendall, but now the popular cuisine makes its way to the Grove.
33 is a charming restaurant with rustic decor owned by Sebastian Fernandez, who worked as food and beverage director at the Coral Reef Yacht Club for the past 14 years. With an established culinary resume, he jumped at the chance to have a place of his own and took over the former Bombay Darbar space.
Our experience at 33 kicked off with the Causa Limena, a spin on the traditional Peruvian cause (a potato dish) that is accompanied by a delicious chunk of tuna to really help to bring the appetizer up a notch in taste.
We also tried the Seared Scallops and were left a bit weak in the knees. These caramelized scallops had a perfectly crisp texture of sugary miso brown butter that was rich in flavor. This decadent dish was most definitely the one we kept thinking about long after we had left the little gem of a restaurant.
The Ceviche Corvina was authentic to the restaurant’s look and feel; simple and traditional. The fish was bathed with a lemony taste, some kicks of spice, and a juxtaposition of sweet potatoes.
Last but not least, we indulged in a very large piece of French Toast Bread Pudding, because a hybrid of dessert should become a foodie trend that catches on in 2016. With lovely, chunky bits of toasted bread and mushy warm insides (topped with vanilla ice cream) we couldn’t think of a better way to restore our faith in the Grove – sans college debauchery.
Mel’s Take: I love the coziness of 33. It’s the perfect place to have a meal with that friend or family member you’ve been meaning to catch-up with for way too long now. Its comfortable and cute ambience is also complemented by a simple menu that’s tasty and goes a long way.
Stand out Dish: The scallops were perhaps the most memorable of our dishes. It stays true to the concept of simplicity that runs abundant at 33. The dish still managed to have bold flavors that left us wanting more of the scrumptious scallops. The hybrid French Toast Bread Pudding dessert was a very close second.