First Look: Glass & Vine brings new energy to Coconut Grove

The who: Eating House chef Giorgio Rapicavoli partners with Grove Bay Hospitality Group to open Glass & Vine in a pleasantly pastoral setting. 

The space: An indoor-outdoor 200-seater located in the former Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce in the heart of Peacock Park, the restaurant works on multiple levels: as a date spot, family-friendly destination (a number of tables flank a playground) and a casual cocktail stop. 

The dishes: Florida-driven compositions with Latin and Italian influences. Traces of Eating House hits like pasta carbonara and tomato salad with coconut milk can be seen in this menu, which is divided into Snacks, Garden, Sea and Land. But here Rapicavoli delves into Florida classics such as conch fritters and whole roasted fish. Prices are reasonable with starters $10-$15 and mains $21-$55.

Zak the Baker bread is offered with olive oil and butter, and the crusty bread also serves as the olive oil-soaked base for the stracciatella cheese dish, made with the creamy rich buffalo milk. Watermelon chunks get tossed with crema, cotija cheese, toasted corn and cilantro while charred cauliflower is tempered by tahini, black sesame and dehydrated olives. The whole roasted broccoli is crowned with a flurry of bonito flakes and red miso for extra umami-ness

The Sea section covers conch Fritters made with citrus yogurt and celery jalapeño, a housemade pasta with sea urchin butter and rock shrimp, and a local fish tartare with frozen leche de tigre, jalapeño and radish. 

Desserts keep the whimsy going with the Olive Oil Magic Shell chocolate over vanilla ice cream and the “Eton Mess” made with whipped cream, condensed milk, passion fruit sorbet and meringue, and a panna cotta topped with tomatoes and basil. 

Bottom line: No longer a pop-up sensation, Giorgio Rapicavoli’s newest restaurant brings a garden-inspired energy to Coconut Grove’s dining scene.