With an eye-popping setting that juxtaposes old and new to gorgeous effect, Love is worth a visit, though not necessarily for the food. Cathedral-high ceilings glow above hundreds of dripping candles, and the bar sparkles beneath modern chandeliers. Stone walls are stenciled with thought-provoking sayings ("Love is not something you look for ? Love is something you become"), the open kitchen bustles, and the tables (except for a kindergarten-size set in the corner) are comfortably spaced for romantic conversation.
As per the menu, Elliot says it "generally plays it safe" and though items like "an 'I can't believe it's not pasta' linguini", and "Charcoal-black french fries that apparently had been left in the fryer for several rounds before landing haphazardly on our plate" didn't quite cut it for her, several items did make her "what worked list". On there were "lovely juevos rotos", "Deliciously hot, crisp and salty Croquettes", and a "Stunningly seasoned, picture-perfect chicken paillard piled high with crunchy confetti of yellow squash and zucchini". [Miami.com]
Less than a dozen blocks north of the ever more elegant Design District, the Embassy — self-proclaimed shrine to "Well Being and Debauchery" — is a scruffy beacon of individuality in Buena Vista East. The candle-lit, boho cafe reflects chef-owner Alan Hughes' rocker sensibilities. Depending on the night, live acoustic blues, jazz, old Spanish classics, experimental electronic or rock sets the tone for the unfussy, well-executed small plates that emerge from a 98-square-foot kitchen.Farrell raves about items like "exceptional tender octopus bruschetta", "Delicious and delicate cod cakes" and "Cloud-like coconut tapioca pudding" , but wasn't impressed with the boneless duckleg, the "flat risotto with cauliflower" or the "flat seed-crusted salmon". "Along with the limited menu, service can be slow and erratic", writes Farrell, "There are no entrees that wow. Yet you'll find yourself wanting to linger, even as your lower extremities grow numb from the hard window seats". [Miami.com]
For Mojo Donuts, it's looking good. The spot that was previously listed by Clean Plate Charlie as one of South Florida's best doughnut joints, scores high marks with Zachary Fagenson, who writes:
After the first bite into a salted peanut and chocolate doughnut, there's little to do other than close your eyes and try not to moan too loudly. There's the crunch of the peanuts and the overwhelming sweetness of chocolate, intensified by salt. The real treat is the doughnut itself. While the doughnuts we've become used to are limp and chewy, Mojo's are oversized puffs of semisweet delight. A bite into it and the doughnut compresses, then bounces back to its previous shape. They're never greasy and disappear within moments. [Miami.com]· At Mojo Donuts, Former Strip-Club DJ Reinvents Himself as a Doughnut King [CPC]
· 2.5 stars for Love is Blind in Coral Gables [Miami.com]
· 3 stars for charming small plates at Buena Vista East's Embassy [Miami.com]
[Photo via Miami.com]