Road Trip Redux: Le Bouchon du Grove in Coconut Grove

Written By Scott Joseph On May 21, 2021

Lebouchon ext

It seems that whenever I visit Miami I tend to look for the newer and trendier restaurants. Too often I’m just not impressed and find that the reality isn’t anywhere near the hype.

But on my recent road trip south I decided to take a different tack and chose a small, unassuming French restaurant in Coconut Grove called Le Bouchon du Grove. It was rustic and cramped and it was wonderful.

My companion and I were given a table up front, covered but facing the sidewalk, and sipped a complimentary glass of Champagne we’d been offered and nibbled on French bread with real butter while we waited for our dinners to arrive.


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Road Trip Redux: Yardbird in Miami Beach

Written By Scott Joseph On May 17, 2021

Yardbird exterior

I took my first road trip in more than 16 months recently, traveling to South Beach, Islamorada and Fort Lauderdale. I’ll be sharing some of my food visits with you.

First stop, Miami Beach and a visit to Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, a restaurant that has served as a template for others desiring to create a contemporary take on Southern cuisine.

It’s first year, the restaurant, started by Jeff McInnis, a Top Chef finalist, and Miami restaurateurs John Kunkel and Chris Romero, was a semifinalist for best new restaurant by the James Beard Foundation, and Bon Appetit named it one of the country’s 50 Best New Restaurants.


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Notes from Miami Beach: Pubbelly and News Cafe

Written By Scott Joseph On November 18, 2015

Pubbelly interior

If your server at Pubbelly tries to tell you that the plates are small, tapas-sized portions suitable for sharing, don’t believe her. Only they’re definitely suitable for sharing, but small? No.

Which is why my companion and I found ourselves with too much to eat on a recent visit to the popular anchor in the Pubbelly group of restaurants. Those include Pubbelly Sushi and Barceloneta, all basically in the same building — sort of like Thornton Park Restaurant Group and its growing brands at the corner of Central Boulevard and Summerlin Avenue.

Contrary to most of the well-known restaurants in Miami Beach, Pubbelly is not on Ocean Drive or even the popular Lincoln Road. It is on the west side of the island, away from the touristy area. But it thrums with locals who flock for the well executed food.


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Norman’s 180

Written By Scott Joseph On May 24, 2011

Clarification: Although his name is on the title and he is still listed on the restaurant’s website, Norman Van Aken is no longer associated with Norman’s 180.


Brandon Benack (photo:Norman’s 180)

A couple of weeks ago I talked about the rash of restaurants using numbers as part of their names. Often these numbers coincide with the establishment’s address. That’s the case for Norman’s 180, which is at 180 Aragon Ave. in Coral Gables. But the 180 might also indicate a completely new direction for owner Norman Van Aken.


In Central  Florida, of course, we’re familiar with the celebrity chef’s restaurant Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton. One of the area’s best restaurants, Norman’s is also one of the poshest, a fine dining experience, to be sure.

Norman’s 180 is also in a hotel, the Westin Colonnade, but rather than serve as the hotelier’s top-of-the-line, dinner-only venue, Norman’s 180 goes the three-meal route, and in a decidedly more casual way from Norman’s in Orlando. Like I said: a 180 degree turn.


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