Where to Dine and Drink in Coconut Grove

By Brittany Peitsmeyer July 2, 2009, 12:13 PM EDT

The Taurus

Photo: BizBash

One of Miami’s culture-rich neighborhoods, Coconut Grove is just a quick jaunt from Coral Gables and Miami and offers a variety of options for business entertaining. Here’s a look at three venues appropriate for lunch, dinner, and drinks.

1. Husband-and-wife duo Yoan and Alejandra Acosta opened Neighborhood Bistro earlier this year. The affordable eatery, ideal for a quick midday bite, is housed in the space formally occupied by French Kiss restaurant. The menu keeps to those roots, serving French-inspired dishes, all priced less than $11. An L-shaped black marble-topped bar runs the length of the 900-square-foot restaurant and separates the open kitchen from the indoor dining area. An air-conditioned patio can seat an additional 14 for alfresco lunches or accommodate about 20 for afternoon receptions. The entire restaurant seats 30 and is available for buyouts on a case-by-case basis.

2. The Taurus was first established in Coconut Grove more than 83 years ago. It served beers and burgers to locals until 2002, when the city shut down the restaurant due to impending residential development plans for the area. The bar will reopen in its original location on July 4th. Restaurateur Tom Billante—also responsible for Villagio in the Village of Merrick Park shopping center and Carpaccio in the Bal Harbour Shops, among others—has channeled the old pub’s roots with hardwood floors, exposed beams, and the original Taurus sign. The 875-square-foot space still has the original stone fireplace to the left of the 10-seat bar. Ideal for post-work cocktails, the Taurus opens at 4 p.m. daily, has a ring toss game set up outside, and serves American bar staples like the signature 10-ounce hamburger.
3. Adjacent to the Taurus, Calamari Italian Seafood restaurant opened in April, serving Italian and Mediterranean seafood dishes. The corner restaurant seats a total of 260 guests in its main dining room, which is split by a 20-seat bar, and courtyard patio. The indoor space has two areas seating 100 and 60 guests respectively, and can hold as many as 400 for receptions. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide natural lighting and a view of the patio, which can accommodate an additional 60 guests. For private events, the underground wine cellar known as the Cave can seat 25. Additionally, the covered side terrace seats 150 for semiprivate functions or twice as many for receptions and can be used in conjunction with the Taurus and its patio. Buyouts are available.

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