Jaguar, a Coconut Grove favorite with fresh ceviches and a cool Latin vibe, has a great Miami Spice menu, available for August and September. This diner stumbled upon it quite accidentally while attending dinner for a departing college student.
The three course meal, for $33, includes a cocktail from a select list. The drink recommended by the waiter was an indulgent one made with condensed milk. While delicious, it was so sweet it probably would pair better with dessert.
Chips (blue corn, plantain and pita) are offered with a smooth salsa and are placed on the table while diners look at the menu. Tap water is served in a glass carafe, with bistro style clear glasses.
For Miami Spice, the appetizer choices are: ceviche spoons, scallop Norma or shrimp mango verde. Jaguar is known for their innovative ceviches, served on little white ceramic spoons, with Brazilian corn nuts added for a salty crunch. This diner recommends the :Oriental, Black Market and Nuevo (shrimp or calamari) spoons for the choice of three in the Miami Spice menu.
Also sampled was the soup of the day, a creamy hearts of palm soup. It was rich, flavorful and delicious with sweet lumps of crabmeat floating in the smooth green soup. Another member dining ordered a half Caesar salad, a generous portion of dressed Romaine greens.
Choices of entrees for Miami Spice are: Lomo Saltado- the Peruvian beef and potato dish, organic chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and Brazilian Vatapa, a seafood stew.
The Vatapa was selected and included mahi mahi, shrimp and calamari in a spicy coconut milk broth. White rice was served alongside the stew in a large white ceramic bowl. The white rings of calamari, fish chunks and shrimp were standouts in the rich broth, with a spicy, sweet kick. Chopped cashews, almonds and cilantro added a welcome crunch and contrast to the smooth broth; while Brazilian, it was reminiscent of an Asian curry.
The three choices for dessert in Miami Spice are: Palomas de Cajeta, assorted sorbets (for virtuous diners) and a cheese flan. Palomas de Cajeta was the dessert chosen. It's a banana wrapped in a crepe, served with walnuts, marscapone cheese, vanilla ice cream and drizzled with dulce de leche. It was an indulgent treat that is enough reason to visit Jaguar alone. Three teenagers shared a cheesecake topped with toasted almonds. There wasn’t even a crump left behind.
Unfortunately, there were no photographs taken to document this dinner.
Jaguar was the first restaurant to open in the Jaguar Hospitality group, which includes Talavera and the Peacock Garden Café. Oscar del Rivero is the executive chef at all three restaurants, each offering a unique twist on simple ingredients with big flavors.
Jaguar, with its fun atmosphere, reliably fresh and tasty food, reasonable prices and friendly service, is a restaurant this diner returns to again and again. Usually, it’s for the ceviche spoon sampler and a glass of yummy Pinot Gris (or two). Miami Spice is the perfect opportunity to leave that culinary comfort zone and try some new and delicious dishes.
3067 Grand Avenue
Coconut Grove, FL 33133
Miami Spice Monday – Sunday, for lunch and dinner. Lunch is $19, dinner is $33.