The Eating House gives you a hint of its old school roots with the menu, typed up in old fashioned typewriter font. Having said that, the only way to make reservations here is on-line, by e-mailing them with the date, time and number of party. Then, wait and pray.
These contradictions in the Eating House become further evident as the chef, a Food Network “Chopped” champion, declares his way of cooking changed completely after participating in the Slow Food movement in Italy and yet, Captain Crunch and Tang are ingredients on the menu. Captain Crunch and Tang are the antithesis of Slow Food, being super processed: one a candiezed cereal, the other a powdered substitute for orange juice.
Both, however, have definite connections to childhood. Who can drink a glass of Tang without thinking of the astronauts drinking it in space? This is food that makes you think, that draws connections, but best of all, this is food that tastes good.
The Miami Dining Examiner has dined here three times and tasted most of the items on the menu, however has not made it yet for brunch and the famous Cap’n Crunch pancakes and Tang mimosas. It is a place, on two occasions, where she invited friends simply because it’s different from any other restaurant in Miami.
The Eating House, in short, is a place where people who like to eat gather.
The first time, dining with friends and their daughter, the table ordered sweet corn ($7), sweetbreads ($16), chicken foi-ffles ($15), pasta carbonara ($23), duck breast ($25) and burrata with strawberries ($15). A word of advice: under order dishes.
Menu items can always be added and this much food proved too much for the party. By the time the last dish of duck arrived, the diners could barely muster enthusiasm for it, although it was very good.
Dishes come out of the kitchen as they are ordered, which does not always work in the favor of diners. The burrata with strawberries, whipped balsamic and basil, while delicious, would have been most appreciated at the end of the meal, as dessert.
Portions are perfect for four people, five is workable. Water is provided at the table, and is basically self-serve. There’s a charge of 75 cents a person for still or sparkling Vero water. Popcorn is served in a bowl to munch on while perusing the menu.
A bottle of red wine was ordered, but turned out to be too heavy for the food. The third time here, craft beer was ordered and it worked best. Craft beer is the perfect foil for this rich and tasty food, as it helps cut the fat and saltiness.
Eating House is not a large restaurant. It feels intimate, fun and casual. There’s a small bar and T.V.s. This is not a place to get dressed up, but a place to get your food on. There was no common denominator detected among diners, other than foodies and friends of foodies.
The second time dining, this diner and guest ordered pimento cheese ($11), brussel sprouts ($11), fried rice ($15) and pork cheeks ($17) with a bottle of white wine. While all dishes were enjoyed, the rich food was almost too heavy for two to handle. A salad amid the cheese, pig, and egg laden menu would be appreciated.
The third time, again with four people, some favorites were ordered: chicken with waffles and bacon and pasta carbonara with an egg on top were revisited and new items: pig ears ($12), beef steak ($28) and scallops ($27) were tried. The favorite among the three was the beef steak, perfectly cooked with corn, carrots and leeks.
The two scallops served in the scallop dish came out more than caramelized (basically burnt) sliced in two, with a grey smear of plantain and roasted turnips, as a serving for four. One diner at our table was amazed that there were only two scallops on the plate for twenty seven dollars. When he complained, the young and personable waiter shrugged, smiled and left it at that.
Eating House ain’t Burger King.
According to the menu: “We respectfully decline changes and substitutions.” If you don’t like it, take it elsewhere. There are plenty waiting in line to get in.
And you can “leave home without it”. They don’t take American Express.
The menu changes daily, however, there are some diner’s favorites (pasta carbonara, chicken and waffles) that are always on the menu.
While there have been raves about dessert at Eating House, this diner’s never left enough room for them, but looks forward to trying the dirt cup and returning for brunch.
One complaint is that diners are given individual, small, white plates to share dishes on. After a serving of chicken and waffles with syrup, sloppy pasta carbonara and juicy beef steak, the plates were pretty polluted with tastes of former dishes. At these prices, and wishing to taste each dish individually, new plates should be provided.
A female server at the last meal eaten here asked: “Would you like new plates?” The diners agreed readily.
A diner on Yelp argued Eating House should get with the program and subscribe to Open Table. This diner disagrees.
Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli and Alex Cassanova got to where they are by cooking food they love, staying true to their roots and doing things their way. And if that means serving Cap’n Crunch pancakes, this diner says “Pass the (condensed milk) syrup.”
Please see my recommendations in my article: Top eats at Eating House.
Eating House is now open for lunch.
804 Ponce de Leon Boulevard
Coral Gables, FL 33134