Talavera, a charming Coral Gables newcomer, is worth a visit any day for its homey Mexican cuisine, classy setting and notably sharp service, but especially on Super Bowl Sunday for crisp, hand-cut corn chips the color of pale cinnamon bark that are utterly greaseless and as authentic as can be. Baskets of them, along with commercial blue corn chips, land on the table soon after you're seated, along with bowls of incendiary green and mild red salsa. Named for the ornately decorated pottery of Puebla, Talavera combines Mexican classics, lesser-known rustic dishes and a few American twists. There's something here for purists and novices, natives and visitors, gourmets and gourmands alike. Instead of taking themselves too seriously, Talavera makes the customer experience paramount.
Ambiance: The hands-on Mexico City team of Eduardo "Lalo” Durazo, Martin Moreno and chef Oscar Del Rivero (Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar) have created a stunning spot. Deep almond-hued booths, walnut-colored wood-slat tables and earthy sisal rugs fill the wide-open space, with outside seating beneath broad awnings.
What Didn’t Work