Giorgio Rapicavoli, the first Miamian to take the top spot on Food Network’s Chopped, used some of his prize money to launch a pop-up with childhood friend Alex Cassanova last winter. That temporary gig has taken permanent root in a place that really needs its. “Exciting” is not a word I’ve applied to Coral Gables dining in recent years except, perhaps, at La Cofradia and Por Fin, may they rest in peace. But where those places were precious and pricey, Eating House and its telegenic face man (voted hottest chef in Miami on Eater.com) are doing quirky, messy, fatty, sexy and foamy all at once.
The lineup and the place are both tiny—maybe 15 dishes a night and some 40 seats make up what has become a cult favorite. The beverage menu is equally minuscule but serviceable, with nice craft beers and boutique wines. Rapicavoli will soon be opening a bar nearby with a full cocktail menu. The menu changes nightly. Only a few dishes remain in the rotation, and as the seasons change, I expect they will, too. Rapicavoli's meat-heavy menu exudes a bit of machismo, with lots of beef and pork, sometimes scallops or mussels but rarely fish. The small card listing the night’s dishes is intentionally sparse, so lean heavily on your servers for a clue.
Ambience: The spot exudes all the hipster cool of a Brooklyn speakeasy. Though prettied up with graffiti art on the gray walls and cool hanging light bulbs, it is still decidedly dineresque, with thick-lipped water glasses and plaid-shirted staff.
What Didn't Work
Left to right, Gast—n Ruiz jr., Alvin Corbette, Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, Adriana Egozcue and Henry Hane at the Eating House