Quirky name, sexy décor, cool soundtrack, fun bar scene, affordable menu and adorable servers. That’s what made successes of Carlos Galan and JC Chamizo’s Brickell area hot spots, Dolores But You can Call Me Lolita and Crazy About You. The Spanish restaurateurs bring the same fun formula to Coral Gables with Love Is Blind.
The mostly male servers, outfitted in suspenders and bow-ties, are young and charming, if sometimes a bit clueless. But what they lack in experience they more than make up for in personality. “Have you been here before?,” they ask. If not, expect a quick explanation of how the menu works. At both lunch and dinner, customers choose entrees from three price categories, with appetizers included gratis. Spanish speakers will have an easier time, but all are made to feel welcome.
A budget wine list includes lots of imported bottles and by-the-glass options that start at just $4. The cocktail crowd congregates at the bar, where it gets quite lively (and loud) after dark. The menu generally plays it safe with salads, calamari, spring rolls, pizzas, roast chicken, short ribs and a few simple seafood dishes.
Ambience: With an eye-popping setting that juxtaposes old and new to gorgeous effect, Love is worth a visit, though not necessarily for the food. Cathedral-high ceilings glow above hundreds of dripping candles, and the bar sparkles beneath modern chandeliers. Stone walls are stenciled with thought-provoking sayings (“Love is not something you look for … Love is something you become”), the open kitchen bustles, and the tables (except for a kindergarten-size set in the corner) are comfortably spaced for romantic conversation.
What Didn't Work