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Berries in the Grove


Name: Amanda Patterson
Occupation: Jewelry Designer
Lives in: Miami
Restaurant Pick: Berries in the Grove
Reviewed Berries Restaurant: 12/23/08 at 8:30 p.m.

When you first pull up to Berries you’re not sure what to expect. At first glance it looks almost like a private residence that is throwing a big party. The parking situation is sometimes an issue here. However, on our visit we got lucky and got a space right out front. As you walk up to Berries, you are literally walking up to what feels like the front porch of a house. Here, you are given the option of sitting inside or outside. Always choose outside on the patio if it’s available. Sitting outside, you get to enjoy a beautiful patio with a great atmosphere. The lighting is dim, but not dark. There are accent lights hanging from the trees in addition to the candles on the tables. A few focal pieces of art and a couple water features add to the overall calming effect of the patio. Very minimal decoration.

You can also sit indoors which is also very nice. The inside is bright and full of interesting pieces of artwork. Both inside and outside are spacious. When you eat at Berries, you almost feel as though you are eating at the house of a good friend.

The atmosphere of the patio is the reason I keep coming back to Berries. It’s a really nice place to sit and relax and enjoy a meal. There is almost always live music, which makes it even more enjoyable. On the night of our visit, there was a duo playing Spanish guitar music. It was the perfect compliment to good company and good food. It’s almost like being transported out of Miami.

Once seated our server promptly came to our table and read us the daily specials. We started out with the Berries House Salad. A basic mix of greens, avocado, Portobello mushrooms, and Manchego cheese, it was all very fresh and tasty. The homemade balsamic vinaigrette was light and flavorful without being overpowering. Next we ordered our main entrees. I ordered the Mahi-Mahi prepared blackened with a passion fruit reduction served over mashed sweet potatoes and steamed spinach. The blackened seasoning was a little milder than I would have liked, but still good. The only real disappointment here was the passion fruit reduction which was a little bland. It didn’t distract from the dish, but it didn’t really add anything either. The other dish ordered at the table was the marinated skirt steak with blue cheese sauce and scalloped potatoes. Again, the ingredients were all really fresh and overall the steak was well received.

The portions at Berries aren’t huge, but they are nice sized. We felt full enough after our entrees that we didn’t order dessert. Instead, we took our time asking for the check, so we could linger and enjoy our glass of wine. No one made us feel pressured to finish up and leave our table. What I truly like most about Berries is the atmosphere of the restaurant. There is nothing better than sitting outside on a cool December Miami night enjoying nice music, good company, and good food. I highly recommend Berries to anyone who wants a fresh, moderately priced meal in a great setting. Also, Berries is a great date spot!

Name: Amy Pastor
Occupation: Registered Nurse
Lives In: Pembroke Pines
Restaurant Pick: El Toro Taco
Reviewed Berries Restaurant: 01/07/09

We started with Crab Cakes that were the best I have ever had. Stuffed with real crab, not stuffing. I have been to seafood restaurants that brag about their crab cakes, they need to give this place a visit. I ordered Gnocchi with 2 types of mushroom cooked with truffle oil. I have never bought truffle oil although I have been meaning to because I was told it adds a semi sweet (yet rich) flavor. This dish was so good, it was almost surreal. I was such a pleasure to taste this dish. I only felt something was missing (like either shrimp or thinly sliced veal). Besides this, it’s a thumb’s up.

My friend ordered tortellini with a mild and fresh pomodoro sauce and fresh basil leaves and chunks of fresh chicken. It was so good, especially the sauce, obviously homemade, mild light, very flavorful. This too was a thumbs up. Dessert was a chocolate truffle cake made with no flour, so it was not dry at all. It was rich, but not so heavy and rich like brownies. It was fudge-like and we savored it for over half hour, we just didn’t want it to go away. The Crème Brulee was outstanding! The taste was sweet, moist the best I’ve had…I wanted to lick the plate…no kidding!

By the way they make their own desserts there, all the food is homemade. All the fish comes fresh from Hawaii, and never frozen. Their Salmon is farm raised because the mercury levels in Alaska are high, but that too is never frozen. They are more than accommodating than any restaurant I’ve been to. If you don’t want the vegetable your plate comes with, they cook whatever you want. They don’t mind replacing one veggie with another. All in all, this is a place I plan to return to, and it’s definitely for the food.

Name: Peter Confalone
Occupation: Bartender
Lives In: Miami Beach
Restaurant Pick: Rustic Inn Crabhouse
Reviewed Berries restaurant: 12/30/08 at 7:45 p.m.

Arriving at this restaurant was a bit trying due to the awful traffic on that part of 27th near the intersection of US 1. If you miss the driveway, good luck. As I entered the place a cheerful attentive hostess seated me immediately at a table in the covered courtyard that surrounded the bar. The restaurant was about 25% full. As soon as I cracked open the menu, a glass of ice water was delivered to my table. I perused the menu for some time before my waitress asked for my order of crab cakes and pumpkin ravioli in pink sauce. I asked if I could have the ravioli done with sage and butter but was told, “We don’t have sage.” When I asked for a wine list, I got a broken down menu book, folded open, with plastic sheets falling out and one page of wines by the glass. I ordered a glass of South African Sauvignon Blanc. About ten minutes, later the crab cakes arrived but no wine. When I asked the waitress if I could have my wine she said, “I’m still waiting for it.” The pan seared crab cakes were mushy little nubs of soggy breadcrumbs; the roasted red pepper coulis was sour. The accompanying fresh guacamole and tortilla chips were fine. I thoroughly enjoyed the pumpkin ravioli in pink sauce; the homemade pasta was good, the pumpkin puree stuffing was wonderfully sweet, which played well against the sauce and Parmesan cheese. Half way through my entrée two women in the next table lit up cigarettes. I leaned to get out of the smoke stream when one said, “Oh, are you still eating, sorry,” and continued to puff. At that moment the hostess was walking by, and I asked her for a new table away from the smoke. She picked up my plate and led me to a small front room inside the restaurant. She returned later to ask if I wanted dessert and suggested Berries Merlot. Ten minutes later, my waitress appeared and was surprised that I hadn’t gotten my dessert yet. Five minutes later, I saw it delivered to and rejected at a table across the room. A few minutes after that the strawberries with a merlot reduction sauce under a pyramid of whipped cream served in a Burgundy glass arrived at my table. The brambly reduction was a perfect foundation for the fruit and cream. It was a very satisfying conclusion thanks to the good-natured efficient hostess.

I guess Berries is more a neighbourhood place rather than a dining destination. The three sided bar with a television overwhelms an otherwise charming courtyard setting. That along with the cigarette smoking and poor wait-service destroyed any sense of a valued dining experience.

Restaurant Information

Location: 2884 SW 27 Ave Coconut Grove Fl 33133
Phone: (305) 448-2111
Parking: 60 spots on property
Restaurant Owners: Robert Snider & Steve Edmonson
Executive Chef: N/A

Type of Cuisine: Creative American
Signature Dishes: : Goat cheese salad, mahi-mahi, sweet potato mash
Vegetarian Options: Many
Alcohol Served: Yes
Corkage Fee: N/A
Bottle Limit: N/A

Restaurant Hours:
Monday – 11:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday – 11:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday – 11:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Thursday – 11:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Friday – 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Saturday – 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Sunday – 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Meals Served: Sat/Sun Brunch, Lunch and Dinner
Prix Fix Menu: No
Take-Out: Yes
Delivery: Yes
Average Dinner Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, %15 gratuity, w/o alcohol):$12 to $27.00
Average Lunch Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, %15 gratuity, w/o alcohol):$8 to $12
Payment Options: do you accept credit cards and if so, which ones? All major credit cards
Accept Reservations: Yes
Need Reservations: Sometimes
How far in advance do you require reservations be made: 1 day

Accommodations for Children: Yes
Dining Style: Casual
Disabled Access: Yes
Restaurant Size: 200 plus seats
Accommodate Groups: Yes
Private Dining Room: Yes
Tables with Scenic Views: Courtyard
Outdoor Dining: Yes
Entertainment: No