Name: Angel Medina
Lives In: Miami
Restaurant Pick: Secreto Restaurant
Reviewed Secreto Restaurant: 02/12/11 at 8:30 p.m.
Prepare to be wowed! From the moment you walk in to this 50 seat boutique restaurant you feel like you have been reunited with your long lost cousin. Dover and his staff go out of their way to invite you into the restaurant and make you feel like you are the single most important guest they have that evening. From the hug upon your arrival to the hug and genuine appreciation for your visit at the end, the experience is outstanding. There is probably a great menu, but I wouldn't’t know. Although it is one of my absolute favorite restaurants that I frequent, I can honestly say that I have never seen the menu. At the beginning of every meal Dover and his staff describe each and every daily special dish, with such love and detail that your mouth waters and you want to order it ALL. Whether your preference is fish or fowl, beef or pork, all dishes are cooked in a wood burning oven that you can savor the aroma throughout the restaurant. When you go, don’t forget to order the tostones instead of the bread. Although the fresh baked bread is absolutely delicious, the tostones (smashed green plantains) in the mojo sauce are paper thin, extra crispy and “to die for”. You will love the overall experience and great food at Secreto.
Name: Manuela Menendez
Lives in: Miami
Restaurant Pick: Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar & Latam Grill
Reviewed Secreto Restaurant: 02/09/11 at 7:30 p.m.
This restaurant is located in a strip mall. It has ample parking. On the outside, it does not look like much but when you walk in, it’s quite beautiful. The front of the house is professional and attentive. We sat down quickly and were quickly given the menu. Then the first waiter came. He explained the over 10 “specials” they had that day including appetizers. It was hard to remember. When we asked him to repeat it, he was visibly irritated. Finally he took our order and left. We waited about 20 minutes for our appetizers. I had the smoked salmon and cream cheese roll. I’m not sure what it was, but it sounded like it would be very tasty. It wasn’t. The cream cheese was nothing special and the salmon was low quality and highly salty. It blasted my palate. My dining guest had an escargot appetizer which consisted of escargot covered in cheese in a bread cup. I tasted it and thought it was very bad. It was really heavy handed with the flavors of the cheese and garlic. We also asked for some more oil to dip the bread in which they serve you when you come in. Apparently, we got charged for “side” of olive oil. I ordered the fresh cod which was a “special”. It was sautéed white fish with mashed potatoes. No big deal. The person I was with ordered another special which was lamb shanks on top of risotto. Once again, it was way, way too heavy and salty. Lastly, I ordered the pannacotta which was actually subtle and tasted very good. It also had a nice consistency. We also ordered the crème Brule which was bland. We paid about $30 each for the main entrees which was ridiculous. Our dinner, which was on a Tuesday night at 7:30, took 1 and ½ hours. To me, I prefer quality and not quantity, function over form. This place was all about looks and no substance. I’d rather eat a fantastic taco from a food truck than their escargot covered in cheese on a hollowed out piece of bread while paying for a “side” of olive oil. I would not go back nor would I suggest this place to anyone.
Name: Scot Marken
Occupation: Nonprofit CEO
Lives In: Miami Shores
Restaurant Pick: Buena Vista Bistro
Reviewed Secreto Restaurant: 02/16/11 at 7:00 p.m.
Secreto is tucked away in a small shopping mall in Kendall. In an area full of chain restaurants, it was really nice to find a local restaurant that offers high quality food and a personal touch. Miami has a number of very good Italian restaurants, and you can add Secreto to the list. The pumpkin ravioli is a dish worth remembering, so much so that my friend commented that she will be dreaming about it. If I am in Kendall again (which rarely happens), I would definitely go back; however, it is too far for me to make a special trip since there are a number of similar restaurants in terms of quality, ambience and price that are a lot closer to where I live.
Location: 11652 N. Kendall Dr. Miami, FL 33176
Type of Cuisine: Italian
Meals Served: Lunch and dinner
Accommodations for Children: Yes