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Coconut Grove

$$$$Perfect For:BirthdaysDate NightLiterally EveryoneOutdoor/Patio SituationSpecial OccasionsUnique Dining Experience


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​​There are no shortage of documentaries dedicated to Miami’s rich history of indulgence. Most of them involve cocaine. Some of them involve tigers. But there wasn’t much from that era that we’d consider “sophisticated.”

Thankfully Miami has evolved since its neon, coked-out heyday of ’80s excess. And now, for a big, Don Johnson-worthy night out, you don’t have to rent a yellow Lamborghini, go to a corny club, and do an amount of drugs that’d make Tony Montana blush. We mean—you can technically still do that. But you should just go to Ariete instead. Because the phenomenal Coconut Grove restaurant is Miami indulgence, all grown up. It is where to go when you want to live luxuriously, but do so like a sophisticated damn adult.

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photo credit: Karli Evans

Although we love Ariete’s space—with its low ceilings, subway tiles, and unexpectedly energetic soundtrack—it’s the food that really makes this place special. Ariete’s menu takes you on some wild detours to places like France and Cuba, but it also never lets you forget you’re in South Florida. Ingredients are local when possible and rotate seasonally.

The menu provides a good opportunity to work on your trust issues, because Ariete takes control of just about the entire meal. Your only option here is a three-course prix fixe menu or a seven-course tasting menu. You can’t order a la carte, so try to come with people who know what they’re getting into.

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photo credit: ANTONELLA RE

The seven-course tasting menu comes with a wine pairing option. And the three-course menu offers your choice of appetizer, entree, and dessert. To start, we like to order “our Florida orange”—a sphere of chicken foie mousse and duck/sour orange pâté that’s been shaped into an unbelievably realistic orange. For the entree, Ariete has one dish in particular that is quite possibly the most exciting and unforgettable in town: the canard a la presse—A.K.A. the duck press.

It’s the true star of the menu—and also hands-down the best tableside presentation in Miami. The show starts when they wheel this medieval-looking machine to the table. The gold contraption is used to compress various parts of the duck into a deep, rich sauce, which they use to smother the absolute best duck you’ll ever taste in your life. It serves two, and comes with flaky duck pastelitos and more rotating sides that utilize every millimeter of the duck and its various parts. There’s an additional charge of $30 per person for the duck, but it’s worth it. You will leave the table in a state of numb satisfaction.

Maybe you experienced a similar sensation in your younger years, watching the sunrise on the MacArthur Causeway after a brutally long night of partying. But you’ve grown up since then. That doesn’t mean you have to stop having that distinctly Miami brand of hedonistic fun. But now you get to do it at Ariete.

Food Rundown

The menu at Ariete changes frequently, but here are a few examples of the kind of dishes you might find here.

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Our Florida Orange

This delicious optical illusion is kind of a must-order. The “orange” is actually a ball of duck and sour orange pâté, and chicken foie mousse. It’s sitting atop a sweet, crumbly “chocolate dirt” and comes with an ultra-fluffy loaf of white bread for spreading. When all of the above are combined into a single bite, the result is confusingly delicious—savory, sweet, crunchy, and creamy. It’s a tad heavy, though, so beware combining this with a big meat course.

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photo credit: Antonella Re

Canard A La Presse

This is truly dinner and a show. The tableside presentation—which involves a gold contraption used to compress various parts of the duck into a rich sauce—lasts for about ten to 15 minutes and is fascinating to watch. But the phenomenally delicious end result (the best duck you’ll ever have) is the real reason you order this. They only serve a limited amount of this per night, so arrive early (like, before 8pm) for the best chance to get one.

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Pastrami-Style Wagyu Short Rib

This has been on Ariete’s menu for a long time—and for good reason. It’s a delicious mash-up: the flavor of short rib with the texture of pastrami. It’s also not a bad dish to share since the meat is very rich.

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photo credit: Karli Evans


The crazy thing about Ariete’s flan isn’t necessarily that they use candy cap mushrooms in the custard, but that they’ve found a way to vastly improve a dessert we thought we’d tasted every conceivable version of. This is our favorite flan in Miami—and it’s not even close.

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