photo credit: Courtesy Lion & The Rambler

Lion & The Rambler image

Lion & The Rambler


Coral Gables

$$$$Perfect For:Small PlatesEating At The Bar


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You’re coming to Lion & The Rambler in Coral Gables for food. And, yes, we realize this is sort of why you go to any restaurant. But here, food is really the reason to come. The dishes are creative, interesting, and, more often than not, work quite well. But as neat and clean as the small dining room is, there just isn’t much else to this place to focus on other than the plate in front of you.

This could be a good thing, if you are a person who loves to spend dinner nerding out over rare varieties of fruit in relative peace and quiet, or a not-so-good thing, if you’re looking for a dinner where you can dance in your chair a little and make flirty eye contact with a stranger across the room.

Lion & The Rambler image

photo credit: Courtesy Lion & The Rambler

Lion & The Rambler calls itself a modern Californian restaurant, which essentially means it uses seasonal ingredients sourced directly from small farms, including a few local ones, as well as the chef’s very own farm. Although there are a few consistent dishes, the menu changes on an almost weekly basis, which has its pros and cons. On one hand, the heavily seasonal menu does dangle the promise of surprise over each visit. But certain menu changes aren’t always for the better. On one visit, our white asparagus ajo blanco was a spicy/savory/nutty masterpiece of a cold soup. On the next, its pickled cherries and picasso melon swapped out for white cucumber and husk cherry, it earned a mildly enthusiastic shrug of approval. The pasta options (there are usually about three) have been the highlight of all our meals here, so focus on that when you come.

Because the food is so much the focal point of this palace, it makes it easy to notice some of the more nitpicky details about each dish. You won’t get distracted here by Shazamming a track or chatting up a nearby table who looked too fun to resist. Lion & The Rambler almost has the personality of an art gallery—a cool one that serves free champagne and doesn’t suck—but an art gallery nonetheless. You come here to study intently whatever’s on the plate in front of you. Luckily, whatever it is, will be good—and occasionally great.

Food Rundown

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

Lion & The Rambler image

photo credit: Courtesy Lion & The Rambler

Gratitude Garden Maitake

This is another small plate that’s typically on the menu and worth ordering. A pile of excellent maitake mushrooms are placed in a bright green pool of parsley and garlic sabayon, which has the consistency of a partially inflated bounce house. You also get to dip rectangular slices of brioche through whatever’s left of the garlicky sauce.

White Asparagus Ajo Blanco

Although we’ve met a couple different versions of this dish here (one we loved with the intensity of a 9th grader with a crush and the other we thought was just good) you should still order it. It’s a cold soup perfect for a hot Miami day, and the contrast between the crisp cherries and the nutty soup is wonderful.

Lion & The Rambler image

photo credit: Courtesy Lion & The Rambler

Boniato Pelmeni

These dumplings are one of our favorite dishes here (and also a consistent menu item). If your sweet tooth is nonexistent, you might want to go with one of the other pasta options. But if you don’t mind the slightly sweet flavor from the orange aigre-doux and macadamia, get this. The foamy garlic butter that covers the pelmeni like a bubble bath balances out the sweet flavors anyway.

Lion & The Rambler image

photo credit: Courtesy Lion & The Rambler

Ice Cream

End your meal here with one of the rotating ice cream flavors. They make it in house, infuse it with various delicious seasonal stuff, and it’s unbelievably creamy. One time, a server told us that’s because they use a lot of butter. We approve of this strategy.


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