Gigi: Not As Good As Billed

Categories: Blogger's Bout
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Best in show.
As far as restaurants go, Midtown's Gigi is incontestably the hippest spot in all of Miami-Dade County. Who knew this city had so many good looking people until the big windows overlooking North Miami Avenue began framing their stylish faces?

The intimate, sleek layout, warm atmosphere, and delightful servers make every trip a pleasurable experience. The one barrier to perfection is the food.

Although it boasts former Top Chef contestant Jeff McInnis as its head chef, is affordable, and at times tasty, the quality of the product is inconsistent. Let's start at the bottom. (By the way, prices and offerings change often at this joint, so some of our listings might be outdated.)

The pork ramen is a tragedy ($14). After eating the oddly textured noodles, you will want your $13.50 back and your soup replaced with $.50 Top Ramen. If there's a loser on the menu, this one is it. Everything else is, well, a relative matter of preference. People really dig the melons with lime and chiles ($3), which are an admittedly an inexpensive and refreshing treat, but for all of that heat, they still manage to taste bland, like they need salt or to be re-conceived entirely.

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Sleek and sexy.
The local sweet corn ($3) topped with tofu was well presented. Though it was one of the best items available, it was removed from the menu a few months ago. Either way, this is a dish better done with queso blanco at a Mexican restaurant. The buns are filling and have a light fluffy shell. Though the chicken and pork buns lack abundant flavor, the tender shredded brisket ($7) with pico de gallo and something resembling sour cream are worth wolfing down.

The culinary stars of the joint are the homemade pickles, which come with the pork belly BLT ($9). Presented in a little sealed jar, the cucumber, onion, and cauliflower pickles are sweet, savory, and completely delicious. They should be placed on all of the aforementioned foods to reinforce the hype.

Other dishes that didn't live up to billing by ouyr own Paula Nino and Lee Klein: the shiitake mushrooms and the chocolate cookies. Well priced but nothing special.

All in all, Gigi is a beautiful restaurant with many good dishes. It's just always interesting when a restaurant's look and location make it the place to eat. Of course, there are other perks, real perks, like the extremely late hours and cheap beer. No more Denny's.

Monday through Thursday Gigi is open from 6 p.m. till 3 a.m. and weekend hours are even better, open till 5 a.m. Lunch is available noon to 4 p.m. Gigi is located at 3470 N Miami Avenue.

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Location Info

Gigi

3470 N. Miami Ave., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

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John Silva
John Silva

The dishes are small so there is little value. I had an $18 steak and noodles dish and left hungry--not to mention disappointed. As someone who eats only natural, whole, organic food, I was disappointed with their boast to serve such food then find a meager portion of overly-sauced steak, soggy noodles and a minimal vegetable serving. I gave it a second chance( because nothing is open that late, which is something I do give them credit for) and sampled a similar dish with shrimp. The shrimp dish was as well, over-priced for what you get, left me hungry and unremarkable.

The reason, I believe, for it's popularity is that most people have no idea what it means to properly eat ( especially in this town) and are satisfied to hang out in a cool-looking location. That's ridiculous--only the few restaurants that are "all about the food"; quality of ingredients and preparation, deserve patronage.

Carlos D
Carlos D

The review doesn't go out and say it but it does summarize my general problem with Gigi's. There's a lot of good on the menu but it rarely adds up to a great overall meal.

The hallowed pork buns and ribs are great but a mere shadow of what Richard Hales is doing across the street at Sakaya. The only other legitimate highlights in my book are the Steak Chow Fun (best dish here) and the Shortrib Meatloaf. Nothing on the menu is flat out bad, but picking and choosing a random dinner out of their menu will almost always be inconsistent and often (gasp!) filled with things that just don't freaking go together (or suck to share.)

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that I can get this kind of food at a reasonable price at 2 in the morning. Our downtown dining scene is better for having Gigi but that doesn't mean that Gigi shouldn't try to get better.

Your friendly neighbor
Your friendly neighbor

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP FINALLY, someone that has tastebuds, I told everybody there is no consistency at all, desserts are really bad and all the dishes one day might taste ok, some days might taste really bad. Thats why I dont visit Gigi anymore. Jeff you need to be on top of your staff, if all of you undisciplined cooks try to be super stars when they cook for you somedays they will try to put their own touch into your food. They need to follow you and learn your ways. Hopefully everything goes good, but you need to ditch all the shoemakers that you have in the back that have their hats turned around and wearing jeans folded up like they were in a parade.

Hare
Hare

I think this review is a classic case of the writer trying to distinguish herself by being different (i.e. professing not to like the wildly popular Gigi and giving it a poor review) just for the sake of being different (perhaps the only way this pathetic attempt at a thoughtful review makes it’s way onto a fairly reputable food blog). Gigi's playful take on...well, everything, along with its AMAZING food makes it a must! Perhaps you might be more comfortable at a T.G.I. McFunster’s.

Its ok
Its ok

I don't agree with this review but I don't think Gigi is as good as everyone who hypes it would lead you to believe. I've had many dishes there that I've enjoyed but none that I've really found to be awe-inspiring. It's a good spot for an inexpensive meal and a nice addition to the neighborhood but I don't get the urge to visit often.

Rocfader
Rocfader

The atmosphere is awesome -food has gotten worse since opening and it started as just OK. Another step backwards in the Miami dining scene in my opinion. All show no substance and when you copy a national trend and have no clue how to execute the food this is what happens. Miami food scene will never be on top until the public stops supporting places with average to bad food but a nice happening atmosphere. When they advertised the opening they claimed to be the first of its kind. Sorry Gigi serving crap food in a hip atmosphere to adoring customers is been done for decades in Miami. Good one Liz get it out there so we stop supporting bad restaurants and the city gets better.

Zach
Zach

This post is the cottage cheese-like cellulite on the ass of what is usually a good food blog. Your critiques aren't even thoughtful. This isn't New York or California. There are no Koreans. Of course the ramen isn't going to be good.

And way to give props to the melons, which have long fallen off the menu. The buns are filling? Did you just overcome a bout of anorexia?

There's plenty wrong with Gigi, there's also plenty right. Why don't you take some time to think, talk some of your hipster pals - who I'm sure, like me, are pissed the place is overflowing with people from the Gables and Kendall - and come up with something concise and reflective of the mood of Miami's growing dining scene.

If this is too difficult, writing press releases always pays well.

linus74
linus74

I totally disagree with this review. Next time, try the tempura fried eggplant, grilled squash, crispy chicken skin, steak chow fun and pretty much anything else not mentioned above.

I think you really missed the boat here, Liz. Maybe restaurant reviewing isn't your thing.

LateEats
LateEats

The fried eggplant was great too. Also, you didn't mention the relatively cheap booze.

I really don't like the long bar and cramped seating it makes.

Bernslowly
Bernslowly

what??....nothing about the meatloaf? the steak chow fun?? the ribs??

not to mention I can get there at 2am and enjoy food of that quality?

sorry but gigi really works for me.

the only thing I had there which was DEPLORABLE was this risotto type dish they had.

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