There was a time, not long ago, when boys in khaki swarmed Coral Gables. They sauntered down avenues while gossiping about the latest venture capitalist to move to New York. Ageless women, hair blow-dried and legs strangled by skin-tight white pants, muttered words like "supposebly." There were gold necklaces, Mediterranean lawns, and University of Miami bumper stickers. Coral Gables meant suburbia ten minutes southwest of high-rise-clustered downtown.
billwisserphoto.com Arroz a banda at Bulla Gastrobar in Coral Gables
But now the neighborhood embraces Eating House, Bread & Butter, Swine Southern Table & Bar, and Bulla -- a wave of new restaurants that eschew leather-bound menu books and candlelight. So forget the duck terrine, raspberry coulis, and grand wine lists. This batch teems with the muddled mint aroma of cocktails and change. Old-school refinement no longer defines Miracle Mile. Coral Gables is booze, craft beers, and stylish grub.
Bulla, a Spanish gastrobar on Ponce de Leon Boulevard, best exemplifies the revival. Carlos Centurión was formerly the proprietor of Por Fin, a white-tablecloth restaurant located in this same space. But formalities tired him. After four years, he closed it, and a year later, Bulla (pronounced boo-yah) was born. His new spot, furnished with walnut wood floors, hanging light bulbs, and equine-inspired décor, is younger, cooler, and better than before.More »