Thursday, March 22, 2012

Berries In The Grove

Enjoying the sunny South Florida weather, I thought I'd have lunch at a spot I could catch a breeze in, while savoring a nice meal. I decided to head over to an area of town that is laid-back and eclectic, and offers great restaurants, regattas, shopping, and festivals: Coconut Grove. "The Grove" as locals affectionately call it, is home to a variety of art galleries and has been the location for the Coconut Grove Arts Festival for almost 50 years. Situated between Biscayne Bay and US1, it offers rich history to this city with its freespirited, trendy ambiance dating back to the 1800s, and was officially annexed by the City of Miami in 1925. Many notable personalities, such as Madonna and Lebron James, have called The Grove home, and historical spots such as the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and Barnacle Park bring thousands of visitors to the city each year.

With so many great choices available, it can be difficult to decide on a single spot to dine in. So after driving around for a bit, I chose Berries in the Grove, located at 2884 SW 27th Avenue. Berries in the Grove started out as a small place selling take-out wraps and smoothies many years ago, and grew into the popular and hip establishment we know today; after being acquired by its current owners in the year 2000.  It offers health conscious dishes and amazing favorites, with generous portions. While the inside is just average,  it has a fabulous outdoor seating area in the back with umbrellas, and a tree planted right in the middle. From here, you can see the wood-burning oven where the delicious pizzas are made and enjoy good conversation in a relaxed ambiance.

Fiochetti Di Pera
As I looked at the menu, I started off with a refreshing pink Lemonade.  I noticed an appetizer I had never tried before and decided to be adventurous (isn't that what I do?) So, I ordered the Fiochetti Di Pera, since it sounded so delectable. The dish was made from pasta purses filled with bits of pear, tossed in a Gorgonzola cream sauce, and finished with toasted walnuts. Totally made my head spin. The blend of sweet and salty flavors, and the creaminess of the Gorgonzola sauce were phenomenal. I looked forward to each bite of pasta, anticipating the hint of pear I would savor. My favorite dish by far.  I can't wait to have it again.

Mahi Wrap
In the mood for fish and wanting to have a healthy dish, I decided on the Mahi Wrap. It was filled with grilled mahi, mozzarella cheese, guacamole, salsa and mixed greens on a spinach wrap. It also came with a mixed greens side salad, dressed with their homemade balsamic vinaigrette. The wrap was excellent. The fish was fresh and tasty and combined very well with all the ingredients. The guacamole was well made and all the flavors were subtle and well balanced, none taking over the other. I also enjoyed the side salad, as the dressing was light and did not overpower the greens, allowing you to taste its crisp freshness.

To sample their meat, I also tried the Olivia Wrap. It was a grilled chicken breast, thickly chopped, with vine ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, baby mixed greens and their homemade balsamic vinaigrette, also in a spinach wrap. This one came with a mixed greens salad on the side as well. It was just as amazing as the Mahi Wrap. The chicken was well seasoned and very tasty; while the salad imitated a Greek salad, but not quite. It had a generous amount of feta cheese, which predominated to the palate, and blended harmoniously with the chicken; while the combination of vegetables was perfect, creating a balanced fusion of flavors and complementing each other well.

I truly enjoyed my lunch at Berries in the Grove for its fabulous food and relaxing surroundings. The service was very good and when I finished my meal, I felt refreshed and ready to continue my day. I plan to return on a Saturday night to embark on a seafood adventure, as this is their Lobster Night; offering great deals. I can hardly wait! For other drink and food specials, visit them online at or call them at 305 448-2111.

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