September 4th, 2008

Miami Spice: Cita’s Italian Chophouse

Patio at Cita’s Italian Chophouse

On a total whim, we headed to Cita’s Italian Chophouse in Coconut Grove last week. Some friends we met at a wine tasting went pre-opening and recommended it but I had kinda forgotten about it. The restaurant has sidewalk seating, and indoor area and a charming patio in the back, where we sat. The menu offers a variety of antipasti, pastas, seafood and various cuts of meat. It’s a little on the pricey side but we were happy with our food and the professional service, so we weren’t so worried.

Cernia at Cita’s Italian Chophouse

I chose their Miami Spice dinner menu, which on paper didn’t have me hooked, but turned out to be a good value. D couldn’t resist the prime cuts page of the menu and chose a bone-in New York strip, of course. Their meats are served with a bulb of roasted garlic. Meat and garlic; he was just loving it.

Our server brought us their homemade popovers. I enjoyed every minute of eating this big, hollow piece of bread. So when my starter, the middle-neck clams topped with chopped lobster, breadcrumbs, butter and oregano, arrived, I was more than happy to share with D. The portion was generous enough and with the bread and two more courses to go I thought I better share.

Next up, the pan-seared grouper with white wine, lemon zest and capers, served with basmati veggie rice. I didn’t really want to go with their pasta entree and though the pork chops were tempting, I would’ve had to order the side separately. I suppose it could’ve worked since D ordered meat and a side of broccoli, which was big enough to share, but I thought what’s the point of ordering a side dish apart from the Spice menu? My grouper was fresh, perfectly cooked and nicely seasoned. I always love basmati so I had no complaints there, but it wasn’ t an impressive side. Perhaps the best part of my meal was dessert.

 Vanilla bean panna cotta - Cita’s Italian Chophouse

The vanilla panna cotta with raspberry sorbet and berries. I’m a sucker for raspberry sorbet and this one was probably one of the best I’ve had. Mixed together with the panna cotta, it was a perfect ending.

(By the way, apologies for the bad pictures … bad lighting.)

Cita’s Italian Chophouse
3176 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove
305.446.2207

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13 Responses to “Miami Spice: Cita’s Italian Chophouse”

  1. Great review, although you missed out on some of Cita’s best entrees….their pasta!! My wife and I have had almost every pasta on the menu, and loved every one of them. They are cooked al dente, and the sauces are incredible.
    I am so happy to finally have a great dining establishment in the Grove.

  2. I HAVE TO ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH RILEY SMITH, APART FROM THE STEAKS THE PASTA HAS TO BE THE BEST. THIS RESTAURANT NOT ONLY HAS GREAT SERVICE IT ALSO HAS GREAT FOOD. I AM WHAT YOU WOULD CALL
    ” A REGULAR” I AM VERY HARD TO IMPRESS AND I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH NOT ONLY THE AMBIANCE BUT ALSO THIER FAMOUS BEEF TENDERLOIN RISSOTO! I RECOMMEND THIS PLACE TO EVERYONE.

  3. I too had a great meal with great service at Cita’s just after they first opened. I wrote about it on my blog and I think my experience can be best summed up with the sentance, “I went in there expecting average Italian and was completely blown away.” Unfortunately, I havent been back yet. I have a penchant for trying new places and I dine alone a fair amount and their bar isnt exactly a place where a solo diner can “blend in” haha. I do have high hopes for this place though and think its perfect for the Grove.

  4. thanks for keeping me connected to Miami!! I’ll check out UrbanDaddy!

  5. skip the steak, I went two times and the served my rib eye overcooked, Carrabas pasta is better than cita’s

  6. how can a premade meal be better then a homecooked meal from citas i highly doubt that carrabas is better then citas i have been to citas a hand full of times and the rib eye steak is amazing. I have also been to carrabas and carrabas is a cheap pre cooked food which could not be compared to Cita’s Italian Chophouse. i think that you should go back to cita’s and give it another shot and i promise you will love it !

  7. The best homemade pasta and prime aged steak in Miami. The food is amazing and the dessert is spectacular. Mike I think you don’t know nothing about restaurant and food!! You can go in the morning and see how they make all the pasta fresh daily.

  8. i absolutely love cita’s! it is a great place to spend a lovely evening. the foods is amazing, the ambiance is beyond beautiful!!! i have spoken to the owner throughout the many times i have visited the restaurant and the steaks were choosen first hand!!!!! i have found a new home in coconut grove! everyone should try it!

  9. So glad to finally have a true dining experience in Miami. Since the moment I walked up to the hostess stand I was impressed. The service is top notch on every end. The decor throughout the establishment is exceptional, considering that it is a relatively small space. Now on to the best part, the food, Amazing. When they say Fine meats they really meant it, but even better the chef sealed the deal when my Tomahawk Steak was served exactly how I had ordered it, Medium to perfection!!! This was my first time at the place but I felt like I had been coming here for years. Besides having an amazing staff the actually owner was incredible, even coming to the table and thanking us for coming. I believe his name was Ed. I know I will definitely be coming back here very soon, next time I hope to be seated in their beautiful outdoor patio, yet again. I almost forgot, besides the meat they also have amazing and fun desert, We ordered Cotton Candy and it was served with cheesecake lollipops, delicious and original I thought.
    Best,
    Frank
    Frank

  10. Yes, Ed is a great owner and very involved. I feel this place captures the feeling of eating at a neighbor’s house on their back patio. A great vibe. Ive now been about 5 times and each time has been great. Food is spot on, wine selection is pretty good, and the service almost makes you forget youre in Miami.

  11. I went to Cita’s yesterday and had the Eggs Benedict Classico, they were succulent!! Along with a Mimosa, “COMPLIMENTARY” on Sundays!!!
    No meal is complete without a Caffe Machiatto which are one of the best I have had….

  12. the worst…. the food was poor to fair at best… service was poor with big attitudes…..way way way overpriced……….. would not even think about going back………

  13. I went to citas on friday,they tweaked their menu. lowerd their prices so much. The food is still amazing! Its just not a place where you can go for a special ocassion anymore because the prices are great. Our server was a man by the name Sylvio, very funny guy. He made us feel very special,even while he had plenty of tables. I recommend that you go if you have not gone yet,and if you have gone in the past I say you give it another try! It was amazing! Its what the grove was missing!

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