Albert Cabrera’s cozy nook on a downtown Coral Gables side street may have a white-bread anglo moniker, but what comes out of the kitchen is a scrumptious marriage of Cuban comfort food and creative fusion reflecting his pedigree with South Florida culinary luminaries such as Norman Van Aken of La Broche and Robin Haas of Baleen. Here a hearty, just-like-abuela-used-to-make, meat-and-potatoes dish like carne con papa gets transmogrified into short ribs with green-olive piccata, potato gratin, and red-wine sauce. Or my favorite, the classic Cuban-style frita (hamburger with savory sausage mixed in), gussied up with kimchi, cilantro, onion, and sriracha ketchup. For dessert, classic flan gets the goat-cheese treatment and a lovely version of torrejas (French toast) come with guava maple syrup. There’s a nice little wine list, but what matches the Brooklyn gastropub feel—complete with white subway tiles and hanging bulbs—especially well is the list of interesting bottled and draft brews and ciders.
- David Paul Appell