Ariete is one of Miami’s culinary gems, located on a quaint tree-lined street in Coconut Grove. Away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Miami, Ariete prospers with its homey feel. The menu is inventive and unique. Some food combinations may sound odd, but come with an open mind, an open stomach, and some trust; Executive Chef and owner Michael Beltran knows what he’s doing. He has used his Cuban-American background and French culinary training to delight patrons at his three restaurants for years. Last year he was even nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Chef in the South.
To start off, we ordered the Bone Marrow Butter Oysters. These huge oysters are wood grilled with charred lime and chives. Oysters are a hit or miss, but I adored these; the smooth butter had a tinge of nuttiness due to the bone marrow and the charred lime added the perfect citrusy kick that highlighted the oyster’s natural savor. Next up was the Miami Farmer. This appetizer comes with whipped goat cheese and onion-pistachio soil as a base, and local honey and vegetables over the top; they’re placed to appear as if sprouting from the “soil.” The top-quality goat cheese was tart and almost earthy, with its strong flavor calmed and complemented by the variety of locally-grown vegetables. I’ve never had anything quite like it before.
A FRENCH TWIST
For my main course, I opted for the Snapper, which looked heavenly in a mint-colored sorel veloute sauce. Five tiny raviolis surrounded the fish, each filled with a lip-smacking saccharine fish head brandade-tomato jam. The fish’s skin was crunchy and full of flavor, while the meat itself was smooth and delicate. The sorel veloute sauce, a nod to Beltran’s French training background, completed the experience, adding a buttery, velvety taste to the already ambrosial snapper.
After being treated to such sensory dishes, I was looking forward to dessert. At my waiter’s suggestion, I ordered the Flan. Being Hispanic, I’ve had flan many times. Ariete’s is different, with a thicker, creamlike consistency, candy cap mushrooms; and sambuca crema and Bustelo crumble on top. With the added sweetness from the cream and the slight coffee flavor from the Bustelo crumble, it’s safe to say I was in sugary bliss. Ariete is a special restaurant full of unordinary creations—and with a menu that changes often, you can continue to expect the unexpected.
3540 MAIN HW Y., COCONUT GROVE
By AALIYAH P ASOLS