Restaurants & Bars

Cielo Garden & Supperclub - Coconut Grove : Not Great (long)

paulalovestoeat | Aug 20, 200706:33 PM     2

We tried this place on Saturday night for the first time. I checked out the website and thought the photos of the interior looked nice and the menu looked good. We waited 45 minutes for our reservation. There were stools available at the bar and we usually don't mind having a drink a waiting a bit, but that was longer than we would have liked. The hostess was very nice and apologetic though.

There was a DJ playing Latin music when we arrived and a few couples were dancing. The music was too loud for us to really communicate while sitting at the bar. When the hostess led us toward the back to our table, we were hoping it would be a little quieter, no such luck. In fact, it seemed even louder, maybe due to the open space and nothing to absorb the sound.

Our waiter approached the table and greeted us in Spanish, asking if we wanted drinks. I don't speak Spanish at all really, my husband speaks a little from having studied it in school. We both look very "Anglo" and are not usually greeted anywhere in Spanish. Even when we answered him in English he kept up the Spanish, as far as we could tell, he didn't speak English. Amazing! He was very nice though and I just pointed out what I wanted from the wine list, so no big deal. This probably worked better anyway since it was too loud to hear one another very well. After getting our drinks and pointing out what we wanted to eat on the menu, we waited for a very long time before seeing anyone again. We noticed that everyone else had bread and since we were starving after waiting 45 minutes for a table, we waved to our waiter across the room, he did understand what we wanted when we said bread and pointed to the basket on the table beside us.

Around this time the music changed to cheesy Dance Party USA type stuff. It was a lot like the tunes I remember from Jr. High dances or maybe a cheesier wedding reception. With this change, the DJ also seemed to sense that more volume would help. Amazingly he was well recieved by many people there, the dance floor was packed and people seemed to be having a really good time. My husband and I were miserable. We tossed around the idea of leaving but we were thinking that surely our food would be out soon and we were starving.

Soon a manager-type appeared asking if everything was ok. I told him no, it was awful and reported on the 45 minute wait, the waiter not speaking English and how loud and awful we thought the music was. I said after seeing the website I thought we were going to a nice restaurant, not a cheesy club. He said, "well, no it's not a restaurant." Wait, what? "It's not a restaurant?" "Well," he said, "it is, but it's a place where you go to have fun, with loud music." I just couldn't get past him saying it's not a restaurant, he wished he hadn't said it that way, I think. He didn't address the waiter not speaking English at all. Anyway, he apologized and brought us a round of free drinks, which was very nice of him.

We then got our appetizers, my husband had a ceasar salad which he said was fine, not great. I had the beef carpaccio which was disgusting. It looked very strange, with the meat a weird brownish color in places. I tried it and it tasted like old, bad meat. It was also room-temperature and served on a hot plate. So, I didn't eat anymore of it, I had another piece of bread instead.

Then a different manager came by, this time a woman, and asked if everything was ok. I told her no and repeated everything I had told the first guy and added the issue with my carpaccio. She was nice and apologized and took it off the bill.

Our dinners were served shortly thereafter. I had the "Nirvana" which is described as "Chef Enrique’s masterpiece of Lobster, Shrimp, Clams, Mussels, Scallops, Calamari and Fresh Fish simmered in a Corn and Cilantro Tomato Broth." I liked the flavors a lot, the broth was very tasty, but out of 6 mussels 4 were closed, so I couldn't eat them. I understand that you'll sometimes get some that don't open, but it's disappointing that the majority were inedible since mussels are one of my favorite things.

My husband doesn't like seafood and the menu is mainly seafood, which I knew going in, he just has to occasionally deal with me choosing a seafood restuarant. He had the Churrasco which he really liked and thought was cooked just right. He polished it off so quickly I didn't get a chance to taste it, he was really hungry by this point! He also ordered a side of fries which I did try, they were pretty good.

We basically finished up as quickly as possible and paid the bill and left. After having a free round of drinks and my appetizer taken off the bill it was still around $100 with tip. It's not unusual to spend more than that for a nice night out in Miami, but we were so disappointed with the experience that it made us a little grouchy.

I understand that the concept of a "Supperclub" is a restaurant that also has music and dancing. But this was not the scene I had envisioned. I expected the sort of Latin music you usually hear when you're out in Miami (and even dared to hope for something a little different) played at a level that would still permit conversation and an enjoyable dinner. I definitely didn't expect "Shake Your Booty" played at top volume. Oh, and in case you're wondering if we're old and crabby, we're both 31.

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