Finding the Best Spots for Solo Dining in Miami and Fort Lauderdale

2018 Dinner for One; Drinks for Two. Powered by Blogger.

Ortanique on the Mile - Caribbean - Coral Gables

Coral Gables is  one of South Florida's oldest cities and known for its creative and dynamic culinary scene. For the past 19 years, Ortanique on the Mile has been serving some of the city's most innovative and authentically Caribbean inspired food ... 

Describe the restaurant in three words: 

Authentic, Innovative, Delectable

Solo dining rating:


Parking can be challenging if you're not familiar with the area, and Ortanique on the Mile does not provide valet service. There are parking spots along Miracle Mile if you are fortunate to acquire one. Directly behind the restaurant is a large, multiple level, municipal parking garage, which charged only $5 to park. There is also a walkway from the garage which leads directly to Miracle Mile as well.

Can you eat at the bar? 

Yes; there's a cozy and lively bar towards the rear of the restaurant. There are also several high tops around the bar where you can also enjoy your meal, and catch whatever sporting event may be on their big screen TV.

What to wear:
Although I did not see anyone wearing shorts and T-shirts, the dress code seemed to be on the Florida casual style. Lots of jeans, collared shirts, and summer dresses were worn.

People watching/entertainment/atmosphere rating:

Organic/Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly
My vegan and vegetarian friends will be happy to know that Ortanique on the Mile is very much friendly to your dietary needs. They actually have a different vegetarian special every night.  On my visit, Vegetable and Tofu Udon Noodle Bowl ($22) was on the menu. It included baby bok choy, carrots, red onions, scallions, bell peppers, Shiitake mushrooms & tofu in a mushroom/soy broth. 

What is good about it for the solo diner?
Interior by Ortanique on the Mile
There are so many good - no -  great things about Ortanique on the Mile.  This fine dining establishment indeed prepares 'cuisine of the sun'.  The interior is dark and warm. Deep citrus colored walls and bright flowing curtains hang from wooden red and green trellises immediately transporting diners to the tropics. Add the soft musical vibes of Dennis Brown, Beres Hammond, Steele Pulse, Maxi Priest, and other Caribbean legends, and the journey is complete

I made reservations for one at the bar, but elected to sit outside and enjoy the mild weather we've been enjoying in South Florida. Great decision on my part ... it was a beautiful evening. It was a full house, both inside and out, but at no time did the restaurant feel crowded or lose its intimate vibe.

Full disclosure, Ortanique on the Mile has been one of my favorite restaurants for many years now. I've celebrated several birthdays and special occasions in this restaurant. The difference about this visit, is that I was alone. 

Red Stripe Beer Steamed Mediterranean Clams
My extremely affable server was Islam. He asked why a lovely lady like myself was dining alone. I gave him a brief rundown of my single life and how I often go out to dinner and elsewhere alone. I'd become so good at it, that I decided to write a blog about it in hopes of encouraging other singles not to wait for the company of others to visit places and do things they've always wanted to. He agreed wholeheartedly and then introduced me to the menu items.

I started with the Red Stripe Beer Steamed Mediterranean Mussels ($15). Being an island girl, I've had many a blurry night as a result Red Stripe beer; tonight would be a different experience. I was served a spicy Red Stripe broth towering with shallots, scotch bonnet pepper, tomatoes and Jamaican thyme. It was, as expected, delicious. The clams were huge; the largest I've seen here in South Florida. Truth be told, the broth was the star of the show for me. I ran out of bread and fully intended to ask Islam for more; alas, I found myself in deep conversation with two ladies dining next me and forgot all about the broth. I had also ordered the West Indian Cornish Game Hen as my main course, and was thankful when Sous Chef Mike came to my table to tell me that the hen was cooked with ginger. I mention in all of my dinner reservations that I am allergic to ginger. Chef Mike handed me the menu and made some other suggestions from which to choose a main course. That type of attention to detail is uncommon, even at some of the areas most well established restaurants. A big thank you to Ortanique on the Mile for paying attention.
Baked Brie Salad

After pursuing the menu for a moment, I chose a dish I know well; the Baked Brie Salad ($12). This simple yet not-at-all basic salad comes on a triangle of puff pastry with baby field greens, toasted almonds, julienned Granny Smith apples and a lavender honey drizzle. A perfect sweet and savory union.  

I fully intended on ordering the West Indian Style Bouillabaisse with diver scallops, Mediterranean mussels, middle-neck clams, shrimp, grouper, mahi & salmon in a coconut curried broth... but my stomach was full. Next time. Funny thing is, the ladies next to me ordered the Jerk Chicken Penne Pasta and offered me a sample ... sharing is caring πŸ˜„ As for the drinks, I did not indulge in any alcohol on this visit. However,  Ortanique on the Mile has an extensive wine list and lots of tasty specialty drinks; the Rum Remedy is one of my favorites. 

Jerk Chicken Penne Pasta

What may not be good about it for the solo diner?
Not a single negative here. I sat at my table on the front patio alone; the music was relaxing and really made me smile. Aside from taking notes on my experience, I didn't feel the need to surf the Internet to pass the time. I was lost in the moment and enjoying every single second of my time at Ortanique on the Mile. I even made two new friends!  It was a transporting culinary experience; the food is unmistakably Caribbean, incredibly creative, and magical. It's not easy to stand out in the highly competitive culinary community of South Florida... but Ortanique on the Mile does it with ease.

Would I return?
Just as soon as I can! I can't wait to try the West Indian Style Bouillabaisse and maybe meet Chef Cindy! Cheers 🍸

Kevin and Gol

Ortanique on the Mile 

278 Miracle Mile 
Coral Gables, Florida 33134

Tapped app Review of Islam

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