Brunch at Coya Miami
If “Coya Miami” were a woman, she’d be Angelina Jolie: beautiful, sexy and interesting (minus the six children.) Visually, the restaurant is nothing short of spectacular and its nighttime weekend vibe is chic and sophisticated, hosting the Who’s Who of downtown Miami.
The last time I dined there, the Peruvian-inspired restaurant had just opened and dinner was fantastic, but I had yet to try their brunch — until last Sunday. They gave me a choice of a 12pm or 2pm seating. I like my weekend sleep, so I went with the latter.
When I arrived, the main dining room was comfortably crowded and a DJ was playing some cool remixes and mash-ups. I’m also a sucker for good lighting and Coya is king when it comes to atmosphere, providing just the right amount of soft light, mixed with the late afternoon sun. Perfection.
The menu for brunch is all about sharing and indulging, which is perfect if you’re adventurous with food and drink. Adult beverages are divided into two categories: “Bottomless Brunch Wines” (which includes champagne, cuvee’ and rose’) or “Bottomless Brunch Cocktails” (which is an assorted tasting of their innovative mixed drinks.) I chose the cocktail option because sometimes, a girl just wants to try something new.
The first two drinks to arrive: “Bellini De Guayaba” (made with bubbles, guava and a hint of ginger) & “Bloody Mary-A” (made with top shelf vodka or tequila and rimmed with a yummy mix of aji amarillo salt and pepper.) For an amuse-bouche, I snacked on the “Tortillas Frescas Y Chifles (fresh corn tortillas, plantain chips with a zesty guacamole.)
Along with some fresh oysters (doused in an amazing seaweed and ginger dressing,) I sipped on “Chicano De Pina” (made with pineapple- infused Barsol Queranta pisco) and the refreshing, easy on the eyes “Maca Spritzer” (made with Zamaca maca liqueur, basil, cucumber, yuzu and kalamansi Indi tonic.) Hmmm — this drink was a stand-out and definitely a must-try.
I nibbled on five appetizers (don’t judge me!) starting with an amazing petite salad called “Ensalada Peruana” (made with little gem lettuce, purple potatoes, avocado and cheese.) The rock shrimp was my favorite; on the menu it’s called “Camaron” (seasoned with fresh lime and Peruvian chili peppers.) My photographer fell in love with the “Pan Con Chicharron” (which is a pulled pork sandwich) and my producer was all about the “Rollo De Salmon” (a sushi roll filled with salmon, aji amarillo and cream cheese.) We all thought the “Branzino Criollo” (white fish ceviche) was fresh and fantastic.
The entree part of the brunch menu is divided into two parts; one featuring “premium” dishes, such as lobster and steak, while the other is more of an ode to all things “Peruvian,” which I tried.
It comes with three-to-four main dishes (and sides.) My waiter, Julio (who, by the way, was outstanding, with the personality of a stand-up comedian mixed with a Jewish sensibility,) suggested sharing everything.
I loved the “Pollo Asado A La Peruana” (roasted chicken) and “Arroz Con Pato” (duck risotto,) but my absolute favorite was the “Dorada A La Brasa” (Sea Bream, potato salad and fennel.) Along with the main entrees, I sipped on “Spice Me Up” (made with bubbles, mango, aji limo and vanilla.)
My three sides, which were just as good as the main dishes, were grilled corn, roasted potatoes and wok-fried quinoa with veggies and cashews. The quinoa was amazing and the corn was so tasty, with a great presentation.
For dessert, I tried a tasting of “Coconut Quinoa Pudding,” “Pumpkin Cheesecake with spiced ice cream” and “Chocolate Cremeux.” As if things couldn’t get any better, the last drink arrived: the sweet and charming “Algarrobina in the Tropics” (which is a mind-blowing mix of cold brew coffee, Macchu Pisco Quebranta, carbo syrup, coconut, egg whites and grated dark chocolate.) Stop the presses! This drink was an absolute slice of heaven.
Honestly, it’s hard to pick just one thing that stands out about Coya’s brunch. The creative drinks, fantastic food and chic atmosphere all rolled into one are what makes it one of my favorite things and I’m sure it’ll be yours, too.
Maybe someday I’ll be lucky enough to spend an evening in their private club. A girl can dream, right?
999 Brickell Avenue
Miami, Florida 33131
Brunch is on Sunday from 12pm-4pm. Recommended seatings 12pm or 2pm. For lunch, dinner or event hours log onto www.coyarestaurant.com/miami for more information.
Styling: Jackie Kay
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor in Chief: Matthew “A Jewish Sensibility” Auerbach
Special thanks to Marysol Patton of The Patton Group