It’s easy to miss Lekoke Wine & Bites while you’re driving down SW 8th Street, more popularly known as Calle Ocho. The cozy, unassuming wine bar doesn’t have the giant signs that hot spots like Ball and Chain, Azucar and other Little Havana staples have — blink and you’ll pass right by it. But although Lekoke lacks the snazzy window dressing of its neighbors, it deserves just as much of your attention.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s Miami Spice season in the 305. Over 200 restaurants are offering 3-course menus for a fixed (and reduced) price. While Lekoke isn’t officially part of Miami Spice, it’s joining in on the fun with its own prix-fixe selections. For $45, you can enjoy a 3-course affair WITH three wine pairings. That’s quite the deal, especially when Miami Spice dinners run $39 per person without libations.
While we’re on the topic of wine, there’s a reason wine is listed first in the name — it’s everywhere inside Lekoke Wine & Bites. No matter where you look, there’s wine. Seriously:
With the Miami Spice menu, however, wine takes a back seat to the food. We’ve normally gone into wine bars with the mindset of downing a bottle over a light bite or two, but Lekoke’s prix-fixe menu has us reconsidering that habit. The full-on dinner experience feels like a family function you’d actually want to attend — it’s hard not to feel that “home sweet home” vibe here. Odds are you’ll get so lost in the good food and positive energy that you’ll want to overstay your welcome.
Anyway, back to the menu. For starters, guests have the choice of a caprese salad or the empanaditas. The former emphasizes our favorite part of a caprese salad: lots of mozzarella. Still, the empanaditas edge out the salad because Miami. When you have a tasty mix of chorizo, ham and cheese in front of you, it’s hard to resist.
Both entrees are generously portioned, so expect to be full. You can’t go wrong with the kokito toston, which are baked tostones with 6-hour roasted pork and melted mozarella cheese. If you follow Lekoke on social media, you’ve probably come across these beauties. Just look at them — it’s no surprise they’re all over Instagram. And yes, they taste as good as they look.
The other option — seafood pasta — combines shrimp, octopus and scallops together in a fresh Alfredo sauce to make your palate light up. This was our favorite dish of the night. Although the pasta looked heavy and like something you’d regret at the gym later, it wasn’t. It was just right, and the family-style serving helped spark even more memorable conversation at the table.
To finish the meal, you have the choice of ice cream or flan. If you hardly have any room left, then the ice cream should do the trick. Otherwise, go for the flan. When “Grandma’s recipe” is part of the description, you know it has to be good — and it was. #abuelitaknowsbest
The next time it’s wine time, skip the crowds and head to Little Havana. Lekoke Wine & Bites has you covered whether you want some wine, some bites or a lot of both. Just keep in mind that the special $45 menu ends this month, so hurry in before it’s gone.