It’s not often we make it out to Coconut Grove, but when we do, Ariete is always one of our first stops. Chef Michael Beltran (ex-Cypress Room) and his New American cuisine are crushing it in the neighborhood, and his lunch menu is quite possibly one of the best deals in town.
For us, workday lunches have to maintain a happy medium. They can’t be too heavy or we’ll fall asleep once we get back to our desks, but they can’t be so light that we find ourselves at a vending machine an hour later. At Ariete, we found that happy medium — and then some.
Just like on the dinner menu, Ariete’s lunch offerings encompass everything from small plates to larger dishes. The starters, which fall into the former category, include Shishito Peppers with crispy garlic and Wood-Grilled Chicken Wings that come with furikake ranch (side note: they’re a happy hour must). Any of the items from this section are ideal for sharing, which you’ll want to do since the mains can be massive.
Remember that happy medium we spoke about? You can achieve that with the restaurant’s lighter fare like the Local Fish, which changes regularly. In our case, it was a savory snapper with salsa verde that came atop a bed of mixed greens. One word: yum.
However, if you do actually want to put yourself into a delicious food coma, you can. Heavier items like the monstrous Philly Cheesesteak and the Chug Burger (our new favorite burger now that Proof is gone) will do just the trick. Sure, you’ll have to spend several hours in the gym, but go ahead and treat yourself — we won’t tell anyone. Be aware, though, that the menu changes regularly; if you see any of the above items, jump on them.
“How much does all this cost?” is probably something you’re asking yourself. Something this good must cost an arm and a leg for lunch, right? Wrong. For $19, you can enjoy a three-course affair that includes soup or salad, one of Chef Beltran’s entrees and the Cookie of the Day. Not all entrees are a part of the deal, but a bunch of them are. And having ordered the special ourselves, we can assure you that it’s worth a lot more than $19.
Our day jobs are in Coral Gables and Downtown Miami, respectively, so we know firsthand that ducking out for lunch across town can be a mission. But for this awesome lunch, we’ll gladly go out of our way — and so should you.
Ariete is located at 3540 Main Hwy in Coconut Grove. For hours of operation and more information, visit their official website or call 305-640-5862.