Last year, we bid adieu to a beloved Coral Gables institution: Swine Southern Table & Bar. The pork-centric eatery shut its doors and took our favorite burnt ends with it. For a while, we wondered what would take its place. Now we know: Ad Lib, a new 50 Eggs concept involving pastry queen Hedy Goldsmith. Don’t expect Southern food — this place is all about the fine dining experience.
If you’ve visited the venue in the past, your jaw will drop in awe when you see what Ad Lib has done to the place. Whites and blues replace the earth tones of Swine, and the space looks bigger overall; we were surprised at how much taller the ceiling looked with all the changes.
Small plates run the gamut from light to hearty, and we thoroughly enjoyed the variety of vegetables in these dishes. The White Sunchokes with burrata and the Zucchini Blossoms with ricotta were two highlights of our meal. Presentation-wise, everything looked beautiful. No matter your selection, it’s going to look awesome for Instagram. Mains like Crispy Skin Branzino and Spaccatelli Pasta are the perfect examples of that, especially the former with little neck clams and baby shiitakes. Here, you eat with your mouth and eyes.
We know what you’re here for, though: the desserts. When word got out that Hedy Goldsmith was making her way back to South Florida, we foodies looked forward to trying her pastries once again. They did not disappoint. Our favorite was the Strawberry Pavlova that was decadent enough to hit the spot without being overwhelming. If you do prefer something on the screw-your-diet side, go for the Brown Butter Semifreddo. Or just get any dessert really; you honestly can’t go wrong.
On a final note, shout out to the bar staff for making some tasty mocktails. While there are cocktails galore on the menu, we were impressed at how much thought was put into the restaurant’s mocktails. Non-drinkers don’t have to settle for water or a club soda with lime. The restaurant’s versatility is what we like the most about it. Want to come in just for drinks? Want a fancy dinner? Only craving dessert? The setting here is perfect for all those situations — and then some.