I finally had a chance to check out this new restaurant that opened up on the corner of Mary and Oak in Coconut Grove. The place is called Pisco's and the menu is Peruvian fare although there is some variety while they work out what works best. I was a bit skeptical walking in because the spot that they currently occupy is the "black hole" of restaurant spots. You can dine "al fresco" but doing so basically means you'll be sucking exhaust from cars that pass by at the busy intersection of Mary and Oak. Ive never seen a restaurant last more than a few months at this location, mainly because its on the outskirts of the "heart of the Grove" and gets little foot traffic. That and previous occupants have done little to draw a crowd. Lucky for me, though the location may not be prime, the food certainly is.
I was deciding whether to choose between the parmesan sea scallops or the octopus so I asked the waiter for his pick of appetizer. He said the octopus was his favorite because of its authenticity. He was right on the money. The octopus w/ black olive sauce was incredibly tender and the sauce was unlike anything Id ever tasted before. Large portion too that I easily couldve shared. My friend got the mixed seafood ceviche and loved it. I thought that was important to note because this friend is VERY particular about his seafood because he fishes a lot and is used to that type of freshness. I tried it and it was more of a traditional take on ceviche when compared to Jaguar which I find to be more "new age" ceviche. For my entree I once again put my faith in the waiter and went with the grouper with shrimp sauce. Another winner. The grouper was moist and flavorful and the "shrimp sauce" also came with 6 sauteed shrimp which I enjoyed very much. My friends split a pasta dish that looked great and both enjoyed.
Overall, the meal was great and I appreciated the waiter's advice and even the manager coming over to check on our table. By the time we had finished the meal, there were 2 more tables of 4 dining outside which is the most Ive ever seen there at one time and pretty funny. I hope they are able to come up with more ways to draw a crowd because the food was really good. They have already added a guy named Joe Donato to play music on Thursdays so thats a start. Oh, and happy hour is 5-8p which is about an hour more than most HHs in the area or anywhere for that matter. If you find yourself the Grove, definitely give Pisco's a shot.
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