CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – Located in the Giralda Avenue pedestrian walkway, Cebada Rooftop is Coral Gables’ first rooftop restaurant and bar. The atmosphere is relaxed and playful with two large bars.
Cebada is a family business. It is owned by chef and co-owner Jorgie Ramos and his father Jorge.
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It’s about feeling “tranquilo and tropical” as the entrance sign says.
“It’s very chic on a budget. It took us a long time to open this restaurant,” said chef Jorgie Ramos. “It really is an effort of love. It’s made by us, including the tables and chairs, so we’ve made the restaurant look as much like us as possible. But it’s very light and comfortable,” he said.
Cebada Rooftop opened in August last year and has become quite the hotspot. Something Chef Jorgie doesn’t take for granted.
“I know times are tough for people, so when they come out I wanted to be extra special and worth it,” he said. “We want them to have exceptional service above all else. Good food, good drinks and a great environment.
Jorgie describes food as his heritage, Cuban-American, Spanish style. The menu features everything from fresh raw bar platters to roasted bone marrow, and more.
They start their light tasting with the heirloom tomato salad with Serrano ham, plantains, seeds and crumbled blue cheese.
“I love the different textures in it. There’s a cold crispy fresh tomato and then a plantain underneath this week perfectly dressed not too much sauce,” CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo said.
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“It’s a great starter on the rooftop with cocktails,” the chef said.
Cocktails? Oh yes. Petrillo tried what’s affectionately known as “Every Belen Guy’s Christmas Vacation,” made with cucumber, ginger, honey, lemon, and gin.
“Dangerously good,” she said after drinking. “Let’s put that aside.”
They delight in elegant squid ink fettuccine with giant crab in garlic butter, seafood cream and a crunchy bagel, before moving on to croqueta fundido with chorizo and a cheese dip created by the chef’s wife, who hails from the Midwest.
“Crispy and creamy and I love the chorizo which gives it a sausage taste. The cheese is an added bonus,” Petrillo said.
“Cheese is my favorite part. Don’t tell my wife,” the chef said with a laugh.
And finally, huge baby back ribs with chilli marmalade.
“Crispy, crunchy but tender inside. There is a bit of spice in it, but it really is like a desert rib. Delicious,” Petrillo said.
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The Cebada Rooftop is open from 5:00 p.m. until closing Tuesday through Saturday, serving dinner only. For more information, visit www.cebadarooftop.com.