Friday, June 22, 2012

Coconut Grove, Whining and Great Dining Review and Coconut Custard Tarts

 The photo above is my brother John Colenzo and I at the Village Of  Merrick Park in Coconut Grove, Florida. John suggested this would be a treat to see all the fine cars and retailers here. John, besides being my brother, is a music entertainer in Fisher Island   (not too far from here) and has some great friends in the area who you'll meet further down the article posted below.
 Merrick Park has several Retailers here to see, to include and name a few are anchors Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom's.  Quite some interesting finds here.  If you are lucky enough to own a Lexus (my favorite car) it's free valet parking. The rest of the vehicles would have a fee. Some very impressive vehicles we saw were the Bentley, Ferrari and the least expensive, a Corvette (still very respectable)!  A car buff and lovers dream place to visit here!

 There's always something at Tiffany's. This a beautiful jewelry store and showcased perfectly!

Nordstrom's by far had the best customer service as we walked through. The staff was greeting everyone, asking how we were doing, throughout the entire store! Affordable and some great buys! Everyone was so engaged and cheerful throughout the store! A great experience!
Here was the biggest disappointment and let down.
Neiman Marcus.  This upscale classy store who sells Prada, Gucci and many other big designer names, was by far the worse  customer service experience, I guess we just didn't look the part, rich enough.  Not one associate made eye contact, greeted us or offered any help, of course that may be just the way they are trained of course and we shouldn't take any offense. We visited the ladies, men's, shoes, cosmetics and jewelry departments, no greeting or associate interactions. No one once asked if we needed any assistance, then to make matters worse, see the clearance section below and how much it looked like a rummage sale!
Here is their clearance area!!!! Not acceptable, clothes on the floor? Off the hangers?  Nothing was sized or shopable.  The shirt on the front hanging went for $780.00 with 25% off?  This looked like a basement no bargain rummage sale! Absolutely shocking! This was my first time there. Prada snake skin purse $4000.00, Shoes $1100.00, wallets at $850.00. All presented very nicely in small stand alone shops inside the store but their clearance section was a customers nightmare. Customer service throughout the store was non existent! Amazed, just amazed.
Here was the highlight of my stay here in Coconut Grove. A great Portuguese Restaurant suggested by my brother, see the menu above. The owner is a very good friend of his, actually one who also worked  with him on the Island some time ago. What an amazing gourmet dining experience this was , you don't want to miss this one if your ever down this way. Coconut Grove's finest in Portuguese Food and Gourmet Experience. Old Lisbon Restaurant (click on the name for website) 1628 S.W 22nd Street Coral Way, (Sunset) Miami Florida 33145. 

Owner Rui Martin and good friend of John Colenzo. Rui is 100% about customer service, he greets and treats everyone like his own family. The staff was so accommodating. The food superb. You will not find a better dining experience with this kind of hospitality, thank you Rui!

This was a delicious very impressive appetizer called Chourico Assado (grilled Portuguese Sausage)
This came in a ceramic pig to the table lit up in flames! Awesome presentation!

Delicious!
A wonderful suggestion also made by owner Rui Martin was the  Pasteis de Bacalhau   ( Codfish Croquettes ) Black eyed peas were a cold salad with garlic, just a perfect addition.

Then came the desserts! Delicia de Fa'tima (egg yolk custard crumpled with Maria Cookies topped with white cream) just fabulous!  Light, creamy a must try!


Ice cream with a coconut custard... the aroma alone served hot was sheer bliss!
Our night was just perfect, the dinner we chose was a Grilled Salmon with Shrimps and Garlic Sauce, I also highly recommend! Check out their complete menu on their website!

Hope you enjoyed the review, if your ever in South Miami, visit Old Lisbon on Coral Way. Tell Rui Claudia and John recommended his awesome gourmet food!  You won't be sorry!






Coconut Custard Tarts:


                                                                      A recipe we enjoy!

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon  vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degree hot oven. Place rack to the middle position.  Paper line a 12-cup cupcake tin. Whisk the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the milk. Set aside. In a food processor, pulse the coconut flakes for till fine shreds. In a large mixing bowl, stir the eggs and sugar beating together with a wooden spoon. Add in the cornstarch mixture, rest of the milk, coconut, melted butter and  vanilla extract, stirring well after each addition.Put the custard into the paper cups, filling to 1/4 inch from the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the coconut is nicely toasted. Cool completely. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or fresh fruits.


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