Downtown’s trendy hidden gem offers great atmosphere, city view

Tucked behind the bustling nightlife of Mary Brickell Village is the fabulous (and very conspicuous) Mediterranean fusion restaurant, Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita.

The oversized wicker lounge area out front, complete with candles and soft red lighting that illuminates the white building, is ideal for patrons who come to mingle or simply to unwind with a cocktail.

After passing through a large dark lounge with a bar that looks like something out of a “Nip/Tuck” episode, you’ll enter a candlelit world that is every girl’s wedding reception dream. Small lanterns equipped with tea lights line the floor of the wooden staircase as you ascend to the beautiful dining area that waits.

On each white linen table, a single martini glass with a tea light dropped inside illuminates the glistening water glasses and sheer, billowing black draperies that hang from the ceiling. At the front of the room, two large fire poles that have been sealed shut serve as a centerpiece for a multi-level display of large vases filled with water and white daisies.

Although the dining room is beautiful, ask to be seated on the patio. You’ll be glad you did. The large outdoor dining area gives an immediate view of downtown while you eat. Also, the lounge area is great for enjoying their happy hour, which I’ve heard from the waiters can’t be missed.

While their menu may seem small, it’s deliciously packed with individually-perfected dishes. Each entrée comes with a free appetizer of your choice. Dishes like “Gazpacho so good, we’ll give you the recipe” and “Simply, the best Serrano ham croquettes you have ever tasted,” (seriously, those are their names), are among the appetizer choices. “Causa with Tuna,” their Peruvian recipe, gives the dish of tuna and mayonnaise a new twist.

For dinner, try the pork tenderloin with a ginger and orange glaze, or the grilled Brazilian Picanha steak with a Cabernet Sauvignon reduction, which comes with a fried risotto that will make you rethink rice. Other choices vary from filet mignon carpaccio to Kobe beef mini burgers with fries. The selection of wines by the glass is rather petite, but the bottles range from $18 to $280. Also, a large chilled bottle of the restaurant’s water is poured at every table.

The restaurant itself is slightly hidden, but it is definitely worth discovering.

Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita
1000 South Miami Ave
(305) 403-3104

Dress: Casual elegant
Parking: Garage located in Mary Brickell Village or meters on the street. Valet is also available.
Price Range: Entrées are set at either $18 or $23
Tip: Don’t sit by the door.

Ashley Guistolisi may be contacted at