In an ideal world, we’d all have a few things close to home: a spot with a good burger, a dive where the bartender remembers your order and, in Miami at least, a gas station with a cafecito window.
And, if we’re getting picky, also a wine bar with great food and friendly faces. This is why it would be nice if we all move next door to Vinya Table in Coral Gables.
This is the second location of Vinya, which quickly became a favorite of Key Biscayners after it opened there in 2021. Most Miamians won’t make the long drive over the causeway without a required family barbecue at the state park or whatnot, and so most of us just wondered why they were so excited out there about Vinya.
Out on the Key, at least from the photos we’ve seen, the Vinya there is more of a wine market with a small, formal-looking dining room attached to it. In Coral Gables, they created a larger and more relaxed space. Groups of tables are separated by planters and wine cabinets that create welcoming little nooks with arch cutouts in the wall and dazzling geometric light fixtures floating above. It's beige nearly everywhere, right down to the floors, a mix of wood and tile that start and stop to help create these cozy little separate spaces. Our living rooms would look like this if we had anywhere near the style.
The dishes here too arrive looking in high fashion, well plated and pretty enough to be your new Facebook cover photo (the sure sign of somebody who is really not messing around with their food obsession). The burrata is broken like an oozy over-easy egg in the center of sliced beets the colors of wildflowers; before it arrives, they top it with a glass warmer and then inject the whole thing with smoke that bellows forth from your table when it is dramatically uncapped. The lamb baklava is a handsome little burrito of flaky pastry, sweet and savory, the gamey pulled meat a little treasure inside. The local grouper gets crusted with pistachios over well-seared cauliflower, herby green oil pooling into a pop of color.
Along with all of these cute little plates, there’s wine, kind of the reason Vinya first became a thing. The list here is one that should please every level of wine drinker. There are plenty of bottles and by-the-glass options from the expensive stuff, like $125 per pour from a 2001 Barolo that tastes of cherries and pepper. But it’s also totally approachable for the wine novices, with affordable glasses the menu describes in charming, sometimes pretty hilarious ways: a pinot grigio that demands “don’t you dare call it rosé, ” an orange wine from Sardinia that’s “not super orangey” and a red blend that demands “shut up and drink me!”
That affable personality on display from the wine menu (admittedly trending a bit silly) seems also to be the overall theme of the staff, welcoming and happy to see everyone. It would be nice to become a regular, and it would be even better if Vinya was just down the street. Maybe we’ll all just have to move nearby.