AD LIB

4.4
76 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
AD LIB is a chef-driven restaurant located in Coral Gables, rooted in authenticity and home of the pleasantly unexpected. AD LIB fosters a humble and understated elegance discovered best by those with refined attention to detail and curiosity for all things culinary. This neighborhood place of gathering is not just the place to host out of town guest, business acquaintances, close friends or special celebrations but the perfect place for any type of moment that brings people together.
What 76 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved the brunch. Loved the sweets. The donuts & Japanese style pancakes were amazing. Loved the non-alcoholic drinks! The burger was okay for having won an award...I did like the fries. Would definitely go back and try more things.

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z
Miami
22 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nothing about this experience disappointed. Friendly staff, prompt and attentive service, absurdly delicious meal & carefully crafted cocktails with an unexpected twist made for a practically flawless evening!! Pricing is in line with Coral Gables, and for the quality of food, it’s a great spot for just about any kind of special reason to dine out without breaking the bank.

Of special note: the tuna tartare and the mushroom & pea pasta. Both sublime, but not being a pasta person, I have to step back and say that while the duck was exceptional, my most memorable plate was the mushroom & pea pasta. I told the Executive Chef I hoped it never came off the menu!! I mean - WOW!!! Wonderfully balanced between savory and salty, texturally varied and lots of umami from the mushrooms just came together elegantly and simply into a dish I could just eat again and again.

The executive chef is fantastic and he took the time to come chat with us, get feedback and let us know his plans for the menu in the future. Can’t recommend this place enough and I cannot wait to go back!!

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BR
Miami
19 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Sorry We were very disappointed -this place is nothing to write home about! The ambience and decor was beautiful but it was lacking otherwise. The food while it was attractively displayed was nothing great. My duck was supposed to have something crispy & did not and whatever was on the side of it just kind of blended in and was meh. There were lots of waiters and personnel roaming around but we sat at our table for a long time in between courses with nothing on the table and no service coming over to us. We spoke to the general manager about an issue of them not having espresso nor coffee and she left to check on things and never came back to us. They said the coffee maker was broken as well as the grinder for the coffee beans. They said it broke two hours prior – why didn’t they try to solve the problem in those two hours? There was also an issue with the bar not having the alcoholic beverage that we wanted. The general manager did not own up in the end. The wait staff was cordial though.

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OT
Miami
20 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Beautiful decor and great friendly service. Pricey and quite limited menu.

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N
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was excellent and made all the better a selection of great menu items. Must end with the brown butter semifreddo for dessert!

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l
Miami
259 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

beautifully redone decor... limited menu.. food nicely done and well presented.. little pricey. portions on the small side.. very pleasant

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M
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious meal. The burratta and squash blossoms and tuna tartar

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CL
Miami
26 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

When Norman Van Aken is involved, you know the food is going to be amazing and memorable and it was. The tuna tartare had amazing dollops of melt-in-your-mouth avocado "foam" that was a perfect complement to the tuna. Husband loved his fave bean & wild mushroom pasta appetizer and his crispy skin duck breast. Nice modern clean looking restaurant space with second floor bar/lounge.

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DR
Miami
19 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful dinner excellent service Delicious food. Great to have Chef Norman back in the Gables.

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P
Miami
87 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The evolution of Ad Lib continues. Chef Norman has resurrected his famous yellowtail snapper recipe for Coral Gables Restaurant Month and it is better than ever! His "inside out" zucchini blossoms are delicious with crispy blossoms accompanied by rich creamy ricotta dollops and loads of fresh herbs.
And don't miss any of the spectacular desserts by Chef Hedy. Ad Lib is the place to be this summer. The bar continues to bring fresh and unusual ingredients to keep us refreshed.

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CL
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Solid meal with elegant and complex flavors. Feel the menu is a little small and does not provide the opportunity for a middle course. I am a chef so I noticed some details in the food that I might want different, but overall execution was very solid. Waitstaff was attentive and professional. Nice expression of Norm Van Aken’s style. A little expensive but we were hoping to have restaurant week menu, which was not available though no promotional material stipulated it was not available on sundays.

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JW
Miami
9 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

First time at Ad Lib; we went for brunch on a Sunday right when restaurant opened (around 11 AM). The service was quite good, with the wait staff being very attentive (and making sure water and iced tea were always available). The food was also good (the table had a swine burger, Japanese pancakes, steak and eggs and smoked salmon; there were no complaints by any one). The swine burger was very good, but maybe a little smaller than what I would have expected (may be this was the ``brunch size''? although the size would allow you to try something else without making yourself overly full, like one of the pastries which we didn't order this visit). Will definitely try again either for brunch or dinner. At least for brunch, it was a good place to bring kids.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Nice restaurant and delish food.

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O
Miami
13 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Food was good. Would have enjoyed it better if the bill had been correct and not overcharged.

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RK
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 3ambience 5

While I found the restaurant to be nice and the flavors were okay the portion sizes were very small and I was still hungry after my appetizer and main course. Only way I was full was to eat two desserts. For the rice of the dishes I would expect decent size entrees.

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OT
Miami
13 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

Limited menu and staff lacked hospitality skills. We asked about Coral Gables Restaurant week and the manager did not honor the $29 email menu.

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a
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service!!

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HD
Miami
9 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful decor, fun and delicious foodie foods, crafty cocktails - and extreme high-end service! So needed in Miami! Great for date night, business dinner, group dinners, and more.

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OT
Miami
3 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fine dining in the Gables. Fantastic!

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JR
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Just another gimmicky Miami restaurant with no substance. Filet Mignon.....1/2" thick? Salad with a couple of lettuce leaves and anchovy filets on top? $15? Ridiculous portions, mostly tasteless dishes, for crazy prices.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food in a lively ambiance!

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BN
Naples
19 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful new addition from Norm Van Aken to the dining scene in Coral Gables? Creative, well prepared food, complimented by great cocktails and wine. What's not to like?

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E
Miami
35 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Probably the best new restaurant in Coral Gables (and maybe Miami). The old Les Halles/Swine local has become a sleek bright and cool restaurant that has a loungey feel to it. The service is top notch, and the food was impecable. You can see the influence of the master, Norman Van Aken , in the florida/american menu. All the dishes we tried were outstanding, from the tiradito and conch chowder to the scallops and the beautifully cooked duck with a guava/ancho sauce. Desserts should have a complete different review, as the return of Hedy Goldsmith to Miami brings amazingly composed, complex, yet easy to eat desserts to Miami. Definitely a place to come back for special occasions.

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AR
Miami
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The portions were small & the menu is very limited.

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ML
Miami
14 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

This was our third time eating here but honestly I enjoyed it better the other times. This was a completely different menu and I was not totally thrilled. Don’t get me wrong —- it certainly wasn’t bad or horrible but now just average. Think I’m over Ad Lib.

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PG
Miami
23 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Creatively designed and expertly prepared cuisine. Excellent yet not overwhelming wine list. Elegant attentive service.

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T
Miami
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I would return again and again for the steak salad and brownie with merengue as both were delicious. The staff was professional and very pleasant. Great place for conversation as music/sound level encouraged it.

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S
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 5

Food was ok but the drinks were great

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EB
Miami
9 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Took my lovely wife out for Mother’s Day. With the addition of Chef Van Aken I had high hopes for the new resident of Swine’s spot. Sadly the experience didn’t live up to the expectations. Beautiful presentations aside, there wasn’t a single dish that wowed us or made us want to go back. Appetizers were just okay. The conch chowder had an odd taste that was definitely not to my liking. As for the mains, probably the worst duck dish I have ever had. Crispy skin but tough and chewy with no flavor. My wife said her scallops were underwhelming. The pace of the courses was very slow. Very long waits between dishes even though the place was nearly empty. Drinks were good. Maybe it was an off night for the kitchen.

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PS
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was great. Service left something to be desired. We had a brunch reservation at 2:30 on a Sunday, the restaurant was slow therefore service should have been attentive. Had to flag our server for our glasses to be refilled a few times. Also, I understand menu items have different cook times but a kitchen should be able to plan accordingly. I ordered the pancakes and was told my meal would not be served with the rest of my party due to how it is prepared. A restaurant of this caliber should be able to coordinate things like that. But the ambience was nice and the food was great. I’ll definitely go back for dinner.

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A
Miami
9 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The restaurant is very good but for brunch I think they need to perhaps add some more dishes. I found that the dishes were somewhat limited. The drinks were very good. Excellent actually. The scones were the best I have ever had. The only problem I encountered was a locked bathroom for over thirty minutes and one that was available but unusable. The management needs to keep abreast of the bathroom situation as there are only two bathrooms in the entire restaurant and they need to be as usable as possible.

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OT
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Fantastic and unique menu and everything we ordered was outstanding

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FL
New York Area
52 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing brunch. Great food. Amazing service. Nice music for brunch. Try the Japanese pancakes! Scones were to die for! Kudos to Norman!

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EM
Miami
9 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Duck was so so. Tiradito was good & the surf and turf is not bad. Good wine selection and desserts OK

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R
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Food was good. However, I did not agree with the Chef's palette.

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SC
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

I feel that this is a nice fine dining restaurant tucked in to the Coral Gables restaurant scene. I enjoyed the meal, appetizer, entree and dessert and a nice bottle of wine. I was hoping for more choices from the traditional menu or a larger daily(specials) menu. Staff was excellent, I thought some of the best service I have received at a restaurant. The restaurant did get noisy as the evening progressed. My only concern is that there was not much to attract me back to the restaurant regarding the menu options, they seem limited. Perhaps, since this is a newer restaurant, that may expand in the future. Enjoy.

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j
New York Area
34 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I'm not sure what happened. I ordered the Lamb chop special and when i came out the top chop was full of fat and almost unable to cut. I was actually a bit embarrassed and struggled my way cutting it. It was a bit chewy from all the fat as well. When our wonderful waitress came by she exclaimed that the chef wanted to know how it was! I was so embarrassed that i said amazing. The rest of our meal and the other chop was to die for. The crab appetizer was off the wall and the dessert was even better. We will be back!

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B
Miami
9 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The lunch menu is not the greatest of all selections. You may want to pass on this place for lunch and go for dinner.

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JP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous restaurant. New triumph for Norman Van Aiken.

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S
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 4ambience 4

all main courses had peppers in/on them and my guest is allergic to peppers......rediculous to have all dishes cooked with peppers

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