Review: Burgundy Room

Saturday, March 12, 2011

CocoWalk has weathered tourist trends and economic tugs from the recession and the temporary closing of the movie theater.  It's still a draw for locals and yearly visitors who remember CocoWalk in its golden years and await a rebirth. While areas like Mary Brickell Village are the shiny new copper penny and attracting professionals from the financial district, tourists, and high end restaurants, CocoWalk has aptly transitioned to a casual destination that still offers restaurants and entertainment.

Enter the Burgundy Room. Filling the shoes of the former "Crazy Pianos", The Burgundy Room is part home den with dark wood tables, chairs, and  bar; part sporting event central with nook seating all fitted with flat screen TVs; and part entertainment with a stage for a live band that plays Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Tonight my friend and I met to catch up. She selected this new venue and we weren't sure what to expect. It turns out it's a sports bar!

We arrived early, very early, 7pm and were the only customers. Given the quiet surroundings, the food and drink would serve as our entertainment. But remember, food is not the primary attraction for a sports bar.

Nonetheless here is our review. For starters we sampled three appetizers--the empanadas, the seared scallops, and shrimp calamari salad. 

Shrimp/Calamari cocktail salad, Forever Young martini,
Empanadas, Seared Scallops

The scallops were the tastiest and cooked perfectly--not overdone and not raw. Unfortunately the empanadas with spinach and manchego cheese were disappointing. We tasted spinach, but where was the cheese? The shrimp and calamari salad was a little odd. In the very dark lit restaurant, it appears the calarmi were smashed into the shrimp. Drizzled in cocktail sauce, we gave a thumbs down.

For main entrees we ordered the seafood pasta salad with mussels and shrimp and the pulled pork guava sandwich.  The former came recommended by the manager and waitress.  While it was good, we agreed it was not memorable.  However, the pulled pork sandwich in guava sauce and specialty bread scored a homerun. 

Seafood pasta with Shrimp and Scallops
Pulled pork guava sandwich with fries and salad

The highlight was the cocktail. I ordered a Forever Young. Two ingredients which caught my eye was Acai (the latest buzz in superhealthy fruit) and pomegranate juice. I loved it!

In scanning their bar drinks, it soon became crystal clear that  martinis is their specialty.
The restaurant is a bit dark for this Sunshine State native. Maybe in the heat of the summer, the dimly lit space, dark wood panels and live entertainment may offer the relaxation and refuge passerbys seek. But my toes were tapping and my vocal chords sang along to a popular 80's background song. We left right before the band started. I wonder if piano bar will be replaced with songs like "Piano Man". Who doesn't love the 80's?

Eyeing the number of flat screen Tvs upon our exit, I will definitely add this to my list of sports bar destinations.  Now if only the Miami Heat could win a game!

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