The Coral Gables Magazine
“AT BELLMÓNT, A LOYAL CLIENTELE COMES FOR THE STUNNINGLY AUTHENTIC SPANISH CUISINE” by Andrew Gayle
The first thing you notice at Bellmónt is the appetizing scent of a red oak wood fire, quietly glowing in a 14,700-pound iron oven that owner Sergio Bellmónt imported from Pereruela, Spain, when he first opened five years ago. It is just one of the many authentic Spanish elements that Bellmónt fastidiously maintains at his elegant, yet neighborly, restaurant on Miracle Mile.
“I source all the food myself, and it’s the best of its kind in the world,” says Bellmónt, who acts as maître-d and executive chef. “All of the first if from Spain, as is the ham.” Their cured ham, Jamón de Jabugo from Huelva in southwest Spain, may indeed be the best in the world, and is reason alone to dine here; it is dark and deeply flavorful, having been aged 5 years from acorn-raised pigs. It is an expensive delicacy, but when balanced in the Table Mixta with Manchego cheese and Ibérico sausage($37), it is exquisite.
As much of the menu as possible comes from Spain, where Bellmónt was raised in a large family in Madrid. While all of his relatives have remained in Spain, Bellmónt settled here with his Peruvian wife Claudia and their five children. “I tell my mother that, at the very least, I am bringing some part of Spain to America,” he says. The food provides a culinary map of Spain. The piquillo red peppers, for example, come from Asturias on the north Atlantic coast. You can enjoy them in a wonderful light tapas dish where they are stuffed with goat cheese from La Mancha in the central part of Spain ($15). (The anchovies, likewise, come from the cold waters off Navarra in northern Spain, while the octopus hails from the waters off Galicia, on the Portuguese border.)
Also on their tapas menu are Spanish croquetas, a distinct upgrade from the type you find in Cuban cafes around Miami. Those at Bellmónt are round, with a lighter breading, and filled with pastes of either north Atlantic cod, Ibérico ham, or spinach with Manchego cheese ($11). They are savory and creamy and melt in your mouth, a soft warm filling with a delicate crust.
Among the entrees are number of standouts. One is the Cantabric sea bass, again from the cold Atlantic waters off the coast of Asturias (the Cantabrian sea is also known as the Bay of Biscay). These grilled fillets, served with a bed of fresh sautéed vegetables, are perfectly browned on top with a thin but crunchy skin on the bottom. If you love seafood, this will win your palate ($32).
Another standout dish – which does not come from Spain – is the Solomillo a la Piedra, a nine-ounce tenderloin of Iowa aged beef that is served with a “hot rock,” a small hot slab of volcanic stone from Granada ($39). The idea is to cook the meat on the rock as you slice it, sprinkling it with a bit of sea salt that is provided. It is a fine and fun way to eat a superb cut of meat.
And you can use the slab to heat your baby lamb chops; from New Zealand, they are about the only other dish that doesn’t come from España.
Returning to the motherland, we also tried Bellmónt’s Paella de Mariscos, filled with calamari, mussels and clams from Spain’s northern coast, and shrimp and lobster from its southern coast ($25). It has a rich tomato broth but uses pasta instead of rice, which makes it lighter and less pastry. You will have to wait 25 minutes for this tasty dish, but that is brief compared to the four to five hours you will need to order Bellmónt’s signature dish, its suckling pig roasted in the wood-fired oven. A whole pig will set you back $230 for four or $260 for six (so bring
two more friends), but it is a unique dining experience that regularly attracts large tables of diners; to date, Bellmónt has served more than 2,500 of them.
The wine list at Bellmónt is, as you’d expect, all Spanish, most ranging from $30 to $60 a bottle. We are very happy with a 2013 red 12 Linajes Roble ($46), comprised of tempranillo wine from the Ribera del Duero growing region in north central Spain. Desserts are likewise from the panoply of Spanish flavors (flan, almond ice cream, hazelnut paste). We tried the torrijas, a log-shaped Spanish-style French toast with cinnamon, honey and wine ($9). Easily enough to feed four of us, and deliciously decadent.
In terms of interior, Bellmónt combines the feeling of a family-run neighborhood restaurant with formal, fine dining. There is a large forward bar with hanging hams, and another smaller one backed by two TV screens broadcasting Spanish soccer. This is combined with white table clothes and warm, drop-down lighting. Somehow it works, creating a pleasant space where the food is clearly the focal point of the experience – and one that you will not regret. Bellmónt is a shrine to Spanish food, a place for your taste buds to travel. It is a unique, memorable and – for its clientele – a dining adventure worth repeating.
“FIRED UP FOR SUCKLING PIG, A SPANISH TRADITION”
The savory aroma fills the Coral Cables kitchen with tradition as recipes and methods dating back to 18th century Madrid come alive in the hands of entrepreneur restauranteurs Sergio Catalina Bellmónt and his wife Claudia Romero. We use two farmers, one in central Florida, the other in Iowa, and we’ve been using them since the beginning. A lot of our customers come to us for our meats, and our particular way we prepare it. Along with our suckling pig, we’re also known for a traditional method of cooking meat on rocks. This is another tradition from Spain, which involves cooking the meat over rocks at the customer’s table. We instruct the customer as to how to remove the meat when it reaches the temperature they prefer, and it makes for an interesting and fun evening.
“FOOD YOU CRAVE BRUNCH WITH ANNA DE CODORNÍU”
Personally, sparkling wine can be a little sweet to me but Anna had such a nice balance. It was dry (which I loved) with just a few subtle underlying sweet notes. It was crisp and easy to drink. Honestly, I loved it and will definitely be drinking it again. Anna was paired with classic Spanish food from the Bellmont Spanish Restaurant on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. We had beautiful langoustines, huevos rotos (potatoes, eggs, ham, bread), whiskey cake and homemade ice-cream. The sparkling wine paired beautifully with the spectrum of dishes that we tasted. It complimented, it didn’t overpower. Another thing I am loving about Anna is that it is so reasonably priced. A bottle runs about $15, which honestly for a good bottle of sparkling wine is nothing. They also recommend mixing Anna with other natural fruits and accompaniments for a lighter mixed drink. Which let’s be real mimosas never get old but sometimes you just want to mix it up.
“DIARIO LAS AMERICAS BELLMÓNT RESTAURANT, UNA JOYA DE LA BUENA COCINA ESPAÑOLA”
En Miami abundan los restaurantes españoles pero Bellmónt Restaurant, enclavado en el corazón de Miracle Mile, cuenta con unos sabores que no encontramos en otros locales. “No hay otro secreto que usar productos auténticos”, aseguró Sergio Bellmónt, quien junto a su esposa, Claudia Romero, lleva las riendas del establecimiento gastronómico. De hecho, muchos de los ingredientes son importados de España. Además del jamón ibérico, los chorizos y los quesos, y por supuesto los vinos, Bellmónt cuenta con pescados, mariscos y legumbres que trae de la Madre Patria. Incluso el horno, en el que asan el plato estrella cochinillo a la leña, fue traído de un viejo pueblo español. Con estas apreciaciones podríamos decir que estamos ante un auténtico consulado del buen comer del país ibérico.
In Miami there are many Spanish restaurants but Bellmont Restaurant, nestled in the heart of Miracle Mile, has some flavors not found in other places. “There is no secret that using genuine products,” said Sergio Bellmont, who with his wife, Claudia Romero, takes the reins of dining establishment. In fact, many of the ingredients are imported from Spain. In addition to the Iberian ham, sausages and cheeses, and of course wines, Bellmont has seafood and vegetables which brings from the Motherland. Even the oven, where the signature dish roasted suckling pig to the wood was brought from an old Spanish village. With these findings we could say that this is a genuine consulate of good food of the Iberian country.
“DIARIO LAS AMERICAS BELLMÓNT SPANISH RESTAURANT RECIBE EL PREMIO CITY BEAUTIFUL”
El Bellmónt Spanish Restaurant, un restaurante de familia que ofrece cocina tradicional española en Miracle Mile, fue reconocido recientemente con el premio 2016 City Beautiful for Outstanding Interior Restaurant Dining Room (extraordinario salón de restaurante). El galardón, otorgado por la Ciudad de Coral Gables y su cámara de comercio, reconoce a los negocios que enaltecen el nombre de esta ciudad, the City Beautiful – la Ciudad Hermosa.
“EL NUEVO HERALD 5 RESTAURANTES IDEALES PARA CELEBRAR LA NAVIDAD”
El Día de Navidad es para estar con la familia y amigos cercanos, en un ambiente íntimo y acogedor. Pero, puede que usted y los suyos no tengan tiempo para preparar la cena casera y decidan pasar la fecha en un restaurante. He aquí cinco opciones ideales para que la Navidad de este año sea un día memorable.
“TELEMUNDO 51 MIAMI TV SHOW ACCESO TOTAL”
¡Para comer buen jamón, los Museos del Jamón! Desde 1978 convertimos día a día esta frase en realidad. Creadores del concepto de restaurante temático especializado en jamones y embutidos, y con una cocina tradicional de calidad, los Museos del Jamón son un punto de visita obligada en Madrid.¡De Madrid al cielo pasando por el Museo del Jamón!”
Forget the more formal trappings of other Spanish restaurants. Bellmónt is modern all the way, yet traditional dishes abound in the menu.”
WSVN TV 7NEWS
Some dishes have the perfect combination, and “Surf and Turf” is one of them. Tonight, a chef serves it up, Spanish style. Time to grab a Bite with Belkys.”
Late Afternoon business meeting. Wanted to show an associate one of my favorite places in Coral Gables. Just had wine and tapas. Recommend Bellmont for a business lunch, afternoon meeting place and for dinner too.”
Spanish restaurant serving traditional tapas, killer wine, and special regional delicacies that can’t be found everywhere. Miami NewTimes has published Ten reasons to try Bellmónt Restaurant.”
REWARDS NETWORK SURVEY
Family owned restaurant. Brand new, and soon expanding it’s jamon iberico section and wine list. Paellas great tasting and generous portions, Spanish wines by the glass offered in a wide selection. Suckling pig for 4 people also available special order.”
Great place and atmosphere. Superb food. Will return.”
Amazing service, authentic Spanish food, the owner makes you feel like home.”
Excellent food, kind attentive staff ,very clean”
Great atmosphere, incredibly friendly services, and excellent food. The bread and “seafood omlette” before the meal (complimentary) was the best included appetizer I have ever had. Good sized portions. Nice and quiet to eat alone or with someone(s) on a week night.”
If you need a new date spot, try Bellmont, it sounds pretty date spot-ish. And it’s also very spanish. Think iberico ham, pig legs cooked in a Spain-imported oven, ribeyes …”
ADVENTURES OF THE FOODAHOLIC
Well tickle me happy! There’s a new Spanish place in Coral Gables that is bringing Miamians an authentic “cochinillo” experience (suckling pig) roasted in a traditional wood-fired oven, brought here straight from Spain.”
This season, we’re thankful for all the new businesses opening up in Downtown Coral Gables! Say hello to Bellmont Restaurant, now open at 339 Miracle Mile. The Spanish eatery bakes all their ingredients fresh & offers unique dishes like cochinillo and deluxe Black Angus beef.”
Yeah, so this’ll make for a solid dinner date. Or a solid go-to for a midday working lunch. Or a solid place to grab your morning espresso withpastries made from scratch just minutes before. Point is, you can use this spot pretty much as you see fit. That’s what it’s here for.”
Bellmónt Bakery and Restaurant is set to become that local place where people go for a coffee break on their way to the office, enjoy a glass of wine with your meal, and the place where you go for lunch time after time after time, because there is nothing else quite like it in the Gables, and maybe in the city of Miami.