Spain Represents: Xixón Cafe in Miami

by mary on May 12, 2013

Xixón Cafe: Spanish wine and food in Miami

When I’m missing Spain, Xixón Cafe is one of those places that can take the edge off. It offers a comforting combination of good Spanish wine and food and a bustling, relaxed, mostly Spanish-speaking atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. Did I say good wine? I meant a spectacular selection of Spanish wines, not only by the bottle, but by the glass. They have self-serve Enomatic machines and cards, so you can even help yourself to tasting-size pours if you want. The menu is extensive and includes many traditional Spanish mainstays as well as some more adventurous interpretations. There is even a market section where you can buy some excellent gourmet Spanish products. Exciting first visit….lots more to try!

According to the website, Xixón is pronounced ‘she-SHONE’, which is how the name of the northern Spanish city of Gijón is pronounced in the local Asturian dialect. Unlike the website, which is bit awkward, the space is very light, modern and accommodating. For a more intimate, cozier feel, there is the wine cellar space downstairs, with atmospheric barrel tables. The big marble bar in the restaurant has a real Spanish feel, with many of the salads and tapas displayed in a glass refrigerated case along the top. There is also a really nice outdoor eating area when Miami weather allows it.

Xixón Cafe: great Spanish wine and food in Miami

Xixón is located in the Coral Way area of Miami, very central and convenient to downtown, Coconut Grove and Coral Gables. Parking can be tricky but they have valet parking.

The menu is quite long, divided into smaller and larger tapas as well as main courses, and there are also daily specials. So many tempting choices, and prices are quite reasonable, so it’s easy to over-order! First up was some chiperon en su tinta, small squid braised in a sauce made with their ink. This is a classic Spanish dish and my mother-in-law made a spectacular version. This one was not as good hers, but was really nice, the squid were tender and the sauce flavorful.

Xixón Cafe: great Spanish wine and food in Miami

Iconic Spanish croquetas were my next dish, these particular ones were marisco, or seafood ones. Not served as hot as I like them, but they had delicious, intense marisco flavor.

Next was something I am constantly craving, fried fresh anchovies. These tiny, delicious fish are so inexpensive in Spain, you can clean them in a flash, dust them with a little flour and salt and fry them in some olive oil for a couple of minutes….heaven! Even anchovy haters will be converted! Hard to beat the crazy fresh fish we got in Spain, but these were nicely done, served simply and perfectly with lemon wedges, and definitely satisfied my cravings.

Great Spanish food at Xixón Cafe in Miami

The final dish was my favorite, a bonito and pimientos asado salad, a white tuna and roasted red pepper salad. Another classic, but zipped up a bit at Xixón, with the addition of baby spinach leaves. Huge and very tasty!

There are at least 20 more things I want to try, so a return trip is up soon! Loved the staff and service too, friendly and professional…a huge plus for Xixón.

Good food, atmosphere, service…check, but what an amazing bonus for me to find such a wine treasure. This is not always the case in Spain, as the wine selection can often be a real let down. Love it here! Some real classics, but also lots of really interesting wines from lesser-known regions. The bottle selection is extensive. There is no complete bottle wine list, but the staff can make selections or you can go down to the wine cellar and pick yourself a bottle. Prices are clearly marked, so it’s a lot of fun!

Great Spanish wine at Xixón Cafe in Miami

If you are in a more experimental mood, or just want a different wine with every course, the Enomatic machines offer dozens of wines by the glass. One machine is dedicated to whites and sherries, and three to reds. The most expensive wines are not on offer, but there is a great selection from various prices ranges and lots of regions. You can help yourself with a card to various pour sizes and the card just adds it all up automatically. A really amazing but pretty dangerous system for wine lovers! That card can add up in the end…

I’ve already rated the sherry and the Montsant I tried that day…they were my favorites. I’ll be going back soon to try some more!

Xixón is a great place for a meal, but also a great place to stop in for drinks and a tapa. How very Spanish!

 

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