Inside The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, a vintage-inspired cocktail bar slings Manhattans, Negronis and elevated snacks. The dimly lit space, featuring floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, plush leather couches and a fireplace, feels more like a quintessential study room than one of Miami’s newest watering holes.
But that’s the point. Located in one of Miami’s oldest neighborhoods, The Commodore pays homage to Coconut Grove’s storied past.
“Miami has been very good to us, and we are thrilled to continue our work here at such a unique property in Coconut Grove, a neighborhood rich in color and history,” says John Meadow, founder and president of LDV Hospitality, which owns The Commodore.
The Commodore offers a lineup of classic and unique cocktails with a menu of bites. Standouts include the Socal, a mezcal-based drink with lime, orgeat and cucumber juice, and the Spicy Raspberry Collins, blended with vodka, lemon juice, jalapeño syrup and St. Germain.
And, just in time for the holidays, The Commodore added the Smoked Apple Pie to its menu, infused with Toki whisky and skillet-roasted gala apples, followed by a splash of Disaronno amaretto (an Italian almond liquor) and a smoked cinnamon stick. Head mixologist Bradley Carnation says it was inspired by seasonal market apples and the Godfather cocktail (amaretto and scotch).
“This cocktail is all about balance, so we went a little heavier on the whisky and added smaller amounts of amaretto compared to the classic recipe,” Carnation. “After we came up with the base, we realized we needed another spice element, which is where the bitters came into play. Overall, it’s as simple as its original version, but the amount of prep work and infusion make it very special.”
As for food, executive chef Abel Veulens and sous chef Miguel Fajardo are behind a 10-item menu including mushroom toast; beef sliders on brioche buns with caramelized brandied onions; and chicken wings smoked for 32 hours and served with herbed Greek yogurt and hot sauce.
Besides The Commodore’s old-time indoor spaces, there’s a semiprivate landscaped patio with an eclectic collection of cocktail tables and chairs.
“When you walk into The Commodore, you don’t feel like you’re in Miami anymore,” Carnation says. “The Commodore’s ambience instantly puts your worries aside and provides a sense of calm as if to say you have escaped the madness of your life, which is something I think not many places can do.”
Smoked Apple Pie
3 Gala apples
2 1/2 ounces roasted apple-infused Toki whisky
1/2 ounce cinnamon-infused Disaronno
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Pan-roast apples until golden. Pour apples and Toki into container. Infuse for three days. Use three apples per bottle.
Add cinnamon sticks to Disaronno bottle and infuse for two days. Strain out cinnamon.
In beaker, mix Toki, Disaronno and bitters. Add ice and stir. Strain over ice cube in rocks glass. Light end of cinnamon stick and put out flame in the cocktail.