Expect the Unexpected

Monica Parpal |
Food And Dining

The Dome Restaurant, Bar, and Lounge opened over a year ago in Coral Gables. Since then, the restaurant has practically defined itself by being unexpected. The ambience appears opulent, but sustainability is the founding concept. Seafood is to be expected, but organic produce and caviar are staples—and new specials are offered daily. And although trendy people may gather there, Owner Rachel Dominguez feels that The Dome offers guests of all sorts an approachable and fun place to dine and drink.


Dominguez describes The Dome's cuisine as Latin fusion—New-World flavors incorporated with a Latin twist. “My heritage is Cuban and Russian, and Chef Nilton Castillo was born in Peru. Our combined backgrounds and Chef's global cooking style make for a dynamic and creative menu,” Dominguez says.


The Dome has become known for its (mostly) organic ingredients used in creative and unexpected ways. Instead of using cream in the soups, for example, Chef Castillo incorporates yucca purée to give it the same consistency. “Our Carrot Ginger and Banana soups are my current favorites, but the menu—from small plates to entrées—is always changing,” Dominguez says. “People know us for our seafood and organic vegetables more than anything, along with our daily fresh fish, oysters, lobster, and caviar.”


The Dome's Caviar Bar features nine different caviars (including vegan and vegetarian versions), many of which are affordably-priced. “I am so excited to be one of the first to truly represent the caviar bar concept here in South Florida, alongside an amazing menu,” Dominguez says. “Chef Castillo and I have so much fun creating organic, healthy, and innovative dishes.”


In fact, although Chef Castillo trained under notable chefs the country over, but began his career at the culinary program at Coral Gables Senior High School—the same program Rachel Dominguez now supports through her foundation, The Culinary Youth Project. Dominguez works with the local community, restaurants, and chefs to raise funds for the organization, which focuses on locally-sourced organic produce and even shares a garden with The Dome.


What's more, The Dome is the first and only LEED Silver-certified restaurant in Coral Gables. From the chemical-free cleaning products to the environmentally-friendly materials used to build the space, the restaurant encompasses a sustainable environment while projecting a chic, social vibe.


“Our space is beautiful, but we're striving for a relaxed, fun atmosphere,” Dominguez says. “The Dome is a place to discover the unexpected, but we'll welcome you like family. Come as you are, and enjoy a fun-filled culinary experience.”