Keeping the Faith

By Mitchell Nover

It’s no secret that Barley is one of my favorite restaurants in Miami (see: Exhibits A & B), so, needless to say, it hasn’t been easy waiting for the new-and-improved American Brasserie to reopen in its new Downtown Dadeland location later this year. Luckily for me, and all of you, chef/owner Jorgie Ramos has been keeping himself busy with a pet project called Faith & Pizza, a little pizza joint (also in Downtown Dadeland) that serves up near-perfect pies, great gastropub grub, and a plentiful portion of philanthropy.

When visiting Faith & Pizza a few weeks back it was still called Faith & Pizza, but Chef Jorgie did mention that he was deciding whether or not to change the concept into more of a wine bar. It seems that he may have ended up going that route, considering that the restaurant’s menu was always more than just pizza, but more because the Instagram handle recently changed to @faith_restaurant (from faith_and_pizza) and the description now reads “Faith Wine Bar.”

In any case, the pizzas are still on the menu and they’re still delicious. It’s also worth nothing that Chef Jorgie told us he never made a pizza (!!!) before going into menu testing. This where I tell you this man is either an evil genius or an idiot savant because these pizzas were damn, damn good. It’s also worth nothing that Faith’s pizzas are not just any ordinary pizzas. From Margarita and Pepperoni Española to White, Spring Veggie, and Mushroom, the flavors are interesting, inventive, and right in line with everything else that Jorgie does – meaning they’re based on traditional styles, but are always flipped with a local Miami touch or a touch from his Cuban/Spanish heritage.

Margarita Pizza: Red Sauce + Tomato + Whipped Ricotta + Basil

Margarita Pizza: Red Sauce + Tomato + Whipped Ricotta + Basil

Pepperoni Española Pizza: Chorizo Cantimpalo + Basil + Tomato + Fresh Mozzarella + Red Sauce

Pepperoni Española Pizza: Chorizo Cantimpalo + Basil + Tomato + Fresh Mozzarella + Red Sauce

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White Pizza: Stracciatella Cheese, Smoked Mozzarella, Grapes + Honey + Pistachios

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Farmer’s Market Pizza: Asparagus + Yellow Squash + Garlic/Shallot Confit + Fontina Cheese

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Mushroom Pizza: Forest Mushrooms + Truffle/Porcini Cheese + Fontina Cheese + Thyme

P.S. the pizza menu also has rotating specials that range from Short Rib & Kale and Baby Clam pies to The Devil’s Advocate and Goat Cheese & Artichoke.

P.P.S. there’s also wine on tap that comes as a “bottle” served in a Spanish porrón. I have never felt classier or cooler with my pizza and wine combos.

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Now, as mentioned, the Faith menu is actually much more than just pizza. It features a variety of old Barley favorites, plus some new instant classics that are mouthwaterlingy (Is that a word? If not, it should be.) good. Case in point:

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Cauliflower with Miami Smokers pancetta, golden raisins, capers, pine nuts, and beurre blanc.

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Pork cheek, veal, and beef meatball with creamy polenta, whipped ricotta, and toast.

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Roasted bone marrow with chimichurri, pork cheek marmalade, and toast.

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Beef back ribs with Spanish white beans, balsamic agridolce, pine nuts, fried basil, and parmesan.

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Heirloom tomatoes with stracciatella cheese, marinated onions, and herb salad.

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Chicken wings with apple butter gastrique and blue cheese sabayon.

Yeah, and then for dessert, there’s house made cannoli and peach cobbler bread pudding. My mouth is legit watering right now as I sit and type this. LEGIT.

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Now that we’ve gone through all the **amazing** food, let me tell you what I actually love most about Faith. Whether it serves pizza, small plates, or wine and bites, all profits are going back to the community in support of three local charities: Live Like Bella, Autism Speaks, and The Miami Project To Cure Paralysis. I’ve often thought of Jorgie Ramos as one of the nicest and hardest working chefs on the Miami food scene, and if this doesn’t prove it, I don’t know what will.

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Mitch’s take: Philanthropy never tasted so good.

Standout dishes:

Pepperoni Española Pizza (seriously puts all other pepperoni pizzas to shame)

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Roasted Bone Marrow (creamy, spreadable, and totally decadent)

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Peach Cobbler Bread Pudding (#drool)

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