By Melanie Galarce
Zucca (162 Alcazar Ave, Coral Gables) is a stylish place for house-made pastas, steaks, and other Italian fare, with wine and inventive cocktails that recently opened up inside the Hotel St. Michel.
Via Emilia 9 Ristorante Italiano (1120 15th St, Miami Beach) is a charming Italian restaurant on South Beach that offers authentic regional cuisine – all ingredients are imported from Italy with the exception of fruits, vegetables, flour and eggs. This modern, yet rustic and charming place has received notoriety from some of our faves like Anthony Bourdain who said, “the pasta at Via Emilia is much, much better than good.” It’s that kind of testimony that goes a far way in our little foodie book and gets us excited about our growing foodie community in Miami.
Upon arriving to 1111 Peruvian Bistro, I was delighted to find an elegant and sophisticated lounge with a friendly staff, which gave me the initial impression that there was a clear attempt to blend the relaxed environment of a casual tapas bar with the elegance of a high-end restaurant. I was welcomed, alongside many patrons who were also ending their workdays, with a similar need to relax and eat! The kitchen was fully visible and the intimacy of the restaurant was felt throughout. Once settled, it was time to recall what I knew of Peruvian cuisine, and learn more about 1111 which promised a novel twist on traditional dishes.
I’ve recently been asked by a lot of different people what my favorite Italian restaurant in Miami is, a question I’ve struggled to find a decent answer to. Maybe it’s all the great variations on Latin food that we enjoy, but some other cultural cuisines (like Italian or Chinese) just aren’t as good as those that can be found in other cities around the country. We either get uber fancy and expensive or a little too cheap and kinda gross. Anyway, when recently visiting the newly-opened OCIO, I wasn’t exactly expecting to find an answer to the “favorite Italian restaurant” question.
I’ve never been to Italy. I’ve always wanted to go, but for years my European wanderlust has always landed me in Spain. Have I mentioned I love Spain? I can almost hear you all groaning. Alright, alright, back to Italy. Any foodie worth his salt has undoubtedly dreamt of eating their way up and down the country and I am no different. While the rest of my body waits to make its way over to the land of pizza and pasta, at least my tastebuds can get a “Tour of Italy” at Midtown’s Bocce Ristorante.
We’re officially hot and heavy into the holiday season, which probably means you’ve either visited a mall or will do so in the next few weeks. I did just that a few weeks ago and was brave enough to venture to Dolphin Mall. I’d heard word that the mall had just undergone some renovations but it wasn’t until I was done checking off a few things on my list that I began to explore and found that the additions included a slew of restaurants one of which we had heard much about but never bothered looking into, Brio Tuscan Grille.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from my food adventures across Miami it’s not to judge a restaurant by its outside aesthetics. Pasta Vino is the perfect case study. The restaurant has a neon sign in what may appear to be a forgotten shopping center that resides next to Presidente Supermarket (aka not Publix.) However, don’t be fooled by the suspicious demeanor, the moment you walk into Pasta Vino, you’re overwhelmed by Italian comfort.
Happy Foodie Friday friends. Every first of the month we get a very strong urge to sing the 90s jam, “It’s the first of the month” by Bones Thugs & Harmony. Is anyone else with us on that? Needless to say, we’re now fully immersed in a new month and the year continues to take its course. It’s starting to feel like full-blown summer with temperatures reaching a balmy 95 degrees. We can’t imagine what summer will be like, although justifying endless amounts of popsicles and ice cream seems like an endearing task. While we try to avoid the topic of weather in Miami, we will fully jump in on the topic of food and get back to our regular programming after last week’s Foodie Friends and leave you with a fun link pack of food for your reading indulgence. Enjoy!
We’re officially well on our way to mid-January! The year has taken off at full-speed and we’re excited about all the fun stuff taking place around our wondrous city. Specifically, this week our attention diverted to the new Whole Foods that finally opened up near Mel’s casa in Downtown Miami. If you’re in the mood for some organic goodies to help you kick-start a healthy new year, make sure to make a pit stop at the gorgeous, Miami-infused grocery store. We got a private tour earlier this week and it was pretty rad, we’ll have more to share about the tour in the coming weeks so stay tuned.
In the interim, we hope your weekend entails appetite and lots of food to satisfy. Here are some fun foodie links from around the web!
Over the past few months it has been made abundantly clear that I am a huge fan of Chef Fabio Viviani (see: Chef’s Corner, The OBIEs Recap, MMTM Giveaway, Best of 2014.) From watching him on numerous seasons of Top Chef and then meeting him in person and talking to him on the phone, I was chomping at the bit to finally get a taste of his food at his new South Beach restaurant.