By Melanie Galarce
The Alley (1433 Collins Ave, Miami Beach) inside The Betsy Hotel on South Beach is a trattoria-style Italian pizzeria offering elevated renditions of brick-oven pizzas with unique toppings and daily pasta specials.
Menu highlights: At The Alley you’ll be able to enjoy a curated selection of pizzas. From traditional favorites like the Pepperoni to innovative takes on the pie that include untraditional toppings like shrimp scampi, charred kale and fennel sausage. During my visit, I asked the wait staff to share their favorite pizza on the menu. Pro tip: always ask for the staff’s input, chances are they’ve had a full menu tasting at some point. As so, everyone we asked agreed that the way to go was by indulging in The “Boucher.” This particular pizza brings smoked prosciutto, mozzarella, toma, rabiola, and caraway. It’s basically an elevated version of one of our old-time favorites…and it’s amazing. The melted mozzarella covers the thin crust perfectly and is adorned by fresh prosciutto for a pretty darn good pizza.
The Alley also has brunch available on Saturday and Sundays, so I made sure to delve into that menu as well and try a few items. The Rigatoni Carbonara with cage free eggs, bacon, English peas, and pecorini was a buttery pasta option that melted its way into your stomach. Somehow, it also felt light and not overly heavy, which is always a plus when eating pasta.
Standout dishes: If you’re visiting on the weekend for the above mentioned brunch menu, you’ll want to try the Eggs All’amatriciana. With crostini, pancetta, pomodoro sauce, and filone this is the type of egg dish that really stands out from the monotony of other brunch menus. Think perfectly cooked eggs resting on an equally flawless crunchy crostini.
The most pleasant surprise during my visit? The Zucchini Rucola. A refreshing salad with lemon-garlic olive oil, Parmesan, and almonds. It’s safe to say that I could easily consume this dish on a daily basis. This guilt-free salad was the perfect balance to my otherwise carb-induced meal. The hints of lemon made this a citrus delight that would make for the perfect starter while visiting The Alley.
Are we boozing? It’s South Beach – of course we’re drinking. The Alley offers a full bar offering craft cocktails, a wide selection of wine, as well as bottled and draft beer. Amongst all the choices, I went with my hometown favorite, La Rubia from Wynwood Brewing Company because nothing pairs better with pizza than beer. Am I right?
Check this place out if you like: Hidden pizza joints with strong Italian dishes like Proof in midtown. These restaurants are the type of places where you’re lured in for the pizza but are blown away by the other Italian-inspired dishes.
Mel’s take: This little gem far surpassed my expectations. It’s a hidden spot with an Italian menu that knocks it out of the park. The place is cozy and unassuming (which is already a feat for a South Beach location). It’s the kind of joint (elevated at that) where you want to bring all your friends for a pizza, a beer and a really good time.
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