CHEAP EATS
Bringing Italy to New York City: Da Marcella Taverna
DAILY BITES
Event Review: Caffè Storico and the New York Historical Society

Caffè Storico, located in the beautiful building of the New York Historical Society (170 Central Park West), opened its doors to us here at Joonbug.com this past Monday, March 3rd, to provide us with a delicious tasting menu of Italian cuisine, as well as exciting information about all of the events which are scheduled to occur this coming year!

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
A Sneak Peak at Fabio Cucina Italiana

Tomorrow, Fabio Cucina Italiana will open its doors for the first time. Last night, we were lucky enough to get a sneak peak and sample some of the delicious cuisine from the fine Italian restaurant and internationally-trained Chef Fabio Hakill.

The brightly-lit establishment is hard to miss at its location in Midtown East. The wide, open windows and white decor almost make the restaurant look more like a gallery from the outside. Walking in, a small bar sits on the left while two small rows of cozy tables line the center of the room. Toward the back, a partition separates more private tables intended for larger parties. Almost everything is white save the padded seats, one wall with an appropriately antiquated Italian quote, and an eye-catching painting on the farthest wall. An uptilted mirror toward the center of the restaurant gives the tight space a more open feel.

DAILY BITES
Dolce's Apertivo Hour and Sunset Dinner Menu

For just having opened a little more than a month ago, Dolce has been getting quite a lot of attention as one of the tastiest Italian restaurants in Miami Beach (read review here). Of course, it comes as no surprise knowing that the restaurant is the brainchild of LDV Hospitality, the people who brought us Scarpetta. Offering a sexy ambiance within the newly remodeled 1940’s Gale South Beach hotel, Dolce has become one of the best places for classic Italian cocktails and classic Italian fare by Chef Paolo Dorigato. For those who have yet to try it out, Dolce is giving the perfect incentive as it launches its Apertivo Happy Hour and Sunset Prix Fixe dinner menu today.

BEST OF
Dolce at Gale South Beach

There are two things that Miami Beach seems to have a lot of these days: constant change and Italian restaurants. Many Miami natives sometimes wonder whatever happened to the quirky SoBe they knew back when Gianni Versace held court there, and it seems as if for the non Miami Beach resident, every subsequent visit to the southern reaches of Collins Avenue reveals more change, more commercialization, and a sense of frustration. As much as we may not like to hear it, there seems to be no going back to the 90s for Miami Beach, and the few remnants of 20th century seem to get polished up and renovated one by one almost every day. Then there are the denizens of Italian restaurants dotting almost every imaginable storefront and hotel lobby, apparently making South Beach a chic, sexy little Italy of the 21st century. There are, obviously, a great deal of bad restaurants, a great many more mediocre ones, but still enough fantastic Italian restaurants to warrant at least an occasional visit for any foodie. A recent dinner at Dolce in the newly renovated Gale South Beach showed that all the change on SoBe can actually be a good thing and that Miami Beach continues to be a destination for some of the best Italian fare.

BEST OF
Where to Eat This Christmas

For some reason, it seems as if time really flew between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, which means that most of us have been scrambling to get our greeting cards and presents in order, as well as trying to keep track of the various holiday functions we feel obliged to attend. When your main preoccupation is trying to find just one good gift for your mom and realizing that you haven’t sent anything to your in-laws while they sent you a box of presents, the last thing on your mind is planning a Christmas (or Noche Buena) feast. Sure, you can do what I do and round up a selection of charcuterie and cheeses from Graziano’s and Epicure to nibble at throughout the holiday - or visit a Blue Sky for your lechón - but with so many fabulous restaurants offering such wonderful Christmas and Christmas Eve dinners, it’s hard not to take the easy way out and leave the preparations to the gourmet chefs. If you’re finding yourself in Miami without dinner plans this Christmas, let Joonbug outline a few suggestions for you:

BEST OF
Serafina Dream South Beach

Few restaurant empires have as unique a story as that of Serafina. Two best friends, Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato, were stranded in Hampton Bay one day during a horrific storm and made a pact to each other if they came out of it alive: to open a restaurant serving the best pizza and pasta in the world. Nine restaurants later, including one in São Paulo, the have finally reached the Sunshine State and have continued to make South Beach one of the most delicious concentrations of authentic Italian cuisine. Occupying the space attached to the Dream South Beach Hotel that formerly housed Tudor House, Serafina’s Miami Beach location is in the heart of all the action, making it the perfect stop to savor exquisitely prepared northern Italian cuisine before enjoying an evening of SoBe’s legendary nightlife. A recent dinner at Serafina demonstrated that besides an unwavering dedication to quality, the driving force behind Serafina’s success throughout the world is a love and passion for food that can be felt and tasted everywhere at this restaurant

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
New SoBe Restaurants for December

Three new restaurants are debuting in South Beach this December, and two of them not only carry pedigrees to get excited over but are also suggesting that perhaps Miami Beach is becoming America’s newest - and most stylish - Little Italy. SoBe has been attracting models, artists, and entrepreneurs from Italy ever since their paesano, Gianni Versace, put the southernmost part of Miami Beach on the map, and the resulting migration is making South Beach a veritable mecca for Italian-from-Italy cuisine representing everywhere from Sicily and Sardinia to Piedmont and Venezia. The other restaurant, while Italian by way of its designer from Bologna, is a departure from the pizzas and pastas of the other two and promises to offer a farm-to-table concept with an international flair. Just in time for Art Basel!