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!
Serafina Dream South Beach
1111 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139
After opening locations in Pennsylvania and Brazil after covering almost all of New York with their popular Northern Italian-style eateries, Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato have finally arrived in Miami fulfilling the pact they made to serve the best pizza and pasta in the world. Located inside the Dream South Beach hotel, the dining room is wrapped with banquettes lining the frescoed walls, courtesy of artist Michela Martello. The menu promises over twenty four varieties of pizza that range from variations on the classic Margherita to a truffle aficionado’s dream topped with robiola, fontina, and truffle cheese with truffle oil and sliced black truffles. Truffle lovers will also go crazy for Serafina’s carpaccio di filetto con salsa di tartufi neri made with sliced filet mignon served with a warm black truffle sauce and boiled potatoes. Homemade pastas will include paglia e fieno, made to resemble straw and hay, and porcini ravioli. The restaurant will also feature a bar serving cocktails and a wine list curated by sommelier Alessandra Rotondi, as well as a breakfast service featuring fritatas and fresh fruit juices. Intending to become a local go-to place for great Italian food on the Beach, Serafina will also offer daily takeout with kitchen-to-car service for the foodie on the go.
1690 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139
This Italian eatery doesn’t officially open until January of 2013, and their menu is still in development, but knowing that Dolce is the handiwork of LDV Hospitality, who brought us the beloved Scarpetta, it is worth knowing that this SoBe debutant will be offering a preview menu during Art Basel from December 3rd to December 9th. Located in the newly-renovated 1940’s hotel, Gale South Beach, Dolce promises to offer diners three separate dining areas that include an enclosed outdoor terrace, a lower level café and bar, and an upper level dining room with an open kitchen where diners can watch fresh mozzarella being made and pizzas coming out of the wood-burning oven. Chef Paolo Dorigato, who has manned the kitchens at several celebrated restaurants in NYC, will be offering a moderately priced menu starting with a large selection of generously portioned antipasti that will include grilled octopus with chickpeas and farro. Nevertheless, the creative pastas are what really seem to shine, such as short rib cannelloni with porcini cream, pappardelle with duck ragù, and baby spinach and pumpkin ravioli with smoked ricotta. The Art Basel preview will include a limited menu served in the lower level café, and judging from the dishes mentioned, Art Basel will be the perfect tease to get us really excited about this restaurant come January.
The Local House
400 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Located in the Sense Hotel, acclaimed Bolognese interior designer, Fabrizio Cocchi, is responsible for the cozy interiors reminiscent of a beachside home at this new South of Fifth eatery. Manager Patricia Trias, a resident of SoFi, saw the need for a neighborhood restaurant that served local food to local people, which is where Chef Guily Booth stepped in with creative dishes using local ingredients. A dish of Cobia Miso “POP” with ginger soy, celery butter purée and pancetta crumbs sounds intriguing, as does Buffalo Sweet & Sour Pork Wings with cauliflower mash and grilled pineapple. The Local House will also have a raw bar and crudo menu featuring shellfish, ceviches, and carpaccio, as well as offer brunch all week long.