Jumbo garlic-sautéed scampi joined a duo of fish dishes -- grilled salmon fillet with sautéed spinach and pine nuts, and grilled tuna with mashed potatoes and rucola dressing -- and a nightly special as the sole seafood. On one occasion a catch du jour of seared red snapper came lightly browned, suggesting the fish was subjected to what more accurately is described as a sauté. The fresh fillet nonetheless was tasty, with tidbits of diced shrimp and an orange sauce spiked with Grand Marnier and citrus zest. Green beans, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts served as accompaniments to the snapper, which I was surprised to see priced at $29; the two other fish on the menu cost $18 and $19. Then again prices here are as difficult to grasp as olives in a barrel of olive oil. While the fare compares with other successful "moderate" Italian restaurants, most dishes come at a discernibly higher cost. I wouldn't have been so taken aback by the $29 tag if there were something singular about the fish, perhaps a Hawaiian blue prawn plopped on top. Okay, maybe that's too much to hope for but how about a starch on the side?
Desserts get reeled off verbally by the waiter, allowing Grappa to alter the choices slightly from night to night. Tiramisu, cheesecake, and apple crêpe with vanilla ice cream usually are on hand, as is a chilled wedge of lemony ricotta cake dressed with drizzles of raspberry and vanilla sauces. Same vanilla sauce got squirted on a pear tart, the crust of which was imbued with refrigerator odor.
No difficulty getting a grip on your grappa in South Miami
305-668-9119. Open Monday through Thursday noon till 3:00 p.m., dinner 6:00 till 10:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday noon till 3:00 p.m., dinner 6:00 till 11:30 p.m.
If you tend to enjoy the aforementioned foods and don't mind paying Escopazzo prices for an Oggi performance, you might just go home from Grappa a happy fan. I certainly exited smiling, particularly after quaffing a coupla glasses of single-grape grappa. It was then I declared to my wife that if any Sardinians should ever come visit us, this is where we'll take them.