When in Roma

Sapori di Roma Ristorante Italiano e Pizzeria

Chicken and veal selections are reasonable enough at $12.95 to $14.95, but some items appear overpriced -- relative to this sort of restaurant, that is. A glass of house wine, for instance, poured from a bottle of the size usually reserved for christening battleships, is no bargain at $6. Nor is any $16.95 pasta, even as a main course, that doesn't include shellfish, truffles, or some other ritzy frill. As far as the $2.50 shot of espresso -- that would have been all right if I had ordered one. In fact it was brought to me by a food runner without any request on my part. I accepted it because, as this had been my third visit, I thought it to be Sapori's gesture of goodwill toward what might have appeared to them to be a newly acquired regular. Then the waiter came along a few minutes (and few sips) later to ask if I had ordered the espresso. "No, I thought it was a treat," I replied. He told me it was supposed to be for another table, then asked if it was okay.

"Yeah, fine, I was thinking of ordering a cappuccino."

"Do you want a cappuccino?"

There are some standouts, but most dishes sink into the anonymity of average Italian fare
Steve Satterwhite
There are some standouts, but most dishes sink into the anonymity of average Italian fare
There are some standouts, but most dishes sink into the anonymity of average Italian fare
Steve Satterwhite
There are some standouts, but most dishes sink into the anonymity of average Italian fare
There are some standouts, but most dishes sink into the anonymity of average Italian fare
Steve Satterwhite
There are some standouts, but most dishes sink into the anonymity of average Italian fare

Location Info

Map

Sapori Di Roma

6984 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33141

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Mid/North Beach

Details

305-868-7001. Open daily for dinner Sunday through Thursday 4:00 to 11:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4:00 p.m. to midnight.
6984 Collins Ave, Miami Beach

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"No thanks."

"Want some hot milk for the espresso?"

"No thanks, I'm really finished with it."

"Well," the waiter said with a shrug and another of his smiles when presenting me with the check, "you got an espresso instead of a cappuccino" -- his way of letting me know I had been charged. It's not technically wrong to have billed me, but it would have been a more generous gesture to have comped the coffee I didn't order -- and a savvier business decision as well in light of Sapori's numerous empty seats. Ditto the way our ravioli mixup was handled on the first visit.

My tipster correctly identified some of Sapori's strong points (homemade food, charming ambiance), but I'm not so sure about the inexpensive part. A single diner who orders a glass of house wine, a fried calamari appetizer, the pasta special as a main course, a cannoli, and cappuccino, would end up paying, with tax and tip, about $50; skip the appetizer and it's still $40. I grew up in a regular old Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, and when I return to visit I can still have a better dinner than Sapori offers for less than that. Truth is I can get superior Italian fare for the same money or less at pasta places right here on the Beach. My cat is pointing out some of them right now.

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