New Italian Eatery, Take Twenty

Blumarine

Deep-fried seafood had a heavier batter coating and much less variety than the best fritto mistos I've had in Italy but, except for two fried-to-desiccation shrimp, was well-cooked and near greaseless. Two of the dish's three fish pieces (both skate, I think), however, contained a lot of bones, not something one expects or wants to encounter in breaded fish fillets. Additionally the platter consisted mostly of squid and came with no vegetables save for a few leaves of nondressed wilted mesclun, making the $22.50 tag seem stiff.

Linguine pescatore, the "house suggestion" pasta, came with a choice of white-wine or light tomato sauce. We went for the latter, hoping for something like a barely cooked, barely spiced but bursting-with-fresh-tomato-flavor sauce. The "light" sauce actually was a rather pasty, heavy affair that was, somehow, concentrated yet nearly flavorless. (Where was that Blumarine sauce when we needed it?) But three of the four seafood garnishes -- mussels, tender squid rings, and small pristine clams -- were fresh and nicely cooked; shrimp once again were overdone.

Linguine alla Barese was a true puzzle. Its white-wine sauce, according to the menu, contained garlic, anchovies, and rapini -- ingredients whose tastes are not exactly easy to conceal. But the sauce tasted only of the bitter and overcooked broccoli rabe.

Yes, the fish is fresh, but at these prices the preparation could use freshening up
Steve Satterwhite
Yes, the fish is fresh, but at these prices the preparation could use freshening up
Yes, the fish is fresh, but at these prices the preparation could use freshening up
Steve Satterwhite
Yes, the fish is fresh, but at these prices the preparation could use freshening up

Details

305-532-3678. Open daily 5:00 p.m. to midnight.
754 Washington Ave, Miami Beach

A lemon tartufo (soft ice cream) dessert, rolled in fine crunchy crumbs of amaretto cookie, had too much sugar and not enough citrus for my taste but should please those with real sweet teeth.

The bottom line is that Blumarine does have very fresh fish -- and that's not bad. For the price, though, the preparation should be better. Most great food in Italy does rely on fresh ingredients simply prepared, but not all simply prepared food is great. Some simply is boring.

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