Tricolore Beach

Specchio Café

Two specials were superior. Fresh snapper (when I asked how fresh, our waiter rolled his eyes to one side, and sighed in gentle private orgasm -- which proved to mean fresher than anything I've recently had in any specialized fish house) came perfectly cooked, complemented by a flavorful but not overwhelming Italian take on beurre blanc, with capers and lemon. And large homemade ravioli, almost translucent yet al dente skins stuffed with rich ricotta and topped with a full-of-finesse shiitake/asparagus cream sauce, was the kind of dish that makes a restaurant reviewer feel sorry she has to share.

A little taste of real Italy on the north beaches
Steve Satterwhite
A little taste of real Italy on the north beaches

Location Info


Specchio Café

9485 Harding Ave.
Surfside, FL 33154

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: North Dade


305-865-5653. Open daily for dinner 5:00 to 11:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday for lunch noon to 3:00 p.m.
9485 Harding Ave, Surfside

For dessert we tried a lovely light, not-too-sweet, ricotta cheesecake, a refreshing firm poached pear with vanilla gelato, and a much less cloying than usual tiramisu -- the last of which our expansive waiter brought, with a smile and a flourish, on the house. Unfortunately we had to rush a bit through these treats; Surfside may indeed have more authentically Italian-style food than South Beach, but the town's main-street parking meters are authentically SoBe-style all the way, consuming quarters twenty-four hours a day, one every fifteen minutes, with an annoying two-hour limit. And this was too bad, because Specchio is not a typical, eat-and-run-in-an-hour, American restaurant. It's the kind of classic café one finds in every Italian town square, where the casual friendliness could easily seduce one into staying, sipping, and supping all night.

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