The Wonder Boys

Quattro is the upcoming season’s hottest ticket on Lincoln Road

The Carros are billed on the restaurant's promotional materials as the "wonder twins," a cute and memorable moniker that's a distinctive selling point for the business. Although I don't mean to diminish the brothers' estimable culinary contributions, Quattro's key players are owners Karim Masri (Hotel Astor and Bambu) and Nicola Siervo (Joia). They previously teamed to create Metro Kitchen + Bar and Mynt, and bring experience as well as a built-in nightlife following with them. The two other partners are Monferrato vintner Nicola Schön, who has assembled Quattro's expensive, all-Italian, 300-bottle wine list (including vibrant varietals from Molise and other relatively unplumbed regions, as well as superior selections from his own Colle Manora vineyard), and former NBA star Rony Seikaly, who isn't expected to put much time in on the floor each night, but provides bench strength.

Backtracking to appetizers: A pristine seafood sampler preciously plated shrimp-in-the-shell; a one-bite square of tuna in a too-cloying raspberry sauce; cuttlefish, a softer cephalopod cousin to squid and octopus; and two skinny bait-size strips of pickled sardine. The quality of the fish was undeniable, but there wasn't much to eat for $18. Another pricey ($15) starter featured carpaccio-thin slices of rare-cooked sirloin steak capped by melted scamorza cheese and a scattering of sweet grape tomatoes. The meat pretty much got lost in the smoke of the scamorza, but the cheese tasted great smeared on a wedge of wonderfully Old World wheat bread with charred, chewy, flour-smattered crust.

Quattro offers a board of cheeses culled from all over the boot, including Taleggio, Tome, Pecorino Sardo, and a Sicilian variety stuffed with red peppers. Although the dish is listed on the menu as a starter, I prefer my formaggi following a meal — and at Quattro, in lieu of dessert. Like the cuisine, the chocolate mousse, panna cotta, crme brùlée, and tiramisu are simple, classic, and freshly prepared on premises. But they are dull dolci, especially a hole-less biscuit of a "black cherry doughnut." The limoncello sponge cake was a little boring, too, though undeniably spongy.

JOE ROCCO

Location Info

Map

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana

1014 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: South Beach

Details

Open for lunch Monday through Friday noon to 3:00 p.m., Sunday noon to 4:00 p.m.; dinner Sunday through Thursday 7:00 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday 7:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
1014 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach; 305-531-4833

Quattro, still in its infancy, is full of promise. The owners seem committed to authentically re-creating rustic Italian cuisine, and the wonder boys have all the right notions about what constitutes good eating. The near future will bring a monthly tasting menu highlighting food and wine from particular regions of Italy, as well as an 80-seat outdoor patio (the twin number of those inside). Judging from the crowds cramming into the restaurant in August, the additional seating will come just in the nick of time; I think it's safe to say Quattro will be the upcoming season's hottest ticket on Lincoln Road. This means more people becoming acquainted with the foods of Piedmont and Lombardy, more success for Masri and Siervo, more work for Nicola and Fabrizio, and a potentially rewarding dining experience for you and your better half.

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