Best Expensive Italian - 2013
Call it an overdue win. But can you argue for any other place? At Scarpetta — Scott Conant's Miami Beach outpost at the Fontainebleau helmed by chef de cuisine Nina Compton — indulging in Italian cuisine comes at a steep price, but it's well worth it. The restaurant simply excels at serving clean flavors that aren't dumbed down for the American palate. The best example of this is the deceivingly simple spaghetti in a sauce of tomato and basil ($24). How could this be different from the canned stuff? One bite of the freshly made pasta covered in delectable red sauce, and "La Traviata" will echo in your mind. Another favorite is garganelli with English peas, pancetta, and a quail egg for extra richness ($28). But what is most surprising is that even after its 2008 opening and a changing of the kitchen guard in 2012, Scarpetta hasn't skipped a beat. It continues to serve Conant's greatest hits cooked to perfection. Charge it to the AmEx, Miami. This meal is worth it.