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Dena Marino, chef and co-owner of the Italian restaurant MC Kitchen, in the Design District, arrived in Miami after working with Michael Chiarello in California's Napa Valley, as well as running a few kitchens of her own in Aspen, Colorado. At her first Miami restaurant, Marino is doing something more honest and genuine than that of other eateries with similar cuisine. In her roasted octopus dish, a large Spanish mollusk is quick-roasted in the Wood Stone-brand oven and then dressed copiously with Tuscan extra-virgin olive oil, fresh red pepper, and garlic. The tentacles are charred quickly, producing an aroma of smoke so potent its flavors resemble meat more than fish. Pastas include fiocchi -- purses of fresh pasta, stuffed with fragrant roasted pear -- which are laced with a white truffle cream as well as an ivory pool of melted cheeses: robiola, grana padano, ricotta, and Taleggio. Drink options succeed with beer-based cocktails, in addition to a varied wine selection and a well-curated craft beer menu, including a focus on the Delaware-based brewery Dogfish Head. Marino's cooking is an intimate balance of sophistication and honesty. And it's this graceful simplicity that garners her the title of the Design District's new reigning queen.