Best of Miami 2009 Preview: Best Inexpensive Italian Restaurant

Best of Miami 2009 Preview: Best Inexpensive Italian Restaurant
Jacob Katel

Best Inexpensive Italian Restaurant
2506 NW Second Ave.
Miami 33127

The little man felt very bad,
One meatball was all he had.
And in his dreams, he hears that call:
"You gets no bread with one meatball."

Owing to this damn recession, it's appropriate to drag out Depression-era ditties like the one popularized by Josh White in 1944. And it has also reached the point when one meatball for $15 just doesn't cut it anymore. Joey's, a quaint 70-seat Wynwood café, solves this Italian-food-in-tough-times dilemma. For one thing, it doesn't serve meatballs. But it does dish Venetian chef Ivo Mazzon's freshly made pastas -- such as spaghetti pomodoro, which reminds us of the pure, simple aromatic appeal of perfectly cooked semolina with ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and a hint of garlic and olive oil. And try putting this in your red sauce: A hefty half-order can be relished for $5, and a larger portion is $7. Add a small house salad splashed with fresh orange juice-olive oil dressing for $3. Or splurge and try a grilled sirloin steak with softly braised spinach, fennel, and Swiss chard ($16). A great bottle of wine from a boutique Italian vintner for less than $40? Not a problem, nor is a glass of it for under $10. Honest food, fantastic value, an outdoor patio wrapped in foliage, and convenient hours -- open for lunch and dinner till 10 p.m. weekdays and 11:30 p.m. weekends. Depression? Joey's is the perfect place to fuhgeddaboutit.

Full list of winners June 10 via, June 11 on newsstands.

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