It was by sheer accident that we stumbled upon a newly opened Il Grissino Ristorante in Coral Gables. Just more than a week old, the Italian restaurant occupies the space that formerly housed La Gastronomia and an adjoining shop.
There's one thing the new place has certainly done well: transformed the rustic look of the old space into clean-lined and modern.
Appetizers include tuna and beef carpaccios, a burrata with grape tomatoes and cipollini onions ($14), and pan-seared sea scallops with parsley, capers, garlic, and white wine ($12). A warm octopus salad with homemade pesto sauce and boiled potatoes ($13) from the salads section sounded interesting.
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We liked a pacceri al ragù Montalcino ($13), with rich and savory beef ragù. Breaded lamb chops topped with chopped tomatoes and mint ($19) from the terra (earth) section of the menu was unfortunately underseasoned.
The menu also includes about 15 pizzas, from your basic Margherita and Napoli to the Bianca Neve, which is topped with mozzarella, mascarpone, fresh mushrooms, ham, and truffle oil. Prices for pizza range from $11.50 to $14.50.
Il Grissino is open for lunch and dinner.
127 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables