Chef Constantine De Lucia is returning to his Momi Ramen turf and going back to his native roots with Tino's, an affordable Italian restaurant complete with wine garden at the former Momi Oyster location (1040 S. Miami Ave.) in Brickell.
This time, De Lucia will take over the space still owned by Momi's Jeffrey Chen with his own concept. "As a chef who has lived in Brickell for six years, I have been lucky enough for a friend and mentor like Jeffery Chen to give me this opportunity. I have seen a huge void in quality food at a valued price, especially pizza and pasta. Wine shops and wine bars in Brickell are non-existent. I'm really just filling a void for the neighborhood I live in." According to De Lucia, the restaurant will be open within the next 30 days.
Most recently, De Lucia was the executive chef at Ichimi Ramen. The chef left the Coral Gables restaurant after only a few months. According to De Lucia, his departure was due to contract negotiation issues.
Tino's will focus on small plates including pasta, pizza and gyoza. A wine garden will be set up between the restaurant and Sushi Maki, where up to 100 people can enjoy al fresco dining and a few glasses of vino. Delivery will also be a major focus, where wine can arrive at your door.
The focal point of Tino's will be its handcrafted wood burning oven called Bertha, named after De Lucia's great grandmother. Located right at the entrance, the oven is "aging" for two weeks. When ready, the Stefano Ferrara oven can top out at 900 degrees. That high temperature can bake a pie in 90 seconds.
Pizzas will be crafted with imported Italian ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, truffles and Molino Polselli flour ranging from $8-$18 a pie. Guests will also have the option between ordering a Neapolitan which De Lucia refers to as having a "soupy" center or crispy Northern Italian style. Bread will also be baked in the oven daily.
Homemade pastas will include classics such as puttanesca and bolognese with some twists like a carbonara draped by a smoked egg yolk bottarga. Small plates will start at a budget-friendly $5 and reach as high as $14. De Lucia will also be collaborating with the Momi's Chen for a pork and chicken gyoza topped with truffle mushroom sauce called, Momi Marco Polo gyoza ($14).
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For dessert, crustoli ($7) is the name of the game. Constantine describes it as handkerchief-thin, sweet, pasta bows that are golden fried and covered in confectionery sugar.
As far as drinks go, the wine program will focus on highlighting boutique vineyard across the world with 50-60 selections. Bottles will start at $15 and cost $5 per glass.
Tinos' will be open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner and late night service from Thursday though Saturday.