Via Verdi partners: Mixologist Cristiano Vezzoli (left), chef Fabrizio Carro, and chef Nicola Carro
Biscayne Boulevard and Naples, Italy, have a lot in common. OK, there are no cobblestone streets in the Magic City's MiMo neighborhood, but with a little imagination, you can see more similarities than differences. There are ruins of some formerly beautiful buildings, for example, and you're sure to spot more than one scooter whizzing by. Plus, if you're on the corner of NE 69th Street and Biscayne on a weekend afternoon, you'll probably hear some Italian chatter in the air. That's the sound of Via Verdi's extended family eating and laughing on the terrace, enjoying the restaurant's version of brunch. Twins Nicola and Fabrizio Carro, along with partner Cristiano Vezzoli, have opened a charming space filled with rustic woods and modern touches. You can sit on the terrace or in the dining room (perhaps you'll opt for the intimate two-top inside the wine closet). The Aperol spritz ($9 at brunch) — sweet, bubbly, and bitter — is a perfect drink (and a helluva metaphor for life itself). Have some assaggi (small plates) to start. Try the polenta fries (which rest in a truffle Parmesan cream), some ricotta, a polpettine (one large and tender veal meatball), and some olives. Choose any five for $23. Then it's on to a steaming plate of gnocchi topped with Gorgonzola sauce ($15) before ending the meal with authentic Italian cheesecake. Here, as in Italy, the plates keep coming, so you'll get cookies with your check — a dolce ending to your meal.