Picture the coastal towns of Italy: weathered pastel buildings overlooking a turquoise sea. Stepping into Bellini, you find a similar aesthetic. The same palette fills a yacht-inspired dining room of leather-upholstered barstools, striped booths, and floor-to-ceiling windows framing the waters of Biscayne Bay.
"Our goal was to create a relaxed yet elegant feel inspired by our travels through Italy," says Ignazio Cipriani, who runs the restaurant with his brother Maggio. "Guests can start their evening with a drink at Il Giardino, the courtyard on the lobby level, then move up to the rooftop for a meal
The 1,500-square-foot eatery, whose space was designed by Swedish interior architect Martin Brudnizki, is named for the sparkling cocktail invented at the famous Venice hangout Harry's Bar, founded by the brothers' great-grandfather in the early 1930s.
Bellini is nestled inside the family's Mr. C hotel in Coconut Grove, the brand's third outpost in the States. Known locally for its restaurant in downtown Miami, Cipriani, the group also operates restaurants, event spaces, clubs, and residences nationwide and in ten other countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
At Bellini, rustic Italian fare is served on white-and-blue hand-painted ceramic plates. Selections include antipasti such as homemade polpettine with tomato sauce and crostini ($19), sautéed clams alla Veneziana ($24), and a crudo of sashimi-style tuna and whitefish ($25).
Main-course highlights are tagliardi with black truffle ($37), classic bucatini
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To end your meal on a sweet note, order the creme brûlée, made here with lemon zest, or profiterole with ice cream ($12 each). Bellini also boasts a patio for alfresco dining, as well as poolside seating and a menu of Italian bites and homemade pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven.
There's wine, whiskey, rum, and cachaça to sip as you soak up the atmosphere. The bar also
Other Italian-inspired cocktails are the Contessa, made with
Bellini. 2988 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove; 305-800-7672; mrccoconutgrove.com. Daily 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.