La Bottega in Coconut Grove: Igor Ferraro's Homemade Squid Ink Pasta and Basil Gelato

Igor Ferraro, chef and owner of La Bottega in Coconut Grove, hasn't quite adapted to U.S. culture yet. "It is very different here," he says. "I guess I am more old-school Italian." Originally from Venice, Ferraro founded, operated, and sold several businesses in Italy before making his way to America -- first to California and then to Miami. "This is closer to Italy for my wife and kids to be able to go back and forth. Besides, I got this great chance to do something I love here with La Bottega. So why not?"

The chef cooks from the heart and makes small batches of everything from scratch daily. Short Order had the chance to get a taste of La Bottega a couple of months ago at the Coconut Grove Dish Crawl. Because it was the last destination of the evening and Ferraro had been expecting crawl guests an hour earlier, pasta had been made to order and then was reheated. In kitchen talk, this is no bueno. Chef Ferraro invited Short Order back for a second round and a chance to get up close and personal with his food.

See also: Vegetarian and Vegan Guide to Miami Spice 2014