Miami Beach's South of the Fifth neighborhood welcomes the addition of a bright, casual spot named for owners Kathy and Anthony Arrighi's love of the name Gabrielle.
Call Me Gaby is reminiscent of a villa on the French Riviera, complete with blooming bougainvillea and a large patio filled with plush lounge seating overflowing with bright floral pillows, teak tables, and black and white striped umbrellas warding off the Florida sun. The indoor dining room is equally inviting, albeit smaller, with a wall lined with wine bottles and a quaint but well-stocked bar.
“I wanted to build a place that I would want to go to,” Kathy says, “a place that was missing from our neighborhood." The food is simple and unpretentious, with a heavy focus on quality ingredients, most of which are imported from Italy.
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Pizza takes center stage here. The dough undergoes an intense 72 hours of leavening. The menu includes classic pies such as the Romana ($14 for personal size, $27 for large), topped with San Marzano tomatoes, anchovies, capers, black olives, imported extra-virgin olive oil, and the Diavola ($16), with San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte, Calabrese salami, and extra-virgin olive oil. Gourmet pizzas offer more adventurous creations, such as the Carla ($17), made with mortadella, basil pesto, and pistachio crumble, and the Gina ($18), with fior di latte, baked potatoes, chiodini mushrooms, and stracciatella. The owners' French influence is evident throughout, but especially so in the pizzaladiere ($16), a pie based on the classic Provençal dish with caramelized onion, anchovies, and black olives.
There is plenty to enjoy beyond light and crusty pizzas. Salads such as the tomato in a jar ($16), with tricolor tomatoes, diced cucumber, julienned bell pepper, red onions, black olives, and lemon dressing, and the beet salad ($16), with fresh Italian Caprino cheese, roasted baby beets, hazelnut vinaigrette, and orange segments, are fantastic starters. Homemade gnocchi with Gorgonzola cream ($18) and fiocchetti alle pere e tarfuto ($21), a dish of handmade pasta filled with truffle cream, caramelized pear, Parmigiano-Reggiano fondue, and balsamic vinegar, are other options. For dessert, try the Sabrina ($12), a pizza crust topped with orange jam, sliced oranges, dark chocolate shavings, powdered sugar, and mint.
A fine selection of wines is available by the bottle and the glass, as are imported and domestic beers. Cocktails include the Italian Job ($14), made with limoncello, Aperol, amaretto, fresh grapefruit juice, and lime, and the Gaby margarita ($15), a spicy version of the classic, made with tequila, mezcal, jalapeño-infused Green Chartreuse, fresh cucumber, and lime juice.
Call Me Gaby. 22 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-531-4800; callmegaby.com. Sunday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to midnight.