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Cipriani Downtown Miami Opens Friday: We Get a First Look (Photos)

Miami is about to get a dose of classic style when Cipriani Downtown Miami opens tomorrow, Friday, May 10.

The restaurant, located in Icon Brickell Miami, is a stunner. Decorated by Florentine architect Michele Bonan, it has a nautical theme, complete with portholes at the bar and windows that seem to bring the river into the dining room.

There's also a glamour that many Miami restaurants, as stylish as they may be, lack. Enter and be transported wherever your fantasies will take you. Some will see a fabulous yacht circa Jay Gatsby; some will see Don Draper seducing a lover or a client; some will see Hemingway hobnobbing with Lauren Bacall.

While the restaurant is not yet open, waiters in crisp white jackets attended to the few guests, mostly friends of the Cipriani family, eager to refill a glass, answer a question, possibly suggest a Bellini.

Though founder Guiseppe Cipriani has since passed, three younger generations of Ciprianis are still very much hands-on owner/operators. The restaurants are famous for attracting writers, actors, models, royalty, and captains of industry as well as regular people. They are also famous for being the birthplace of both the Bellini and carpaccio, both created by Guiseppe Cipriani.

The food, as you would expect, is mostly Italian, with some lighter fare and a sprinkling of Japanese items from their new Yotto Japanese restaurant, like the tuna tataki salad with mixed leaves and tosazu dressing ($25).

Though the menu changes daily, some dishes remain on the menu like the baked tagliolini with Praga ham ($23).

Carpaccio alla Cipriani ($24) was invented in 1950 by Guiseppe Cipriani and named after the artist Vittore Carpaccio, the Renaissance painter who was known for using the colors red and white in his art.

The Bellini ($17) was also invented by Cipriani in 1948, as a way of incorporating local Italian white peaches into a cocktail.

Desserts include sorbets in a rotating rainbow of fruit flavors.

Cipriani opens its doors this Friday and will be open seven days a week from noon to midnight. A second level with outdoor patio should be completed by early summer.

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