Design District's Vino e Olio Closes UPDATED

Eater reports that Vino e Olio, the Design District's fairly new 220-seat Italian eatery, has closed. According to Eater, executive chef Andrea Menichetti is leaving to open a restaurant in another city. "Vino e Olio was a wonderful experience for me, but I am now looking forward to pursuing other culinary opportunities where I can cook my food in a more intimate setting," Menichetti said.

Vino e Olio has had its share of inconsistent food. In a December 2010 review of the bistro, Lee Klein gave it mixed ratings, noting, "The food, for instance, is more typical of what you would find on your plate at a club than a fine-dining venue."

Soon after, Chef Menichetti called in the big guns -- his mother, a two-Michelin-star-rated chef, to give him some pointers. His parents, Valeria Piccini and Maurizio Menichetti, founded Da Caino restaurant in Maremma. Alas, Mama had to go back home to tend to her own flock, and Vino e Olio's Menichetti was left to his own devices.

This closing comes as a bit of a surprise because Vino e Olio recently announced a foray into lunch, and chefs Menichetti and Riccardo Rossi represented Vino e Olio at Bali Ha'i at the Kampong last weekend when they presented a delicious chilled tomato-basil soup

A visit to the eatery's website is diverted to the PR firm Sachs & Sachs. Media rep Andrew Sachs could not be reached for comment.

With the opening of establishments such as Michael's Geniune Food & Drink and Sra. Martinez, the Design District has quickly grown into the hottest restaurant neighborhood in Miami. But other eateries, such as Pacific Time and Vino e Olio, have not fared as well. Could it be that the Design District has reached its peak, or is it merely the fact that restaurants deemed simply "OK" can't exist in the shadows of great chefs like Michael Schwartz and Michelle Bernstein?

Update: The Vino e Olio Facebook page has been updated to read "Vino & Olio will be suspending all operations until further notice. Thank you all for your support, and we hope to serve you again soon."

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss