First Bites

Il Mulino Opens South of Fifth: Classic Italian in an Art Deco Setting

SoFi just got way more luxurious with Il Mulino, the popular Italian New York outpost, opening its doors today. You might be thinking "but there's an Il Mulino in Sunny Isles at Acqualina," and you're right. But not having to trek to indulge in an overabundance of Italian delights is so much better.

Besides, they are totally different vibes. While Sunny Isles screams old-school Italian, this new spot embraces its Art Deco persona flawlessly. Oversized portraits with Vogue covers add a pop of color to the white dining room that's floored by gray marble and lit up through colossal sphere lamps. Servers speak with an accent (even those that are not Italian) and managers are outfitted in paisley button up shirts to match with the clients. Liberace would have loved it here.

Short Order was invited to preview Il Mulino's offerings before opening day.

See also: MC Kitchen Launches Bar Menu: Shandys, Calzones, and Light Bites

Have a drink at the bar while you wait for your table and nosh on the Parmesan-dusted potato crisps. Just don't have too many because the minute to sit at your table you're about to feel like VIP. Five servers flock to your table, all offering something different -- and you haven't even ordered yet. Relax, this is Il Mulino's way of saying thank you for coming, you're part of the family.

Complimentary antipasti comes in many forms -- a tray of freshly baked bread that allows you to take your pick; Parmesan garlic toast; Italian sausage; spiced fried zucchini; and bruschetta with mussels. This is just the beginning. There's also the Parmigianino-Reggiano that waiters take for a walk around the dining room, carving tableside to go along with the rest of your starters.

Server's keep up the entertainment through the remainder of the meal, encouraging you or shying you away from your options. Ivan from Serbia is really a bartender but for the sake of show they threw him out on the floor for last night's preview. Executive chef Michele Mazza runs the kitchen, making sure servers are relaying the daily Florida-centric specials to guests.

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Carla Torres found her inner gourmand voice while writing for Miami New Times in 2012. She has also worked with Travel & Leisure and Ocean Drive. She balances passions for wine, sweets, yoga, and kayaking.

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