Joey's is the cool, calm, and collected kid on Wynwood's graffiti-splashed NE Second Avenue. The contemporary Italian cafe opened in 2008 with the tagline, "Here comes the neighborhood."
Even power couple Jay Z and Beyonce stopped by while recently visiting the Magic City. So just what makes Joey's so special?
A visit to Joey's always comes with surprises. Six years after opening, one thing that's never changed is that specials vary daily. So if you're in the neighborhood but are tired of their pizza because you've had it every day for the past week -- we've done it, don't judge -- don't fret. In addition to specials, Joey's also has paninis, antipasti, entrees, and freshly-made pasta.
During this time of year, you'll want to sit in the outside terrace. Green shrubs, emerald turf, and white tablecloths make Miami seem like a distant place. Nearby conversations ring with Catalan, Venezuelan, and Italian accents. Joey's is an eclectic place -- the kind you visit with family and friends to indulge in a good bottle of wine from a list compiled by owner Joey Goldman himself.
During a recent visit, we sampled the seafood appetizer special with scallops, Grecian octopus, and lemon crab meat accompanied with croutons, greens, and aurora sauce ($20).
Any of Joey's pizza's are worth your while, but you'll definitely want to try their newest creation, dubbed Joey's ($16.50). "We had a lot of ingredients on this pizza before," says general manager Juan LoMedico. "There was too much going on, so we revamped it and made it classic, simple Italian."
The pizza has nothing but tomato sauce, mozzarella, portobello mushrooms, shallots, and oregano. Every bite tastes like a little piece of heaven.
The black and white spaghetti with lobster really caught our attention. As we were finishing up our pizza, it arrived at our neighbor's table. That's when we knew we had made the right choice. Half of a Maine lobster tops the perfectly al dente pasta. It's bathed in a light, spicy sauce ($24).
Our only issue? It isn't a regular menu item -- so we can't have it any time we want.
Urugayan certified organic vacuo, AKA flank steak -- served with truffle mousse and sautéed garlic green beans ($30) -- is a lovely dish.
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So what will be written on the chalkboard specials board during your visit? Whatever it is, we'd say: Go with that and a side of pizza.
Chances are if you live in Miami, then you've been to Joey's, or at least walked by.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha