La Bottega in Coconut Grove: Igor Ferraro's Homemade Squid Ink Pasta and Basil Gelato

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Stuffed piquillo peppers are ultra-Spanish, but Ferraro stuffs his one-bite wonders with goat cheese, prosciutto, and portobello mushrooms. Romesco sauce adds a kick. The tasting menu provides only a sampling, but we could have had a full serving of these bad boys ($13).

Our visit happened to fall during lobster season, which meant Ferraro had some crustaceans waiting to be devoured. The lobster was somewhat puréed into a minced-like texture and then stuffed into handmade ravioli. Lobster bisque accompanied it.

Pasta del pescatore takes homemade fettuccine and adds a sprinkle of black squid ink to the dough to make the pasta black and piquant with briny flavor. The al dente pasta is tossed with sea scallops, shrimp, olives, cherry tomatoes, basil, and squid for a true taste of the ocean. This is one of those renditions Ferraro just whipped up, although a similar black pasta can be found on the menu.

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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.