No need to book that trip to Italy. Instead, visit Brickell City Centre's La Centrale this weekend for an Italian-style bistro brunch. Snack on homemade pastries while sipping a cappuccino and contemplating an order of the osso buco Benedict or the avocado toast with sautéed zucchini.
Taking place inside the food hall's first-floor caffè from open till close, brunch offers a medium-size menu of appetizers, entrées, and sweets. Begin with the cestino dolce, a daily selection of four baked goods, which might include croissants, petite Nutella-filled muffins, and apple turnovers ($12).
Then consider a thick slice of avocado toast ($15). It's made by layering lightly toasted whole-grain bread with sautéed zucchini noodles, stracciatella, roasted cherry tomatoes, a half scoop of avocado, and two poached eggs. For something heartier, opt for the osso buco Benedict, made with braised veal shank, poached eggs, and spinach on slices of focaccia with hollandaise ($16). There's also L'Americana, the caffè's interpretation of an American-style breakfast, with two eggs, lemon-Parmesan potatoes, and smoked pancetta (Italian bacon) or Tuscan sausage ($13).
If you're in the mood for lunch, the caffè offers a six-ounce hamburger topped with eggplant parmigiana and scamorza cheese ($17); grilled branzino with lemons, capers, crushed potato-cauliflower, and toasted pine nuts ($27); and filet mignon with salsa verde and fries ($36).
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For dessert, return to the sweets section for a bombolone, a warm Italian doughnut filled with Nutella ($6); or hazelnut granola parfait garnished with berry compote and honey ($9).
As for cocktails, sip an Aperol spritz with prosecco and orange, or a Montenegro mule, containing ginger beer and lime juice. Both are priced at $10. Drink unlimited mimosas, prosecco, or bloody marys within a two-hour period for $20. The clock starts after the first drink is ordered.
Visit the caffè during the week for La Centrale's Summer in Sicily pop-up, where the first-floor space transforms into a Sicilian carnival offering a host of treats and fun activations Monday through Friday. A build-your-own cannoli bar provides 15 toppings and fillings that range from traditional mascarpone cream to Pop Rocks, as well as a 24-karat gold-leaf shell ($4.45 and up), while a boozy granita cart serves brain-freeze versions of favorite Italian cocktails such as Aperol spritzes and negronis ($10).
Brunch at La Centrale's Caffè. 601 S. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-720-2401; lacentralemiami.com. Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.