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| Chefs |

Macchialina to Launch Red Sauce Sundays, Open New Outpost

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After enduring nearly a year of suffering from the construction on Alton Road, Macchialina Taverna Rustica has some exciting news to share. Not only has the restaurant's view improved significantly, but also, beginning February 8, it will debut a "Red Sauce Sundays" menu. What's more, owners Michael Pirolo (chef) and Jen Chaefsky (general manager) will open a second outpost in Asheville, North Carolina, this spring.

The duo will spend a couple of months a year at the new location, but Pirolo says Miami is still home. And speaking of home, the chef's inspiration for Red Sauce Sundays comes from the elaborate meals Italians typically serve at their houses Sunday evenings. "It's a huge production," he says.

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To get the full experience, it's recommended that everyone at the table order the $39-per-person family-style meal. Included in the dinner are wild green salad with olive oil and

vinegar, flank steak rolled with pine nuts and Parmesan, veal cheek and pork meatballs, spicy Italian sausage, rigatoni in red sauce, and garlic bread. Last but not least, there's Macchialina's famous tiramisu, featuring a jar layered with chocolate crumbles and espresso granita. Talk about a huge production.

The intimate, 60-seat eatery is known for its unique take on traditional Italian dishes, so we're salivating in anticipation of their Sunday-evening service. If you're interested in learning some of Pirolo's tricks of the trade, tickets are still available for the Barilla Interactive Lunch he's hosting as part of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. On February 21 at the Biltmore Hotel, the Queens-born chef will teach and demonstrate while attendees prepare their own dishes.

"I'm nervous and excited about the Barilla lunch because the 300 guests have to cook their own meal under my instruction, so I hope I'm clear enough," Pirolo says. "It's hard enough to get three pros to do it, let alone 300 people."

Macchialina used to be part of the Pubbelly Restaurant Group (Pubbelly, Pubbelly Sushi, L'echon Brasserie, and Barceloneta), but a little more than a year ago, Pirolo and Chaefsky parted ways with their partners. A former chef at Scott Conant's Scarpetta at the Fontainebleau, Pirolo says the amicable split was a result of a too-many-cooks-spoil-the-broth type of situation. He adds that the South Beach eatery has grown a lot since the split. Case in point: a second location in Asheville. What can we say except salute!

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