Francesco Belcaro and Pietro Morelli wanted to create "a quality market for Italian products only," as well as a place to taste, live, and share the feeling of what it's like to be in Italy. Their establishment, Made in Italy, is just that.
The restaurant and market opened this past Friday, with almost 500 people showing up for a party that included prosecco, meats, cheeses, and a DJ. It's located at 10 NE 27th St., near Suviche and Pride and Joy. A machine in the front will even post a picture of you at the establishment on Facebook or Twitter.
Doors at the rear and front make for either a quick way to grab a basket for dinner or a place to have a glass of wine with an aperitivo while you order off the menu.
Made in Italy carries 18 types of cured meats that can be sliced to order. There are also 22 cheeses, along with homemade artisanal breads and antipasti. Sommelier Sergio Russo plans to hosts a free winetasting daily at 1 p.m. He will also offer samples of a variety of meats, cheeses, and olive oils.
What the owners call an "Italian wine library" will house up to 2,000 bottles (with prices ranging from $14 to $700) and two enomatic machines, one for white and one for red. Decor showpieces include a grand, 40-foot tamarind-wood table and three stunning Murano glass chandeliers. Wines are served in either Riedel, Stolzle, or Ivv glassware.
Here's how you order food: First, you stop at the wine bar to request a glass. Next, you are given a handmade wooden tray that holds your silverware, a wine stem, and a plate with food. Then you take it to your table. Some notable menu items are the Taviata salad ($12), made with imported preserved tuna with romaine, cannellini beans, celery, and tomatoes dressed with olive oil, and Aida salad ($12), featuring fresh ricotta, shaved fennel, orange segments, and lemon dressing. Focaccia, ciabatta, and gluten-free baguette are available bread options for the five sandwiches offered; the Laziale comes with porchetta, Asiago, and tomatoes ($9), and the Veloce ($13) contains camber delle Langhe and speck.
The back of the restaurant/market is themed for Puglia, a region at the heel of the boot on the Adriatic Sea. You can choose a crate of Puglian products to take home to make dinner. One such crate costs $99 and contains pasta, bread, sauce, tomatoes, roasted eggplant, roasted red pepper, and olive oil. The region will rotate monthly.
The shelves in the market area display niche regional favorites of Italy. Marco Todoerti, the manager, or one of his staff members will walk you through. There are eight pastas, many types of rice, and breadsticks in walnut, corn, and rosemary flavors -- all made in Italy. A wide array of olive oils and vinegars is also available. One standout is the Bonini vinegar made by Giugiaro, which is basically the Lamborghini of vinegars.
There's also an area of sauces, truffled oils, vegetables, and many other Italian specialty products.
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The space itself is rustic, gorgeous, and welcoming, and the staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Each night they will host a different concept.
Mondays will include discussions of the dinner crates. Tuesdays, an Italian chef will host a cooking class. Wednesdays, there will also be cooking classes. Thursdays will be Italian wine nights. Friday will be aperitivo night, and Saturday will just be Wynwood chill.
Hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; during Second Saturday Art Walk, the restaurant will remain open until 11 p.m. The space can also be rented for private events.