Miami Spice

Miami Spice 2018: The Five Best Italian Restaurants

Scarpetta's polenta
Scarpetta's polenta Courtesy of Scarpetta
Miami Spice continues through September, when diners can indulge in prix fixes ($23 for lunch and brunch, and $39 for dinner) at more than 240 restaurants across town.

Though Miami Spice offers dining experiences in everything from Asian fare to vegan dishes, if you're with a group of picky eaters, Italian restaurants are the way to go. From hearty pasta to fresh branzino, there's usually something to sate every appetite. Here are menu highlights from five restaurants offering Italian cuisine during Spice this year.
Courtesy Cecconi's
1. Cecconi's. The terrace at Cecconi's is nothing short of magical. Tiny white lights twinkle in the breeze as the sound of the surf and a faint scent of salt air waft amid guests' gentle laughter and clinking glasses. The food is based on rustic Italian cuisine. At dinner, begin with the burrata or a pizzetta with truffle, goat cheese, and zucchini blossom. Move on to a steaming plate of black ink casarecce with squid, bottarga, and tomato or IbĂ©rico pork saltimbocca. Dessert is the chef's selection. 4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-507-7902; Miami Spice is offered for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Sunday through Friday.
click to enlarge Make like Lady and the Tramp at Scarpetta. - PHOTO BY MICHAEL PISARRI
Make like Lady and the Tramp at Scarpetta.
Photo by Michael Pisarri
2. Scarpetta. Celebrity chef Scott Conant's restaurant at the Fontainebleau offers branzino, roast chicken, and short-rib agnolotti, but it's the simple spaghetti with tomato and basil for which the restaurant is known, so be prepared to enjoy your carbs guilt-free. Start with the creamy polenta or burrata, and finish lightly with coconut panna cotta. 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-4660; Miami Spice is offered for dinner daily.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss