Miami Spice

Miami Spice 2019: Best Italian Restaurants

Carbonara di mare at La Moderna.
Carbonara di mare at La Moderna. Photo by Gyorgy Papp
One of Italy's greatest gifts to the world is food, and in Miami, those gastronomic delights are only a menu away. During Miami Spice, local restaurants are offering the best of Italian cooking at discounted prices.

Pasta, cheese, seafood, and meat await, so make time to try these five Italian menus before Miami Spice ends September 30. Meals cost $23 for lunch and $39 for dinner.
click to enlarge Fisherman's-style branzino at Fiola. - PHOTO BY MARCEL BOUDU
Fisherman's-style branzino at Fiola.
Photo by Marcel Boudu


1500 San Ignacio Ave., Coral Gables

In the Gables, Fiola offers a flavor-packed Spice menu of dishes inspired by several regions in Italy. Begin your three-course journey with one of four appetizer options, including short-rib tortellini in brodo with baby kale, and sea bass ceviche ($5 surcharge). From the dinner menu, order a main course of fisherman's-style branzino with artichokes and red peppers; rigatoni with ragu bolognese and wild mushrooms; potato gnocchi with heirloom tomatoes and basil; or wood-fired Wagyu short rib with baby potatoes. End the meal on a sweet note with creamy terrine of Peruvian chocolate and Sicilian pistachios, or bomboloni with rum butterscotch. Miami Spice is offered for lunch Tuesday through Friday and dinner Sunday through Thursday.
click to enlarge Pollo alla scarpariello at Il Mulino. - IL MULINO
Pollo alla scarpariello at Il Mulino.
Il Mulino

Il Mulino

17875 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach

Inside the chic Aqualina Resort, this swanky eatery is one of the most expensive Italian options in town, making Spice the perfect time to try some of the restaurant's dishes for a fraction of the cost. Choose from classic starters such as baked clams with breadcrumbs; ricotta meatballs with tomato, basil, and Parmesan; and carpaccio with Tuscan-style beef with arugula. Main courses include pollo alla scarpariello sautéed with garlic, white wine, and mushrooms (which on the regular menu costs $38); cavatelli with sausage and broccoli rabe; and veal scaloppine alla parmigiana. Dessert choices are tiramisu, cannoli, and espresso panna cotta. Miami Spice is offered for lunch Monday through Saturday and dinner Sunday through Friday.
click to enlarge Truffle and mushroom risotto at La Moderna. - PHOTO BY GYORGY PAPP
Truffle and mushroom risotto at La Moderna.
Photo by Gyorgy Papp

La Moderna

1874 Bay Rd., Miami Beach

The Spice meal at La Moderna begins with a welcome cocktail, followed by a varied list of options by chef Gianluca Mesano. "This year, I crafted a menu featuring classics enriched by our modern twist, which incorporates genuine Italian flavors into unexpected plant-based creations," he says. To start, choose one of the three carpaccio options: Scottish salmon served with apple, passionfruit, and grape tomato; prime beef with mixed green salad and mustard sauce; and portobello mushrooms with green pepper, julienned fennel, and arugula pesto sauce. Standout entrées are truffle and mushroom risotto; aged rib-eye tagliata served with baby spinach and smoked creamy Pecorino sauce and truffle carpaccio; carbonara di mare; and pan-seared swordfish, stuffed with eggplant and Parmesan cheese and served with grilled asparagus. For dessert, try classic tiramisu, Italian cheesecake with buffalo mozzarella, or vegan lava cake with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream. Miami Spice is offered for dinner daily.
click to enlarge Sardinia Enoteca - PHOTO BY NIELS JOHANSEN
Sardinia Enoteca
Photo by Niels Johansen

Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante

1801 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach


Head to Sunset Harbour any day of the week during Miami Spice for a hearty meal of traditional Sardinian cooking. The menu begins with baby octopus with tomatoes, celery, and black olives, or fregola lamb meatballs. For dinner, main courses are gnocchi verdi with lamb sumo; diver scallops over pesto fregola and crisp greens; and scaloppine of veal medallions with mushrooms, port, and sage. If you're dropping by for lunch, entrée options are rigatoni with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella; bone-in chicken parmigiana; and salmone al forno with Porto Cervo salad. Save room for one of the chef's many dessert selections, including profiteroles, panna cotta, strawberry tiramisu, and crème brûlée. Miami Spice is offered for lunch and dinner daily.
click to enlarge Branzino at Scarpetta. - FONTAINEBLEAU MIAMI BEACH
Branzino at Scarpetta.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach


4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

Celebrity chef Scott Conan's outpost at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach is serving a selection of some of its best-loved signature dishes during Spice. “We wanted to make sure guests visiting us have the opportunity to really get a sense of what Scarpetta is all about," chef de cuisine Christopher Li says. On the list of appetizers, find burrata with pesto and heirloom tomato, as well as Mediterranean octopus with potatoes, capers, olives, and smoked crème. The lineup of entrées includes spaghetti Pomodoro with basil; duck and foie gras ravioli in marsala reduction; roasted branzino; and chicken breast with Swiss chard, pancetta, and black garlic. For a sweet ending, order coconut tapioca with tropical fruit chutney, passion whip and coconut sorbet, or an Amedei bar with hazelnut crunch, passionfruit, and praline ice cream. Miami Spice is offered for dinner daily.
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Juliana Accioly
Contact: Juliana Accioly