More than a year and a half after opening Fi’lia at the SLS Brickell, Michael Schwartz has dived into Miami's brunch scene with Italian-inspired small plates, bottomless cocktails, and a South Beach-style DJ in the restaurant's courtyard.
Fi'lia, which means "daughter" in Italian, is awash in golden hues at brunch time as sunshine streams through floor-to-ceiling windows and shimmers off the restaurant's sleek wood furnishings.
Unlike rowdier brunches across Biscayne Bay, Fi'lia is a welcoming atmosphere for friends, couples, and families. Plates are divided among small, large, and sweets and are meant to be shared, encouraging diners to try a variety of items versus sticking to a single entrée.
Begin with a handful of small dishes. Some of the restaurant's best sellers are the crispy chickpea, a fried egg with spiced parsley aioli served atop a crunchy, falafel-like patty ($9); creamy avocado toast with a poached egg on multigrain ($10); lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry compote ($8); and smoked wild salmon crostini finished with citrus, basil, ricotta, radish, and capers ($15). A scoop of chilled overnight oats, served in a tall glass, bursts with fruity, nutty, and maple flavors ($9).
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As for larger plates, Fi'lia offers a hearty breakfast pizza crowned with spiced sausage, bacon, potato, fontina, and egg ($18). It's large enough to feed a family of four, especially after ordering a few starters. There's also spaghetti cacio e pepe ($19); wood-grilled steak and eggs ($19); grilled octopus ($18); and rigatoni bolognese with beef, veal, pork, and Parmesan ($20).
Top off the meal with a plate of warm zeppoles. The deep-fried Italian dough balls come coated in brown sugar and cinnamon powder sugar ($7). Or try a jar of panna cotta blended with lemon, thyme, and pine nuts ($8). Wash it down with bottomless bloody marys or mimosas for $25.
Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz. At the SLS Brickell, 1300 S Miami Ave., Miami; 305-912-1729; sbe.com. Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.