Brickell isn't exactly a dining destination, but Tony Gallo and Pietro Vardeu hope to change that perception. If those names ring a bell, it's likely because you've downed bowls of pasta at their South Beach restaurant, Sardinia Enoteca.
Last week the duo quietly opened Moye in the center of Brickell, bringing Apulia, Italy's exceptional olive oil, burrata, and wine to the neighborhood and the United States. They've imported chefs from the Moye locations in Florence and Milan to make their first American location as authentic Apulian as possible, and Short Order was invited to taste.
See also: Moye in Brickell Opens on Tuesday
The all-white interior is casual-chic and adorned with drop-down spheres of light meant to resemble mozzarella. Two bars -- one for cheese, carpaccio, and tartare and another for wine -- invite patrons to dine in an even more casual setting than the terrace and rustic-looking dining room. Food too can be casual. Panini, soups, and salads are delectable lunchtime options for the businesspeople who keep Brickell traffic jammed during the day.
For dinner, antipasti, meats, and pastas are more appropriate. Pick a mozze, any mozze, from the plentiful house-made offerings that include burrata with anchovies and oranges, Apulian sushi (shrimp, vegetables, tuna, and tomatoes rolled in mozzarella), and lightly sautéed zucchini with stracciatella. If you can't decide, go for the tris di mozze: fior di latte, baked scamorza, and burrata on one platter ($16).
Whatever happens during your visit to Moye, make sure the involtini ($14) is a part of it. Simple yet delicious, these rolls of mozzarella wrapped in coppa make for one helluva bite.
Pan-seared octopus served with fava bean purée and cherry tomatoes ($12).
Hot from the oven and hewing to Apulian tradition, the zucchini flan ($14), drenched in olive oil, is probably unlike anything you've had at any other Italian restaurant. If you want some olive oil, pasta, olives, or wine to take home, Moye sells all of the above.
Troccoli cacio e pepe ($14 for a full serving) is an authentic Italian dish that includes no more and no less than pasta, black pepper, sea salt, and grated pecorino romano. In other words, pasta and cheese.
Branzino is baked in the oven and served with zucchini and potatoes ($26).
Stufato is a traditional lamb stew with fava beans and potatoes ($24).
Puff pastry filled with Nutella and custard cream. All desserts are $8.
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Chocolate soufflés aren't anything special, but this one was our favorite dessert with its molten chocolate center.
Another favorite was the watermelon, ginger, pineapple, and rum-spiked granita. Consider it a sweet nightcap.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha