First Bites

Ni.Do. Mozzarella Bar: Italian Done Easy on the Upper Eastside

Ni.Do. Mozzarella Bar opened quietly in MiMo last month -- no press release, no big party. It's just a quiet little café, buried in one of the area's gentrified strip malls, that happens to make its own mozzarella. It's a pretty space, offering a comfortable spot to rest for a few hours over freshly brewed espresso and torta del giorno. There are overstuffed couches for lounging and a long bar with rotating happy-hour specials on wines, beers, and prosecco-based cocktails daily from 4 to 8 p.m.

The sense of home is immediate, and a friendly Italian couple named Matteo and Giorgia will welcome you to linger. Giorgia was the owner of Gusto Vino & Caffè in South Beach, and partner Luca Taretto was the executive chef at Tiramesu. (He also worked in Milan for Claudio Cracco, which is a two-Michelin-star restaurant.) The menu is straightforward, Italian comfort style. Gnocchi alla Sorrentina ($13) has a light tomato sauce with fresh basil and globs of burata (and, yes, the cheese is made in-house). Layered eggplant parmigiana ($9.50), classic lasagna with bolognese sauce, and an herb-rubbed roasted half-chicken ($18) are all guileless replications of the original recipes.

There is also a small array of olive oils and pastas for sale, as well as salumi by the pound. The majority of offerings are made here -- including the pastas, breads, and desserts. "We have a laboratory that ships the original ingredients for us to make them and finish the product here," Giorgia says. We love Italian imports (pass the truffle oil, please).


Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lesley Elliott
Contact: Lesley Elliott