Nearly a year after North Italia announced its first Florida restaurant, the 8,600-square-foot location is open in Mary Brickell Village, churning out grilled cauliflower and prosciutto pizza and pouring beer from local breweries.
Created in 2002 by James Beard Award semifinalist Sam Fox, North Italia is part of his Fox Restaurant Group, responsible for more than 50 concepts across the nation, including the wine and burger bar Zinburger at Sawgrass Mills and the health-focused True Food Kitchen in Boca Raton.
"When we opened True Food Kitchen in Boca, we really felt like we were a part of the neighborhood and appreciated the warm welcome of the local community," Fox told New Times in May 2018. "We’re looking forward to enjoying the same close relationship between our neighbors in Brickell with North Italia.”
The Brickell North Italia, which joins more than a dozen other locations across the nation, offers a handful of Miami-specific items, ranging from Wagyu skirt steak with butternut squash and salsa verde to the One More Mambo cocktail, made with spiced rum, pineapple, and lime. Local beers include Biscayne Bay's Kaptain Kolsch, Concrete Beach's Havana Lager, Wynwood Brewing's IPA, and J. Wakefield's El Jefe.
Other items unique to the Brickell location are beef carpaccio with Gorgonzola, toasted pine nuts, salsa verde, and grilled bread ($16); the Bianca pizza, topped with smoked mozzarella, aged provolone, ricotta, arugula, and lemon oil ($16); and burrata tortelloni ($17.50), a hearty bowl of pasta complemented by cherry tomatoes, Pecorino, and sugo di pomodoro (Italian red sauce).
Otherwise, the restaurant serves many of the chain's items, such as a Bolognese made with meat sauce, handmade tagliatelle noodles, and Grana Padano cheese; and chicken parmigiana garnished with crushed tomato, aged provolone, mozzarella, and Parmesan rigatoni. Prices average between $10 and $20.
"For first-time guests, I recommend starting with the white truffle garlic bread," general manager Juan Carlos Marchan says. "Complete your meal with the burrata tortelloni or the Wagyu skirt steak between sips of the One More Mambo cocktail. They're delicious choices, and they also showcase the unique personality of our location."
Dessert includes salted caramel budino with crème fraîche ($8.50), tiramisu with espresso-soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone mousse ($9), and Italian doughnuts with Meyer lemon curd ($8.50). Pair something sweet with the house raspberry limoncello, served chilled.
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In addition to serving lunch and dinner, the restaurant will also offer weekend brunch. Italian breakfast items include the Nonna casserole, prepared by baking sausage and torn ciabatta in marinara sauce with two fried eggs; short rib hash with sweet onion, roasted pepper, fried eggs, and grilled bread; and baked French toast topped with vanilla maple syrup, berries, and whipped cream.
The space features an open kitchen overlooking the main dining room and bar area, which at full capacity can fit more than 300 customers. The Brickell North Italia marks the 16th in the United States; other outposts are located in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada. It also marks the first Sam Fox restaurant in Miami.
“This city’s energy, sense of community, and seasonality is a perfect match for the experience at North," Fox says. "We are honored to now be a part of it.”
North Italia. Mary Brickell Village, 900 S. Miami Ave., #111, Miami; 786-475-9100; northitaliarestaurant.com.