Pastificio Propaganda, an inviting new Italian restaurant in Wynwood, offers a menu of modernized renditions of Southern Italian dishes, which speak to the Sicilian ancestry of its owner and general manager Fabrizio Gallina.
"For the most part Italian cuisine in Miami is presented like it was 40 years ago, and if you don't travel to Italy, you don't know what the new Italian modern cuisine is about," Gallina tells New Times. "We offer something authentic — signature dishes inspired by timeless Italian recipes — but we're adapting the ingredients to current times. We reinterpret tradition without subtracting flavors and we don't compromise the recipes to cater to American tastes."
Housed in a building adorned with Shepard Fairey's Propaganda Eye mural, the 120-seat, indoor/outdoor eatery offers a neighborhood atmosphere in a rustic dining-room setting accented with handcrafted Sicilian tiles and custom fixtures and furniture. Flowers and potted plants add warmth to the large sidewalk patio.
"I chose Wynwood because it has a different energy from the rest of the city," Gallina says. "It is somewhat similar to Sicily in its contrast of new and what needs to be renovated. You have nice condos next to industrial warehouses and in the middle is the art that makes the area so alive."
The restaurant opened in July and operated as a takeout concept for about three weeks amid the shutdown. After the short stint, Pastificio remained closed until October 28, when Gallina saw an increase in foot traffic.
Chef Noah Sells, who trained under the eatery's Michelin-starred executive chef Luigi Nastri, helms the kitchen, which turns out dishes such as sea bass topped with eggplant and orange salad ($35) and house-made linguine tossed with clams and a basil and lemon pesto ($24).
From the pizzaiolo counter come six pie options, including the "Noto," which blends fior di latte, baked ham, artichokes, olives, and dry datterino tomatoes ($18); and the "Etna," topped with layers of fior di latte, San Marzano sauce, ‘nduja, and salami piccante ($18).
Sicilian desserts round out the menu, featuring a traditional teste di turco, a puff pastry filled with sweet ricotta, dark chocolate chip, and chopped almonds and pistachios ($12); cannoli filled with ricotta cream and candied fruit peels ($12); and lemon caprese cake, made with white chocolate and almond ($13).
Gallina curates the wine list, which includes 100 Italian varietals ranging from $20 to $140. A special section highlights specialties produced in the area around Mount Etna in northeastern Sicily.
Pastificio also offers a daily happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. with food and drink specials along with rotating “Taste of Italy” wine flights ($15).
"We want people to see us as a hang-out place," Gallina says. "Here they can eat, drink, socialize, listen to '80s music and escape from the current reality."
Pastificio Propaganda. 97 NW 25th St., Miami; 786-615-2555; pastificiopropaganda.com. Tuesday through Sunday noon to 11 p.m.
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