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South Beach Italian Institution Escopazzo Closes

The longstanding South Beach Italian haven Escopazzo is no more.

The closure of Giancarla Bodoni's two-decade old restaurant, first reported late last week on Miami.com, comes as the island remains awash in Italian spots, some better than others. In its absence beachgoers are left with choices like Scarpetta, Macaluso's, Macchialino, Sylvano's just off Collins Avenue, and the recently opened Via Emilia on 15th Street.

The organic-leaning, Northern Italian place on tourist-stuffed Washington Avenue took a middling review from former New Times dining critic Jen Karetnick way back in 1994, but went on to improve and become loved by locals and tourists alike.

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Bodoni was an early champion off Hani Khouri's goat cheese along with Michael Schwartz. In 2010, she expanded the restaurant's vegan offerings and in 2012 she taught us how to make simple, perfect risotto.

By Monday morning the restaurant had already been mostly stripped of its decorations and chairs were flipped upside down on tables. No one answered the phone and website is down. Bodoni told Miami.com she's working on a new project, and we'll update you whenever we find out what, and where, it is.

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