First Bites

Terre del Sapore Serves Hearty Italian Fare in Coral Gables

Eggplant parmigiana
Eggplant parmigiana Courtesy of Terre Del Sapore
Terre del Sapore feels like home. This Coral Gables restaurant is replete with a welcoming vibe, an exposed brick wall, and a wood-fired oven where you can watch your pizza being cooked.

Owner Marcelo Lederman opened the eatery so he would have a place for his family and friends to enjoy the cuisine he loves best. The idea is for patrons to drop in whenever and linger over comfort food and good wine, says his son, artist David Lederman, who oversees the restaurant's plant-filled dining room, adorned with some of his paintings.

Chef Kasey Dhanji sends out deep-flavored Italian dishes that pair well with the curated wine list. Start with the piccolo tagliere di formaggi, a cheese platter with Parmesan, provolone, fontina, Gorgonzola dolce, fig jam, and bread ($14 to $24); melanzane alla parmigiana ($12); or insalatta di prosciutto, with seasonal melon, arugula, grape tomatoes, and mozzarella ($14).

Move on to the ravioli di manzo, filled with short rib and flavored with veal demi-glace and wild mushroom ragù ($22), or the lasagna di spinaci bolognese ($18). Pizzas include porchetta with spicy salami; vegetarian with roasted eggplant, zucchini, and wild mushroom; and a sweet version topped with Nutella, powdered sugar, and fresh strawberries ($15).

Try the restaurant's blend of funghi selvatici, served several ways. The truffle paste with an Asian flair is served on bruschetta with ragù ($13); a pizza with fontina, Parmesan, and truffle oil ($16); and the fettucine with ragù ($15), which blends the wild mushrooms in a veal demi-glace with red-wine garlic and seasoning.

Desserts include a panna cotta served with a rich guava cream and Italian milk flan with crème caramel and an Amaretti cookie ($8 each).

Terre del Sapore offers tastings of Italian red and white wines as well as Chianti. Daily happy hour runs from 5 to 8 p.m., and wine bottles are all half-off all day Sunday.

Terre del Sapore. 246 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables; 305-446-4456; Tuesday through Sunday noon to 10 p.m.
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Juliana Accioly
Contact: Juliana Accioly