There are so many brunches in Miami, you'd probably have to dine out every Sunday afternoon for a decade to enjoy every one of them. Which, by the way, we have no problem with.
We stumbled upon Via Verdi Cucina Rustica's Italian-inspired brunch by happenstance. Hungry for a meal, we passed by the bistro and were enticed by the outdoor dining, live musician, and ample free parking.
The restaurant has a large, shaded patio, but we chose to eat inside the wine cellar, which boasts a small table-for-two. As our server brought menus, he quipped that he could shut the door if we wanted extra privacy. We quipped that we were going to help ourselves to all the wine in the cellar. That friendly banter reflects the tone of the restaurant. On that particular brunch service, all three partners (twins Nicola and Fabrizio Carro and Cristiano Vezzoli) were present, turning over tables, greeting guests, working the kitchen, and playing with their kids who sat with family in the side patio. The perfect vibe for a Sunday afternoon.
A prix-fixe brunch of two assaggi and one uova (egg) dish is $19. Thirty-nine bucks gets you unlimited cocktails for one hour, included with your meal. The restaurant also serves a la carte items.
We opted to eat prix fixe and drink a la carte, ordering a Via Verde aperol spritz ($6) to start with. An Italian play on a mimosa, the spritz is made with aperol, sanbitter, prosecco, orange bitters, and grapefruit juice. It's more refreshing and less heavy than "classic" brunch beverages.
Two assaggi (small plates) are offered with brunch, and are also available at one for $5; five for $23. We chose polenta fries, served over a bed of truffle cream.
The ricotta, served on a slate slab, was light and fluffy.
Beautifully presented, the Fabrizio devil eggs are filled with goat cheese, tuna tartare, octopus, and tomato.
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Camicia, a version of eggs Benedict, top foccacia with ham, poached eggs, and truffle fondue.
We opted out of dessert, but still received a sweet ending to the meal -- a complimentary presentation of Italian cookies.