, restaurateur David Manero's midpriced Italian concept,has finally opened in the old DeVito space on Ocean Drive
. Manero, who also owned DeVito, cited the economy as a reason for the concept change: "Locals and visitors are still tightening their belts and are looking for value for money in their dining experience more than ever."
The restaurant is the third in the Vic & Angelo's chain (the other two are located in Palm Beach County). Corporate chef Paul Griffin has been moved to South Beach to oversee the kitchen, which features classic Italian cuisine and authentic coal-oven pizza.
Besides pizza, guests will have a choice of more than 15 pasta dishes, featuring house-made and imported pastas. Sauces are made daily with San Marzano tomatoes.
And if you're gonna have an Italian restaurant, you gotta make a good meatball. Vic & Angelo's agrees with that philosophy and has a meat specialist dedicated to making its 11-ounce Kobe meatballs.
Though most of the South Beach menu is the same as those at the other locations, Vic & Angelo's southernmost outpost will also offer "local favorites" such as a hand selection of the finest caviar and colossal jumbo shrimp. (We're assuming that by "local," Vic & Angelo's means the local celebrities who frequented DeVito.)
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The restaurant has been given a face-lift by Lynn Interior Design, the firm owned by Manero's wife Lynn. New to the space are private outdoor cabanas and built-in fire pits surrounding lounge seating for small bites and cocktails alfresco.
Interestingly, the restaurant still notes Paul Newman as a favorite diner even though he's been dead since 2008.
Manero also owns BurgerFi, the "fast-casual" burger restaurant in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, and plans on expanding it to Miami-Dade.