mercado de san miguelStarting Saturday Sept 26 and through January 31, 2016, the white 9,000-square-foot tent erected in Miami’s Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd) is not another traveling circus coming to town.   It is La Feria del Mercado de San Miguel on the first stop of its US Tour.

With outdoor seating and dining tapas bars, it is the “pop-up” version of Madrid’s 100-year-old gourmet food emporium, El Mercado de San Miguel, which originally opened in Madrid in 1916 and was renovated in 2009.   

Like its home base the indoor tent will team with chefs and vendors, Spanish and local, wines and cocktails and freshly prepared foods from paellas and montaditos to tapas, gazpachos, seafood and regional delicacies such as pata negra ham, cheeses, sweets and charcuterie.    .

The Feria will open on Friday, September 25 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Montserrat Valle, owner and president of Mercado de San Miguel, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez and Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado before the open-air market opens at 10 a.m. Saturday.

La Feria Del Mercado de San Miguel is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and till midnight Friday and Saturday. Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Downtown Miami.

interiorNi.Do. Caffé ( -- the Italian words Niente Domani mean ‘no tomorrow’, or enjoy the day --) is a stark white, bright ravioli1and attractive 3,600 square feet neighborhood trattoria, where Il Tulipano and North 110 used to be, with warm wood floors, a welcoming bar, a private dining area with a projector, a casual dining room with an urban feel and an entire wall lined with refrigerated shelves selling products available on the menu and gourmet souvenirs.

It is the second outpost of Ni.Do. Caffe, an Italian restaurant which first opened in Miami’s MiMo District nearly five years ago to rave reviews.  

Free of pretense, it is expertly managed by manager Miro Cuturilo and  general manager Luca Delogu, an experienced restaurateur who previously worked at Trattoria Sole, Blù in Miami and in Venezuela and Dominican Republic.  The kitchen is in the hands of Executive Chef Claudio Sandri, from Piedmont, who brings with him more than three decades of international experience, an Italian Culinary Federation “Master Chef ” award and appearances on The Food Network’s Iron Chef America.

antipastiThe list of WINES (stands for Whimsical, Inspirational, Native, Esoteric andSensuous) offers well-priced Italian andosso.buco international choices, all organic or biodynamic  is affordable and vies for attention with a vast choice of beers and cocktails.

Until the food arrives, nothing about Ni.Do hints at what the kitchen can do. En the cheese platters seem to be a chance for the kitchen to shine. And when servers deposited on the table one of the best pizzas I’ve had in the US and, from the mozzarella bar, a dish of creamy, tangy yet sweet, fresh Mozzarella di Campania DOP served with cherry tomatoes, an addictive Sicilian caponata in a silver bucket and green olives, I didn’t imagine it would be so delicious.

Pizzas ($12 - $16) thin-crusted, light and extremely flavorful thanks to a long fermentation process are topped with a variety of great ingredients or you can have it as focaccia with rosemary and olive oil ($4) to accompany an enticing antipasto of cold cuts and cheeses ($17 for two; $29 for four)  and a creamy, truffle Burratina al Tartufo.

Chef Sandri’s craftsmanship shows from the antipasti ($8 - $16) such as pumpkin soup with amaretti and rosemary, carpaccio of octopus and Fontina-truffle fondue with Parma ham and fried pizza dough to black mussels in white wine garlic sauce and the lightest fried calamari and zucchini.

The pasta menu (($17 - $19) is based on both the chef’s sensible approach to cuisine and the quality of the ingredients.

The pivotal dish is the Ravioli di Ossobuco di Vitello. Both delicate in texture and hearty, the large, silky ravioli stuffed with tender veal ossobuco are cooked in butter and gently tease the flavor out of the fresh tomato sauce.    Ravioli di Fichi in Salsa di Gorgonzola e Noci, a fig ravioli in a light and creamy gorgonzola sauce topped with roasted walnuts may seem more sophisticated but is actually heavier than the ossobuco ravioli.  The pillowy potato gnocchi alla Sorrentina with fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella.

There’s also Linguini alle vongole with clams, white wine and Bottarga or cured fish roe;  Bigoli Integrali con Acciughe e Pan Grattato, whole wheat and handmade bigoli pasta with Sicilian anchovies, red pepper flakes and bread crumbs and the eminently regional Chitarrucci ai frutti di mare, square pasta with a flavorful seafood sauce shock full of shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari, scallops, tomatoes and parsley.

dessert1Secondi Piatti ($23 - $32) or main dishes list  Branzino Mediterraneo, grilled and simply seasoned in roasted red pepper sauce; the traditional Mixed Seafood Fry; and the perfectly cooked, melt-in-the mouth king of Milanese cuisine: the ossobuco con risotto alla Milanese. Have a yen for grilled meat? Then the 12 oz Rib-eye from 100% Gaucho Ranch natural grass fed beef will do.

Desserts like Caffe Ni. Do., a shaken espresso with a swirl of hazelnut chocolate sauce served in a martini glass and topped with freshly whipped cream, toasted almonds and slivers of chocolate, poached pear with vanilla ice cream or fried dough with chocolate ganache are all homemade and change according to the chef’s mood.

It is a rare occurrence to be treated to such complex, subtle and simply good Italian fare such as chef Sandri’s in a casual, family-oriented trattoria.  Ni. Do. Caffe is open for dinner daily from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and will soon open for lunch and weekend brunch. Soon to come: Mozzarella-making classes and cooking classes. Ni.Do. Miami Shores is located at 11052 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33161, and in the MiMo district at 7295 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33138   (786) 953-5120  http://www.nidocaffe.com/new/ .

 

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Pizza Numero 28 with buffalo mozzarella, speck, truffle cream and mushrooms  (photo: SFG)

 

A new Italian pizzeria is vying for attention in the colorful and picturesque Española Way. The indoor/outdoor  Numero 28 Pizzeria is the eighth location, the first in Miami, owned and operated by the New York-based  Biamonte Family and locally by owner Gianmarco Di Michele.

An imported wood-burning oven taking center stage in the open kitchen manned by Master Pizzaiolo Maurizio Procopio spews 28 different types of pleasantly charred Neapolitan-style pizzas in three sizes  – from the traditional Margherita with tomato, mozzarella and basil and the Tartufo with mozzarella, mushrooms and truffle oil  to the Numero 28 with buffalo mozzarella, speck, truffle cream and mushrooms and sweet Nutella Pizza  - and wood-fired pastas     

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The menu also offers a selection of Antipasti Salads,  Primi  and Secondi -or hearty entrees, as well as Contorni (sides,) a Mozzarella Bar with prosciutto crudo, soppressata, tomatoes or green peppers and Desserts ($8) such as Torta della Nonna with custard cream and pinoli; chocolaty chocolate cake; Cannolo Siciliano with ricotta or chocolate cream; and Tiramisù.

Numero 28 Miami, 432 Española Way, in the heart of South Beach, and is open seven days a week for Lunch and Dinner from 12 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.   786.359.4323  www.numero28.com.

Lincoln Road casualties: Piola South Beach and The Van Dyke Café close

After 15 years of turning out thin-crusted pizzas with delicious toppings, Piola restaurant, located around the corner from the Regal movie theatre on Lincoln Road has closed.  The rent fee of the new lease was too high, according to  Illiyana Stefanova, Piola’s marketing manager. The Downtown location, 1250 South Miami Ave., remains open as well as three other locations in Broward.  

Another casualty is the historic Van Dyke Café, a historic landmark of the revival of Lincoln Road, renowned for its red awnings and its upstairs Jazz Club.  It will be replaced by Lululemon Athletica, a corporate clothing store. 

 

Wynwood.diner
Wynwood Diner, a modern take on the classic American diner,anchors the newly developed Wynwood Block with a Wynwood.diner2multifunctional indoor-outdoor venue of three interconnected spaces: diner, cafe and outdoor ​patio.  

The Envision Diner 2.0 diner space features tufted maroon banquettes, industrial lighting fixtures, unfinished concrete walls and an open kitchen tucked behind a wrap-around diner counter, creating a modern sensibility with a nod to the past.  “As a native from Holland, I am happy to be in a space that merges the charming European café culture with a cool, nostalgic vibe of an American diner,” said Jerry Böck, General Manager of Wynwood Diner. Böck brings with him more than eleven years of experience in the Miami food scene, having worked as General Manager at Cecconi’s, Prime Italian, Nikki Beach and Prime 112.

The menu pays tribute to the classic diner,  with all-day-breakfast options, including nutmeg and bourbon French toast, and specialty omelets like the pork belly, feta and baby arugula omelet; chicken and waffle club sandwich, made with fried heirloom tomatoes and chipotle mayo with a side of crispy truffle fries. 

Head chef Michael Castino aka “Commander In Chef,”   trained with chefs Jean George and Kerry Simone, with work experience ranging from Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis, to Pride & Joy, and Tavern on the Green in NYC.  He believes in using fresh and natural ingredients, remaining conscious of the sustainability within his food resources. The diner serves premium natural beef, nitrate free pork, and all natural chicken and eggs, along with daily baked bread by Zak the Baker and coffee by Relentless Roasters. 

Wynwood Diner also offers a unique all-day handcrafted cocktail menu created by Vanessa Hulsey formerly of Broken Shaker and 27,  and an impressive craft beer selection. The ​den-like hangout is ​equipped with all things necessary for a proper cocktail, coffee or conversation, with an alfresco cafe extension serving as a prime location for private events, live music, countless happy hours and everything in between.

Wynwood Diner is located at 2601 N.W. Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33127.For more information please visit wynwooddiner.com or call 305.747.7888

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