When you think about Roberto Cavalli and his clothing line, the first thing that comes to mind is wild and crazy, but also very memorable. His latest creation is the third location of his award winning namesake restaurant the Roberto Cavalli Restaurant, right in the heart of South Beach. The trifecta of food, fashion and design, all under one roof is exceptional for all senses; the Tre Eccelenze of Made in Italy.
Upon arriving at the restaurant, our staff could see why this is sure to be the biggest thing to hit South Beach in years. The décor from top to bottom is just like his apparel; animal prints and floral designs combined to keep the Cavalli name shown throughout the restaurant. The Cavalli silk table cloth lining the tables and each of the plates with its’ unique colors to match, create such a visually beautiful experience.
The wait staff was very pleasant and professional. Some would expect the traditional stuffy staff found at other high-end Miami restaurants, not here. The Cavalli staff is a huge part of the dining experience. Our server had tasted and enjoyed every last dish prepared for the menu so she was most helpful in pointing us in the right direction when deciding between our top 5 dishes. It’s not just the food, but how welcome and special you feel when you’re dining here. It was perfect!
If you are looking to start your night with a glass of wine, then leave it to Sommelier Matias Benjamin Vergara, whose expertise may deem him a local celebrity to some of the patrons. He will insure that your food and wine pairings awaken all of your taste buds.
Cocktails featuring Cavalli vodka and wine are $16 each. The Purple Glamour, made with flor de violet, features an edible flower. Other libations have entertaining names like “I’d Jump on Her,” “What Women Want,” “Old American,” and “What Jesus Would Drink.” Also available: the “High Roller,” an extravagant take on a champagne cocktail, made with Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque, Louis XIII, Angostura bitters, and a brown sugar cube for a delightful price tag of $450.
For those who are looking for some of the best Antipasti options anywhere in Florida, you have certainly come to the right place. The recommended options from the menu include Scallops Crudo sliced thin served with Sorrento Citrus Vinagrette and Bronte Pistachios for $25. This is definitely a different way to try scallops. It would be hard to find anything similar to this anywhere.
The second best option from this portion of the menu would be the Tuscan Chianina Beef Tartar. For the beef connoisseurs out there, it is known that tartars can go very wrong. This contemplation of tartar and the quail egg, light mustard and truffle salt were the right combination. The tartar is made in-house daily and the blend of the ingredients takes away the harsh raw beef taste that some restaurants seem to serve. Order more than one, you won’t want to share this one for $24.
What most enticed us was the next course, the Primi that hit our table. The two winners were the Risotto with freshly shaved Black Truffle for $40. This is simply melt in your mouth goodness. Rich, creamy and a perfect amount of salt made this dish very memorable. The second item is the Authentic Roasted Valdostana Veal Chop which is served with Prosciutto Crudo Di Parma, Fontina Cheese and White Wine Rosemary Sauce. A very generous portion of lamb for $50 and certainly seemed to be a favorite of the staff.
If you were looking for authentic dining in Florence or Milan, definitely order the Gnudi Fiorentini. This “ravioli”, sans pasta in Brown Butter and Sage Sauce won’t leave you stuffed like you may be with your average Italian restaurants. This dish was truly amazement to us. We had never had gnudi, nor did we understand what it was. Picture ravioli stuffed with spinach and this is what you are being served on top of a delicious sauce without the actual ravioli.
For those who desire a little bit of chicken and steak options, both of those are on the menu, but our choice that steals the show is the Lamb Ossobuco with Traditional Risotto Alla Milanese Saffron Risoto. The lamb simply melts in your mouth and is the hidden gem that you don’t want to miss for $38.
Desserts include a twist on Tiramisu with Espresso Ice Cream and Mascarpone mousse; Chocolate a Bomboloni (fried dough balls) with Nutella Cream and Raspberry Marmalade; Coconut Panna Cotta with Mango Fresco and Passion Fruit Sorbet.
We must say that after talking with Executive Chef Stefano Mazzi, we know why this cuisine succeeds in all categories. He is not afraid to be creative and more importantly use his tools from Italy to create the feeling that you have stepped away from South Beach for a night and traveled thousands of miles away to the regions of Italy known for the best food and wine pairings in the world. Now you can have it right in Miami.
When you are done, be sure to venture upstairs to Cavailli’s signature lounge that is just as cool as the downstairs, only more like a plush ultra lounge without all of that loud house music. Very chic, very classy.
Cavalli Restaurant & Lounge
150 Ocean Drive, Miami, FL
Restaurant open from 6:00 PM- Midnight or Later
Lounge open from 8:30 PM – 7 Days a week