Ciao Down: The Haute 5 Italian Restaurants in Miami

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Il Gabbiano

Opened in 2007, Il Gabbiano is perfect for a romantic dinner, a night out with friends or a business luncheon with new clients. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner and features an impressive wine list. Their menu includes items such as antipasti, salads, pasta, risotto, chicken, and fish all elegantly presented and flavorful. Owners Gino and Fernando Masci boast more than 25 years of experience from New York’s Il Mulino. At Il Gabbiano, the gorgeous water views, attentive service by flattering waiters and delicious food — especially the pastas — combine to make a phenomenal experience.

Il Gabbiano is located at 335 S Biscayne Blvd, Miami; (305) 373-0063


One of the only restaurants in South Florida that serves authentic home cooked Italian, Macaluso’s boasts family recipes three generations old from Staten Island, New York. The cuisine includes tasty renditions of simple, honest, homey fare, like rigatoni with broccoli rabe, generously ricotta-stuffed ravioli with fresh peas, chicken, and mushrooms in a lemony white sauce, and a fresh veal cutlet.

Macaluso’s is open at 1747 Alton Rd, Miami Beach; (305) 604-1811

Randazzo’s Little Italy

For a taste of Little Italy in a cozy environment, head over to Randazzo’s in its new and enlarged spot on the corner of Miracle Mile, now taking reservations. When it comes to the food, think rich. Calamari is deliciously crisp and oversized, rigatoni with vodka sauce is decadent, and the spaghetti is super meaty. The dramatically lit, double-decker dining room is decked out in crushed red velvet and gold-flecked curtains, crucifixes, Madonna’s and plastic tablecloths with the classic red and white checks. The upstairs dining room is an ode to all things Mafia, complete with The Godfather looped on flat screens. There’s also plenty of sports paraphernalia and a TV dedicated to whatever games are on.

Randazzo’s Little Italy is located at 150 Giralda St., Coral Gables; (305) 448-7002

Quattro Gastronomie Italiana

For the ultimate in authentic Italian in pure ambiance, nothing beats the trendy and upscale Quattro, a gastronomic oasis in the heart of South Beach using only the finest ingredients imported from Italy. Identical twin chefs Nicola and Fabrizio Carro hail from the province of Alessandria in the Piemonte region of Italy feature monthly tasting menus highlighting the food and wine from various regions of Italy. The offer great salads and a killer octopus appetizer to die for.

Quattro Gastronomie Italiana is located at 1014 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, (305) 531-4833

Prime Italian

A spin-off of one of Miami’s best steakhouses, Prime Italian features over-the-top, hearty Italian with one heck of martini list. Fusing modern decor with masculine touches, Prime Italian starts with nine P-112 cuts of cow, then ventures Italian with everything from brick oven pizza (blackened ribeye w/ pineapple and asiago; Maine lobster w/ fontina and grilled scallions) to pasta (penne with Kobe meatloaf & applewood smoked bacon), to a dish of fried risotto spheres stuffed with Kobe bolognaise, peas, and mozzarella, dubbed “Czar Balls.” Heavier dishes include softball-sized Kobe meatballs stuffed with sausage and ricotta; a prosciutto plate with honeycrisp apples, dolce gorgonzola, and toasted walnuts; and a mini Philly cheesesteak boasting A5 Kobe doused in truffled provolone cream. And to sip on, the bar serves up shaved Italian-ice-tinis in lemon, cherry, blood orange and pomegranate, and the loaded “Dirty Italian:” gin and vodka, shaken and served with olives stuffed with citrus, parmesan, and sopressata.

Prime Italian is located at 101 Ocean Drive, South Beach; (305) 695-8484

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