A True Artisanal Kitchen: Chef Tony Mantuano Opens Lorenzo on Miami Beach

oven After last night’s Grand Opening party, it is official that Lorenzo is here. Not Lorenzo’s Market in North Miami, but the new hottest restaurant to hit Collins Avenue, located at the SBE Hotel the Redbury (across from the Raleigh).

I went to try the incredible resto of Chef Tony Mantuano on Monday night with Jacquelynn Powers, a major foodie, and we both agreed it was fantastic. Being the picky eater that I am, I had zero complaints, just compliments. After chatting with Chef Tony, who was also on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, I informed him “I just booked two tables for eight people during Art Basel,” and he replied “that is the best compliment I could ask for.” So yes, I am prepared to be a repeat customer of this modern Italian restaurant, a first of its kind in Miami.

Chef Mantuano told me “I hope Miamians appreciate the artisanal products and realize that there are no shortcuts. This is what we do, we have done it for 30 years in Chicago. There are a lot of good restaurants in Miami. Our pastas are handmade and we serve great pizzas. Everyone does what they do, and we will do what we do in this town and we always remember to source locally when we can.”

The Charred Carrots

So, here is what we were recommended by the knowledgeable staff: go heavy on the appetizers. So we did. We started with braised carrots that were sourced from a local farm. They were orange, yellow and purple. I don’t like carrots, and I ate the plate in its entirety. Literally. Then we sampled the Octopus, a dish is what I will be having a double order of the next time I go. With roasted potatoes that were cooked in Sambuca and sliced hot peppers, it is a must have. We also tried the mini pizza’s that are cooked in their pizza oven that is said to be rare. It is bright red and aesthetically interesting in the large space, but what comes out of it, as an end result is heavenly. We chose a pizza with an egg on top of the fresh mushrooms (also locally sourced) and it was explosive. Then came the pasta, which is made fresh on premise. The way the dough is crafted is by using a machine called a “Mechanical Nonna.” Nonna in Italian is translated to Grandmother. #loveit. The spaghetti pomodoro was superb. It reminded me of my 20’s when I lived in Italy. The noodles are boiled in water to soften them then cooked in the tomato sauce for four minutes.

The Pizza

Can you imagine that two girls ate all of this? Well, we tried everything, and that included the desert. The cannoli’s were prepared with a tiny bit of dried papaya in the center. It hit the spot. Then we took a bite of the gelato that is also made fresh at Lorenzo.

You would think I would have gained five pounds after this dinner, but it was actually quite clean food and I still have an incredibly flat stomach to gage the experience, so go book your table at Lorenzo. I can assure you, you will not be disappointed.

The Cannoli’s with Guava