Italian

Do you love Italian food? We do too, and that's why we dedicate ourselves to finding the best places to enjoy Italian cuisine in Miami. We've diligently scouted out the top eateries, and we've listened to our readers and their reviews of Miami restaurants. We share the places that get great buzz, like Romeo's Cafe, and we showcase the ones that have proven themselves over time, like Osteria del Teatro. We also point out good neighborhoods for Italian restaurants in Miami - South Beach, for instance. When the craving hits, we'll make sure you get your fix!

10 MC Kitchen
Named for renowned chef Dena Marino and her partner, Brandy Coletta, MC Kitchen improves the Design District one restaurant at a time. With a mod dining room, open showcase kitchen and communal bar that extends outside the restaurant into the building's hallway, the 145-seat eatery offers such delicacies as whipped squash-filled burrata; artichoke bruschetta topped with a barely poached egg; pumpkin tortelloni with rabbit ragout; and braised Florida grouper adorned with bright gems of broccoli raab, Calabrese sausage and white clams. Marino's savory menu changes according to the seasonal markets, however, so don't become fixated on one dish (unless it's her house-made mozzarella). But do expect everything you try to be delish. In addition, Mercato, a small Italian market featuring Marino's homemade cheeses, breads and ready-to-go meals, including her own proprietary brand of olive oil, is set to open next door sometime in 2013. (305.456.9948)

9 Cipriani Downtown Miami
Cipriani Downtown Miami is high-fashion Italian dining in many ways, from the clientele wearing designer labels to the contemporary cuisine to the space, designed in blue and white by Florentine architect Michele Bonan. Located on the waterfront, the two-level, indoor-outdoor restaurant features Murano glass chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows and decorative elements inspired by luxury yachts and ocean liners. A sibling to the famed Ciprianis worldwide and the original Harry's Bar in Venice, the menu offers Italian luxuries of all kinds: aged Praga ham, homemade ravioli and tortellini, langoustines served scampi-style, and of course Champagne bowls filled with the famed Bellinis, comprising peach puree and Prosecco, that were invented at Harry's. Second-generation hosts Maggio and Ignazio ensure that guests also have a party of a time at the more intimate Cipriani Bar. ((786) 329-4090)

8 Osteria del Teatro
Everything is homemade at this award-winner tucked inside the stylish Art Deco District of South Beach. The tiny, intimate dining room is comfortable and elegant in a rustic sort of way, and the small size makes you feel like you have made a special secret discovery — even though there is always a wait thanks to a loyal roster of regulars. But the excellent staff will never make you feel rushed, as you enjoy succulent seafood, fresh al dente pasta, tongue-tingling sauces and hearty just-baked bread. Superb Italian wines, rich cappuccino and stellar desserts complete the picture. Reservations recommended. Business casual attire. (305-538-7850)

7 Escopazzo
This Italian restaurant, whose name translates as "a little crazy," is a popular dinner spot. They are just a little bit different in a lot of ways. The place is small, but leaves a large impression with its bold, sophisticated decor. The menu features some of the finest Italian cuisine in South Beach: homemade pastas, authentic Old World style risottos and wonderful seafood dishes. An indulgent dessert menu, great wines and plenty of authentic Italian ambience make this a romantic place for two or a fun place for a group. Reservations recommended. A parking valet is available. (305-674-9450)

6 Grazie
This intimate, elegant establishment, formerly of Pinecrest, now boasts more high-profile digs in South Beach. Unassuming in its gracious welcome and accomplished in cuisine, Grazie takes great pride in its service, ambience, and menu. Start with exquisitely prepared tuna or beef carpaccio before venturing to black fettuccine with shrimp, seafood-stuffed ravioli, sauteed chicken with porcinis, or any of the variations of veal scallopine. A full bar is available; reservations recommended. (305-673-1312)

5 Café Ragazzi
Friendly confines and first-rate service are the trademarks of this unpretentious Italian eatery, located north of Miami Beach. Start off your meal with one of their irresistible appetizers: from steamed mussels to carpaccio, you can't choose unwisely. Then titillate your taste buds with the likes of breaded veal scallopine, grilled salmon with radicchio and rosemary, garlicky penne putanesca, and what many regard as the area's top osso bucco. Of course, you'd be remiss not to save room for one of their homemade desserts ... besides, is it really ever a good idea to pass on tiramisu? Since the secret is out on this family-owned restaurant, you can expect to wait for a table, especially on weekends. Reservations suggested for a party of 3 or more. (305-866-4495)

4 Romeo's Cafe
Romeo Majano's forte is homestyle Northern Italian cuisine, and it's a solemn truth that he never fails to impress. After being seated in the cozy dining room, patrons are greeted in Old Country style by Chef Majano. He converses with them, gets to know their tastes and needs, and then creatively fashions a three-course lunch or six-course dinner tailored to each diner's tastes. The result is terrific, personalized food and a relationship with the chef that regulars find endearing. Prix fixe menu is $45 for lunch and $90 for dinner. (305-859-2228)

3 La Loggia
Located in the heart of downtown, this Italian gem is popular with those who do business at the main courthouse as well as those who have business there. La Loggia draws favor for its terrific, homestyle pasta dishes and its oft-packed happy hour (one of the only ones on Flagler Street). The beautiful waitstaff darts to and fro, making sure that each table is enjoying its hearty Northern Italian fare. (305-373-4800)

2 Caffe Abbracci
Be pampered at this fine Italian eatery, where the attentive staff treats each guest like family. The name of the restaurant is Italian for "hugs," and you'll feel the care that goes into each dish. High-profile locals and visiting celebrities can often be found here, and people watching is always fascinating in the colorful, upscale dining room. Start with a wine from the lengthy list, followed by antipasti of the highest quality. Then choose among simple grilled seafood dishes, creamy risotto and fresh pastas accented with Italian herbs. Fun, flavor, and friendliness combine here to great effect. (305-441-0700)

1 Bella Luna
Housed in Aventura mall, this Italian dining room provides a convenient break for shoppers, but is also worthy of an evening out. Dinner specials might include lobster Fradiavlo (mussels, clams, and shrimp) with pasta and marinara sauce, or grilled lamb chops with porcini and Barolo wine sauce. You may also choose among several pizzas, baked in a wood-burning oven, and over 15 tempting pastas. If the weather allows, enjoy your meal on the patio. (305-792-9330)


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Maps and Directions

1
MC Kitchen 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Parties / Private Rooms
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: Design District
2
Cipriani Downtown Miami 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Parties / Private Rooms, Smoking (outdoor area), Sommelier
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $$$
3
Osteria del Teatro 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$
4
Escopazzo 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Sommelier, Wine Cellar
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$$
5
Grazie 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Catering, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$$
6
Café Ragazzi 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$
7
Romeo's Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$$$
8
La Loggia 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Live Music, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$
9
Caffe Abbracci 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Dancing, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: European, Italian
COST: $$$
10
Bella Luna 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: AVENTURA
COST: $$