Miami: Pasta at Macchialina
Macchialina is beloved for its pastas on Miami Beach. It’s been closed for renovations but is reopening this week. I went a few months ago for a tour of the menu. We picked out the tasting menu and ordered a couple of drinks. My friend also said we should try their mushroom salad so we added a supplemental course.
I’m always into drinks with Chartreuse and its lesser known country cousin genepy (or genepi– a liqueur that’s similar to Chartreuse). I do feel though the name Bulletproof Monk is a bit misleading as only monks make Chartreuse and not this version from Dolin. Moving on, it’s a great drink for someone who likes brown, bitter and stirred. Consider this the summer version. Or a kick-ass martini alternative. Either way, you might need another.
Bulletproof Monk – Beefeater gin, Dolin Genepy, Dolin Blanc Vermouth
First the kitchen sent out an amuse bouche, the burrata crostino (not crostini as there’s only one per person). I considered the restaurant. Every table was filled and people were coming in even for later reservations. The street outside was filled with cars. It definitely party town on the Beach but Macchialina seemed to have a handle on the volume. It wasn’t too noisy and I never felt rushed. We had amazing service as well. Later our server told us she worked out in Los Angeles so we felt a kinship with her.
Moving through the first courses, we loved the broccolini with big chunks of cheese and garlic. I wished for a little more but was glad for the portion size because of what came next.
The creamy polenta was a good portion. I love things like polenta and grits. This came with a sausage ragu as well.
As mentioned, we added a mushroom salad. It helped with my longing for more broccolini. These veggies did the trick. And I really liked the apples in this dish as well.
My friend loves tea in cocktails so she zoomed in on the Chai Tea Masters which features chai syrup. She liked her drink. I would have liked a little bit more spice from the chai rather than sweetness. Overall, it’s a refreshing alternative to beachy drinks.
Chai Tea Masters – house-infused Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, chai syrup, lemon
With the adorable explanation this dish came with baby meatballs, we were bound to love the cavatelli Macchialina. It’s the kind of really good tomato sauce I like with nicely al dente cavatelli.
Macchialina is best known for its beet mezzaluna. While we walked out of Blackbrick Chinese earlier in the day, we mentioned we were going to Macchialina for dinner and the manager swooned over the beet mezzaluna. I’m so glad this came with the tasting menu. These stuffed mezzeluna, a sort of moon-shaped stuffed ravioli, are definitely swoon-worthy. I loved both the beets in the dish and the little beet salad on top.
With two great pastas under our belt, we were ready for more (more, more!). The beautiful tagliolini turned out to be my favorite pasta. Yes, I really liked the beets but I loved the abalone mushrooms in this pasta. Just perfect.
We had a choice of steak or fish for our third course. I opted for the 21-day aged New York strip. It came with crushed fingerling potatoes and truffled mushrooms.
Last but not least, we had the banana and chocolate bread pudding. We had a good time and our meal laid down an awesome base for part of our bar crawl.
820 Alton Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33139 — (305) 534-2124
© The Minty 2015