Chef Giancarla Bodoni's devotion to Italian culinary traditions transcends her time spent in the kitchen. She wanders South Florida's organic farms as though she were in the Tuscan countryside, picking fresh herbs, sampling artisan cheeses, and shaking earth from freshly harvested leeks for her seasonal menu.
There is one dish that she hasn't changed in 19 years—the asparagus flan. The time-tested appetizer ensures that feasts are launched with grace, suspending tender green shoots alongside shiitake mushrooms in a fonduta of fontina cheese, provola cheese, and white-truffle-infused oil. Pasta, meat, and fish menus divide the entree options, although each category unveils equally elegant flavors. Ravioli may be stuffed with caramelized pear and ricotta and then glazed with butter and marjoram, while tenderloins cut from grass-fed beef may arrive with asiago-cheese sauce and earthy porcini mushrooms.
The dessert menu rotates daily, reflecting the chef's creative impulses based on the best ingredients on hand. This commitment to using the freshest seasonal organic ingredients has earned Chef Giancarla and Escopazzo positive press attention, ranging from earning a place on Miami New Times's Ten Most Important Miami Restaurants of the Decade list to winning Best Organic Chef in the paper's 2012 Best Of Miami awards.
Escopazzo's decor further immerses guests in an Italian-style dining experience. A large mural extends around the main dining room, and wall sconces cast golden light over sand-colored tiles to evoke the atmosphere of an Italian villa. The second dining space houses a fountain and the bar area, where guests may sample one of the more than 400 Italian labels kept in a climate-controlled wine cellar. Built upon 15 years of tasting, the library holds many wines unavailable through general distribution. Each comes served by the bottle or in the traditional Italian quartino, which roughly translates to a glass and a half and increased dancing skills.