Fernanda's International Market, a treasure trove of rare ingredients and made-to-order gourmet sandwiches, bakes robust breads and fine pastries. Among a troop of hearty sandwiches, the Martorano ($8.99) stands out for its spicy temper and muscular blend of sopressata and cappacola meats. The Churchill ($8.99) loads its taste gun with Branston pickle relish and fights hunger pangs on ham-coated beaches, cheddar cheese fields, and hot mustard streets. Fernanda's also sells prepared food by the pound and hard-to-find international groceries like Thai lemon grass.
Montreal native Tony Bianco teamed up with executive chef Enzo Addario to create Hot Tomatoe, a traditional Italian bistro boasting a menu that brims with house-made, cooked-to-order pastas, flavorful meat dishes, and full- and light-bodied Italian wines. Their regional cuisine typically integrates up to seven essential ingredients—oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes, pasta, and olives—from which Snow White’s seven dwarves drew their names. In addition, the staff goes shopping for fresh ingredients three to four days a week to supplement both seasonal compositions and year-round dishes, which include veal parmigiana, filet mignon, and penne norma.
microbrews to complement its Italian-American bistro-style menu. Brewmaster Fran Andrewlevich—whose past work has won gold and silver medals at the Great American Beer Festival—whips up lagers, pilsners, and seasonal beers right onsite. In the open kitchen, chefs feed flatbread bruschetta and hand-stretched pizza dough to a hungry brick oven, and craft ranch burgers filled with Angus beef, bacon, monterey jack cheese, and dreams of running away to join the circus concession stand.
To the chefs at El Nuevo Tondero, every clean plate in their kitchen is a blank canvas waiting to be dressed in the bright colors and distinctive flavors of Peruvian cuisine. The culinary team specializes in fresh fish, ladling whole fillets with creamy hot pepper sauce, mixing lime juice into seven styles of ceviche, and even juicing these ceviche ingredients into a soupy beverage of lime and brine called leche de tigre. They spend just as much time perfecting presentation as flavor, as evidenced by artfully placed shrimp resting on nests of fettuccine and steamed seafood rice arranged into the shape of Whistler's mother.
The Miami branch of the Società Dante Alighieri was founded in 1997, more than a century after the society was founded in Rome. Its aim is to celebrate Italian culture and serve as a social hub for Italians. Working in tandem with its principle partner, the Consulate General of Italy in Miami, the society hosts language courses—including Italian, Portuguese, and Latin—and doles out PLIDA Italian proficiency exams and certificates. In addition, they offer cooking and wine classes that teach students how to concoct regional Italian specialties and appreciate the differences between Italian wine and tomato sauce served in wineglasses.
Executive Chef Massimo Giannattasio's career has taken him all over the world, cooking meals in Los Angeles, Northern Italy, and Miami, but perhaps the most important kitchen in which he worked is his mother's. At a young age, she taught him that a chef's intuition is as important as any measurement and that if a chef wears another chef's apron, he withers and dies. Chef Giannattasio and his staff rely on those early lessons in the kitchen of Cibo Wine Bar, where they've curated a menu of both traditional and modern Italian dishes.
Surrounded by columns of neatly stacked Chicago bricks, diners take their seats at tables made of sealed butcher block. Servers produce a wine list to rival a French baron's, and waiters bring out appetizers such as polenta fries or carpaccio. Pastas such as ravioli and gnocchi are hallmark dishes, and the chef prepares seasonal risottos year round. Tender cuts of veal and braised beef short ribs are served second. In addition, the kitchen can bake one of 15 gourmet pizzas for the table, with whole wheat options available.
Cibo Wine Bar won the Miami New Times' Best Wine Selection award in 2012. And once you step inside, it's easy to see why. A huge wine rack soars to the top of the restaurant's vaulted ceiling along one wall—it's so tall that Cibo's wine girl uses a harness and rope to reach the top. A vast, full-service bar pours wines and mixed drinks in the front. In the open kitchen, which is framed by exposed brick walls, chefs scurry to prepare meals, and curing meats hang in full sight of the diners.
Founded in 1912, Gardner's Market brought fine foods, gourmet groceries, and the services of skilled chefs to the public for over a century. While the grocer's store recently changed ownership, the mission and much of the market's renowned staff has endured. Executive Pastry Chef Luis Dorado still creates the same sinfully delicious sweet treats that have graced the cases during his 19-year tenure, whipping up everything from flourless chocolate tortes to crème brûlée. Other culinary artists spend their days crafting hot carrot bisque, Maryland mini crab cakes, and tres leches cake, cooked fresh and packed to go. They also whip up hot lunches, which vary in price from day to day due to the incorporation of market-price seafood and garnishes of freshly minted dollar bills. In the meat department, the team serves up certified angus beef, hormone-free chicken, naturally-raised lamb, and more.