The best way to capture a wild, rampaging meal is to hook it with a gigantic pasta lasso. Test your throwin' arm with today's deal. For $20, you get $50 worth of organic fare at Escopazzo, an upscale Italian restaurant in Miami Beach. Head chef Giancarla Bodoni's focus is on fresh, quality ingredients, meaning you can enjoy her rich Italian food without postprandial self-flagellation. Reservations are required.
Escopazzo seats 90 people in two warmly colored rooms that evoke a courtyard tucked away in the Tuscan hillside, where you can enjoy the Italian fare free of worry about the Medicis' machinations. The wood-paneled walls, painted with images of ancient Rome, create a backdrop ideal for enjoying Escopazzo's bountiful antipasti choices, such as asparagus flan ($19) with fontina and provola cheese sauce, or cured swordfish carpaccio ($13) crowned with arugula, Sicilian extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh ground pepper. As for pasta, try the little treasure troves of ricotta-and-pear-filled ravioli ($24), gleaming with sweet butter and crosshatched with sage, or the gluten-free millet pappardelle ($25), mingled with short ribs and sweet peas. A small bar and stone fountain add to the ambience, while a climate-controlled wine cellar houses the restaurant's extensive, all-Italian wine collection. A variety of cheese duos are available to tell the truth to your vino.
The menu at Escopazzo contains both expected and unexpected items, including a selection of raw and health-conscious eats that have likely never before seen the inside of an Italian restaurant. Sit outside and take an uncooked gander at the raw foods selection, which features raw takes on traditional Italian dishes such as fettuccine alfredo ($13) and items which do not fit the traditional bill, such as a flaxseed wrap ($13) filled with marinated veggies, lemon cashew sauce, and grape chutney.
Zagat rates the food and service at Escopazzo as “very good to excellent,” Frommer’s gives it the highest possible three stars, Gayot gives it a “very good” 15/20, and the Miami News Times gives a rave review:
- Behind an unassuming storefront” on a “busy” SoBe street lies this “simple” Italian “oasis” where “charming” chef-owner Giancarla Bodoni (“you can tell she cooks with love”) dishes up “blissful” fare made from “organic, locally grown” ingredients; it’s all complemented by “personalized” service and a “fantastic wine list”, and though a few fume about “small portions” at “hideous prices”, more maintain it’s a “one-of-a-kind culinary experience. – Zagat
- Escopazzo means "I'm going crazy" in Italian, but the only sign of insanity in this primo Northern Italian eatery is the fact that it seats only 90 and it's one of the best restaurants in town. – Frommer’s
- Escopazzo breaks all the rules, irresistibly – Pamela Robin Brandt, Miami News Times
- My new favorite restaurant on the beach. Every dish was flavorful, balanced, perfectly proportioned and delicious. The service was amazing and the staff was attentive and knowledgeable. I am a vegetarian and my boyfriend is not. We were both equally happy and impressed by the true quality of the food and wine. We tried a vegan/raw dish as well and we both loved it. Everything was uncomplicated and wonderful. – nicoleeamer, Citysearch
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.
Flamingo / Lummus
1311 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, Florida 33139Get Directions