Neapolitan-style pizzas are the specialty at Fratelli La Bufala (437 Washington Ave., 305/532-0700, noon–midnight Mon.–Thurs., noon–2 a.m. Fri.–Sun., main courses from $11), but the restaurant, known as FLB, also serves up excellent soups, salads, and decadently rich pasta dishes as well as a great selection of antipasto plates. And yes, FLB is a chain, but unless you’re from Italy it’s unlikely you’ve run into one of their locations.
Located in a residence that has been transformed into a restaurant, Casa Tua (1700 James Ave., 305/673-1010, lunch 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. daily, dinner 6:30–11:30 p.m. daily, main courses from $31) is a unique and romantic restaurant that specializes in contemporary interpretations of northern Italian comfort food. The ambiance inside is exceptional, but sitting at one of the outdoor patio tables makes for an delightful and scenic meal. Reservations are imperative.
Spris Pizzeria (731 Lincoln Rd., 305/673-2020, noon–1 a.m. Sun.–Thurs., noon–2 a.m. Fri.–Sat., main courses from $9) is routinely awarded the coveted title of Miami’s Best Pizza, although the thin-crust concoctions served up may leave fans of Chicago-style pizza scratching their heads as to what the fuss is about. Regardless, the wide variety of gourmet pies at Spris—there are 30 different combinations on the menu—are served in a casual but classy location with plenty of outdoor seating on the Lincoln Road pedestrian mall.
Although it has turned into a chain with locations throughout South Florida and Southern California, Pizza Rustica (863 Washington Ave., 305/674-8244, 11 a.m.–6 a.m. daily, slices from $3) got its start in South Beach, serving up massive slices of gourmet pizza with fresh ingredients piled high on some amazing crust.
Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante (1801 Purdy Ave., 305/531-2228, noon–midnight daily, lunch and brunch from $10, dinner from $16) has a massive menu filled with innovative takes on traditional Italian country fare. With a wide variety of fresh and cured meats, local seafood, and a selection of olive oil and vinegar that seems nearly as large as the restaurant’s prodigious wine list, one won’t be at a loss for choice. Amazingly, the kitchen is able to get food out quickly and excellently, although the warm and romantic atmosphere definitely encourages extended visits.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition