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Miami is home to a plethora of Mediterranean and Italian restaurants, but not all are created equal. Located at the heart of South Beach and one of its nicest neighborhoods Sunset Harbour, Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante rises above the others with its unique atmosphere, quality food, and an excellent selection of wine. 

The spacious restaurant is decorated with warm and cozy colors and the lighting is on par with the decoration to create that welcoming feeling for diners. Tables are cleverly spread out across the restaurant and there is ample space to accommodate large groups. That’s why it’s popular among locals to celebrate special occasions and host events here. There’s also a more secluded area for diners who seek a more intimate dining experience, which makes the restaurant an ideal destination for a first date, or a romantic night out. Like most restaurants in Sunset Harbor, Sardinia has tables outside for those who want to breathe in the breeze from the bay. 

Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante, italian Restaurant in Miami Beach

The restaurant’s rich menu is inspired by the rustic cuisine of chef and restaurateur Pietro Vardeu’s native Sardinia. Unlike many others, Sardinia displays a wood oven in the middle of the restaurant and the staff proudly suggests anything wood oven-baked from the menu. Salumeria, the delicatessen section on the menu, offers fresh cold cuts and the Italian cheese you will fall in love with. The Mozzarella bar is rich with options you cannot resist.

When it comes to pasta, Sardinia manages to step forward among other restaurants in Miami as well. The housemade pastas are tastefully matched with seafood like baby clams and squid or red meat selections such as veal or boar sausages. The restaurant also takes pride in its couscous. All these dishes are enriched with Mediterranean spices and sauces such as saffron and pesto. 

Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante, italian Restaurant in Miami Beach

The best way to experience what Sardinia has to offer is to go with the tasting menu. A seven-course culinary journey, the restaurant’s tasting menu combines dishes like arancini, fregola lamb meatballs, and paella di mare, Sardinian couscous with fresh seafood. Every dish is paired with an outstanding glass of Italian wine. 

As expected, Sardinia boasts an impressive selection of over 250 primarily Italian wines and a lively full bar with an array of beers and cocktails. This makes the restaurant a go-to spot for locals to enjoy drinks before dinner, after-work happy hours, and weekend brunches. 

Considering the menu, the location, the service, and all, there are so many reasons to become a fan of Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante. Are you ready to meet your new favorite Italian in town? 

By Caner Kocamaz, contributing writer

Visit these posh Miami restaurants if you regularly crave exquisite Italian food and jaw-dropping elegance

Authentic Italian at Cibo Wine Bar

Cibo Wine Bar in Coral Gables has no problem consistently pleasing the crowds. Be it the rustic exposed brick ambience, the large wine menu boasting both Italian regions and global varieties, lobster specials on Tuesdays, or brunches full of Italian bubbles on Sunday, Cibo has something for everyone, and it’s always authentically Italian. Take their Neapolitan-style pizzas: cooked to perfection in a wood-burning oven and complete with over a dozen varieties, including a whole wheat dough option. We like to order the simple but always perfect Mozzarella di Bufala, with buffalo cheese, fresh basil, and extra virgin olive oil. Another great is the Funghi, with wild mushrooms, fontini cream, and white truffle oil, because…well, truffle. Or you can kick things up with toppings like prosciutto, spicy soppressatta, Italian sausage, or even a variety of seafood in the Frutte di Mare. Now that’s authentic.

A Tasty Slice of Italy at Amare Ristorante

If you’re craving a trip to the iconic Italian coast, Amare Ristorante has you covered. Located in the South of Fifth neighborhood, Amare is ready to transport you to the beautiful Amalfi Coast by way of elevated Italian cuisine and equally romantic furnishings. A concept by Gino Iovino in collaboration with Michelin-starred Chef Cosimo Cassano, the expert team here prepares classic dishes made in-house with seasonal ingredients flown directly from Italy. Indulge in award-winning favorites such as the Risotto Tartufato, Costata Di Manzo, Tartare Tasting Trio, or the Spaghetti Vesuvio (Spaghetti al Nero di Sepia). Whether sitting indoors or on the outdoor terrace, the combination of the classic Italian cuisine along with the imported décor that includes hand-painted ceramic tiles, pottery, and sculptures, you’ll feel as though you’re on a luxurious Italian vacation. Benvenuto!

Dreamy Cocktail Infusions at Scarpetta

Sure, house-infused spirits, bespoke cold-brew cocktails, and tantalizing Italian dishes by none other than celebrity chef Scott Conant are reasons aplenty to stop in for a meal at Scarpetta (or at its cocktail lab and infusion bar, Sorso). But this summer, there’s one item on the menu we can’t stop thinking about. It’s called the True Bleau, and it’s a heavenly blend of Barr Hill gin and grapefruit soda served with a pea flower-infused ice cube. True to its name, this jewel-toned indigo stunner is just as Instagrammable as it is utterly delicious.

By DiningOut Staff

Call Me Gaby {22 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.531.4800}

Who is Gaby? It’s not just one woman, but all women who are elegant, strong, stylish, talented, and of course, show no mercy in the kitchen—especially when it comes to Pinsa Romana-style pizza! At Call Me Gaby, located in the South of Fifth neighborhood, owners Cathy and Anthony take you on a journey where a taste of Italy meets the South of France. The cozy and romantic décor with light wood, rustic furniture, and striped umbrellas truly capture the essence of the French Riviera. And, the charm doesn’t stop with the ambience, but rather is carried over to their signature dishes where the ingredients are mostly imported from Italy.

At Call Me Gaby, it’s all about the dough—incredibly fulfilling and delicious, yet won’t leave you feeling overly stuffed! How is that possible? Well, the dough undergoes a 72 hour leavening process as part of a centuries old tradition. The end result of this process is an incredibly light, airy, easy to digest, and mouthwatering dough that’s not only used for their Pinsa, but even their homemade focaccia and decadent dessert pizzas!

As you enjoy the crispy and fresh-out-of-the-oven focaccia, sip on your favorite Italian wine or pair it with a signature cocktail, such as the Gaby Margarita, a lychee martini, or the Black Forest Manhattan made with Rye whiskey infused with berries, sweet vermouth, and chocolate bitters.

Fresh out of the oven Focaccia

When it comes to the menu at Call Me Gaby, leave your passport behind, but fasten your seatbelt for a tastebud trip to Italy! Start your meal with the kitchen’s take on an antipasti served in a mason jar or with the refreshing watermelon salad served in the rind topped with goat cheese, mint, lemon zest, and pistachio crumble. Authentic is the word that comes to mind when describing the fare at Call Me Gaby and that rings true for one Italian favorite—the meatballs. As the Pot of Meatballs is placed on the table the fragrant smell of the homemade dish with whipped ricotta and chives follows, and you won’t be able to refrain from saying, “mmm!”

And, the “mmm” moments continue with Call Me Gaby’s homemade pastas and acclaimed pizzas. The girl-powered pizza shop, names all its pies after strong women. Find pizzas like the Andrea, made with Fig jam, fresh stracciatella, speck Alto Adige, and fresh rosemary; The Carla, made with mortadella, basil pesto, and pistachio crumble; or the Barbara, made with pumpkin cream, pancetta, smoked mozzarella, and shaved Pecorino-Romano. These are just a few of the adventurous and creative Pinsa pies on offer.

And of course, there are classic pizzas on the menu like the Romana with San Marzano tomatoes, anchovies, capers, black olives, and imported extra virgin olive oil; and the Diavola with San Marzano tomatoes, Fior di Latte, calabrese salami, and extra virgin olive oil.

After dinner, head to the lounge area for dessert and a nightcap. Whether you’re looking for a classic dessert like the tiramisù, the chocolate lava cake, or a dessert pizza, it’s sure to be nothing short of deliciously elegant. In the words of CoCo Chanel, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” This is what Call Me Gaby is all about. Is it a coincidence that the French fashion designer’s first name was Gaby? We think not!

By Loren Gutentag, contributing writer