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Sardinia Enoteca

You know Ocean Drive. You know Lincoln Road. You even know South of Fifth. But there’s one area of South Beach that locals have been trying to keep secret for over a decade: Sunset Harbour. Just minutes from the more touristy areas of SoBe, this sophisticated strip facing the bay is made up of quaint boutiques, fitness studios, a coffee shop, and a handful of elegant yet unpretentious dining establishments. One of these restaurants, in particular, stands out in our minds: Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante {1801 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.531.2228}.

Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante

Opened in 2006, this cozy and comfortable restaurant on the corner of Purdy Avenue and 18th Street fits perfectly into the vibe of this locals-in-the-know neighborhood.

Over the years, Sardinia has earned itself a well-deserved reputation for having one of the best wine selections in Miami. In fact, wine bottles are the focal point of the restaurant’s décor, taking up every spot on the wooden wine racks along the walls, with even more onsite in the temperature-controlled cellar.

Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante

But Sardinia’s emphasis on wine certainly does not take away from its cuisine. The kitchen is helmed by Sardinian-born Chef Pietro Vardeu, a self-taught culinary mastermind who has worked in kitchens of well-known chefs and restaurateurs including Pino Luongo. His menu showcases the rustic cuisine of his native Sardinia (think: outstanding pizzas and pastas—simple yet full of flavor), in addition to some more adventurous dishes.

Representing DiningOut has its perks, and we were able to sample the restaurant’s eight-course tasting menu, which included:

Sardinia Enoteca RistoranteFregoletta
Sardinian couscous, baby clams, and saffron broth

Sardinia Enoteca RistoranteAnimelle
Veal sweetbreads, pancetta, sage, and Brussels sprouts

Sardinia Enoteca RistorantePolpettine
Veal meatballs and braised fennel

Sardinia Enoteca RistoranteOrecchiette
Boar sausages, rapini pesto, and pine nuts

Sardinia Enoteca RistoranteSpaghetti
Bottarga di muggine

Rabbit, Brussels sprouts, scallions, pancetta, and olives

IMG_2048Diver’s Scallops
Over pesto fregola and crispy greens

IMG_2083Oh, and lets not forget the desserts, which included a panna cotta and chocolate mousse.

The standouts of the evening were the meatballs (simple, yet delightful) and the rabbit, which, in our experience, is a very difficult dish to perfect.

The service, too, was outstanding. Every course was perfectly timed and gracefully presented—colorful masterpieces oozing delicate aromas enough to make even the diners next to us drool in envy. Next time, they say, they’ll have to try the tasting menu.

Sorry, locals, but your secret’s out.

By Sherri Balefsky | Online Editor

The Dog Days of Summer are here, and we’re certainly feeling it! But good news: Miami Spice is here as well. Check out ilovemiamispice.com to see the full list of nearly 200 restaurants throughout Miami that are offering special lunch and dinner prix-fixe menus from now through September 30. We also put together two previews of some of our favorite Miami Spice menus–check those out here and here. In addition to Miami Spice specials, here are our top Miami August events to help keep your mind off all this heat and humidity.

MO Bar + Lounge

Bar Spice at MO Bar + Lounge
Through September 30
Where: MO Bar + Lounge at Mandarin Oriental, Miami {500 Brickell Key Drive, Brickell; 305.913.8288}
What: Miami Spice is in full swing, which means that Mandarin Oriental, Miami’s signature restaurants will be offering unbeatable prix-fixe menus (La Mar by Gastón Acurio for lunch and dinner; Azul for dinner only). But that’s not all. The five-star resort’s MO Bar + Lounge is getting in on the action by adding a twist to three signature cocktails: the Aji Rocoto and Pineapple “Margarita” with tequila reposado, rocoto-pineapple marmalade, house citrus cordial, lime, and a tajin rim; the Ancho Chile and Chocolate “Manhattan” with ron añejo, Chinato vermouth, Ancho Reyes, crème de cacao, and orange bitters; and the Jalapeño and Tamarind “Pisco Sour” with pisco acholado, tamarind falernum syrup, lemon, and muddled jalapeño.


New Sunday Brunch at StripSteak
When: Every Sunday, 11:30am-3pm
Where: StripSteak at Fontainebleau {4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 877.326.7412}
What: Fontainebleau Miami Beach’s newest signature restaurant from celebrity chef Michael Mina has recently introduced an unbeatable Sunday brunch. For just $68 per person, enjoy a fabulous two-course plated menu (your choice of appetizer and entrée), a delicious signature cocktail, unlimited shellfish, charcuterie, and cheeses, freshly baked breads, breakfast pastries, and desserts, a Greek yogurt parfait bar, and complimentary valet parking. Unlimited mimosas, Bellinis, and Fizzy Bellboys (the restaurant’s signature cocktail) are an additional $25 per person.

Sardinia enoteca

Wine Tuesdays at Sardinia Enoteca
Every Tuesday
Where: Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante {1801 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.531.2228}
What: Every Tuesday from noon to midnight, guests at Sardinia enjoy 40-percent off select wines. It’s a vintage special you won’t want to miss. But that’s not all. Through September, Sardinia is offering Miami Spice menus for both lunch (everyday) and dinner (Sunday-Thursday).

seafood bahia four seasons

SPF Saturdays (Seafood + Pool + Four Seasons)
When: Saturdays, 1-3pm, through September 5
Where: Four Seasons Hotel Miami {1435 Brickell Avenue, Brickell; 305.381.3030}
What: On Saturdays at 1:30pm sharp, Bahia, the Four Seasons Hotel Miami’s seventh-floor poolside restaurant and bar, is offering a Southern-style Seafood Boil featuring family-style servings of lobster, pink shrimp, Florida clams, mussels, and crawfish simmered in Cajun-style spices, accompanied by sweet corn on the cob, golden potatoes, and housemade smoked sausage. Tickets are required ($65 per person) and include access to the hotel’s two resort-style pools.

Those not wanting to purchase tickets can still join in the fun. From 1-3pm, Bahia is also offering what it calls The RAWBar, a special à la carte seafood menu featuring Freshly Shucked East Coast Oysters and Florida Clams, Peel-and-Eat Key West Pink Shrimp, Corvina Crudo, Lobster and Shrimp Ceviche, and an East Coast Mussel Salad.

Marc Irwin Piano concert in The Betsy Lobby

(mostly jazz) with Marc Irwin at The Betsy
When: August 19, 8-11pm
Where: The Betsy–South Beach {1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 305.673.0044}
What: On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, The Betsy hotel’s Lobby Salon welcomes some of the greatest live musicians for intimate performances. Dr. Marc Irwin is a pianist, composer, arranger, and recording artist who has played for and with a variety of top musicians across the country. He currently acts as musical director for The Capitol Steps, performing political satire throughout the United States and Canada. No cover; no drink minimum!

An added bonus: Adjacent to the Lobby Salon is the award-winning BLT Steak, which will be serving its unbeatable Miami Spice menu. Choose one appetizer (Roasted Peach Salad, Vadouvan Lamb “Porchetta,” or Local Cobia Tataki Sushi Roll), one entrée (10oz CAB Delmonico Steak or Local Seafood Bouillabaisse), and one dessert (Valrhona Chocolate-Strawberry Cake or Coconut-Lime Cheesecake) for just $39. And yes, the restaurant’s famed popovers are included.

db Miami Wine Cellar by B. Milne

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Wine Dinner at db Bistro
August 19
Where: db Bistro Moderne Miami {255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Downtown; 305.421.8800}
What: Join Chef Jason Pringle and Sommelier Alan Feldman for a special dining event featuring wines from France’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape region in the Southern Rhône Valley. Chef Pringle will prepare a sophisticated meal paired with a unique selection of rare vintages from one of the most traditional winemaking appellations in France. The night will begin with a wine reception and light appetizers in The Lounge followed by a five-course dinner in the main dining room. Can’t make it to the dinner? The restaurant will be offering Miami Spice menus for both lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday all month long.

By Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor

By Sherri Balefsky | Online Editor

If you weren’t able to score tickets to this weekend’s Veritage Miami, the four-day foodie celebration featuring local sommeliers, chefs, wineries, and breweries, don’t fret. We’ve found you something tasty to do every day this weekend.

Wednesday, April 15
Tequila & Tamales Tasting at Devon Seafood

Devon Seafood and Steak {The Palms at Town & Country, 11715 Sherry Lane, Kendall; 305.275.0226}, Kendall’s critically acclaimed restaurant and lounge, launches its 2015 monthly tasting series with a special tequila and tamales event. For just $50, you can enjoy a four-course prix-fixe tamale-based menu by the restaurant’s Executive Chef Rod Chitikov perfectly paired with lush tequila-infused libations.

Thursday, April 16
Live Music at Vintro Hotel & Kitchen

vintro hotelEarlier this month, Vintro Hotel & Kitchen {2216 Park Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.674.9200} launched its late-night music series, which takes place every Thursday from 8-11pm. Not only will the hotel’s Scorpion Bar feature smooth live music, but ladies will enjoy free Champagne all evening long.

Friday, April 17
Happy Hour at Sardinia Enoteca

Nestled in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood of South Beach, Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante {1801 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.531.2228} is a cool Mediterranean-Italian eatery offering an impressive selection of over 250 primarily Italian wines and a lively full bar with an array of beers and cocktails. Join them for happy hour from 4-7pm and enjoy $7 wines by the glass, $7 well cocktails, and a number of food specials at happy hour prices.

Saturday, April 18
Belly Dancing at Maroosh

On the heels of its 30th anniversary, Maroosh Mediterranean Restaurant {223 Valencia Avenue, Coral Gables; 305.476.9800} remains a local favorite for affordable and authentic Lebanese fare. With its beautiful Moroccan artwork and tapestries, bronze Egyptian chandeliers, and deep burgundy draperies, guests feel instantly transported to the Mediterranean. Stop by Saturday evening for a fun and entertaining dinner as the restaurant turns up the heat with its beautifully talented and exotic belly dancers.

Sunday, April 19
Sunday Brunch at Vagabond

vagabond miami
Vagabond Restaurant & Bar {7301 Biscayne Boulevard, MiMo; 786.409.5635} opened its doors in January, and has since become a must-visit hot spot for its modern cuisine, impressive bar area, and artistic cocktails. The sophisticated space doubles as an art gallery, providing one of the coolest settings in town to enjoy a meal. Just about a month ago, the restaurant launched its Sunday brunch menu, which features traditional breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, and more—all with an undeniably Miami modern twist.

Sardinia Enoteca

serves one


4 large scallops
1-3/4 oz fregola or Sardinian couscous
1 Tbsp finely chopped carrot
1 Tbsp finely chopped celery
1 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1/2 c arugula
1/2 c chopped romaine
1/2 c chopped radicchio
1/2 c endive halves
5 baby heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
10 strings French beans
2 Tbsp pesto
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp saffron
1 c hot vegetable broth


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring 1 cup salted water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, add couscous, and cook with the carrots, celery, and onions. Meanwhile, preheat grill and season scallops with salt and pepper. Grill the scallops for 4 minutes on each side until golden.

In an oven-safe pan, add olive oil, vegetable broth, saffron, and grilled scallops. Place in oven without covering and cook for 4 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix the arugula, romaine, endive, French beans, radicchio, and tomatoes. Add the couscous and the pesto. Mix again. Plate “salad,” then add scallops on the side and on top.

Suggested wine pairing: Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi. This beautiful wine delivers fragrances of white flowers and stone fruit. It’s full and rich on the palate, yet soft and harmonious with tones of citrus fruits and peach resulting from the complete ripening of the Cortese grape. A recipient of Italy’s highest award, the “Tre Bicchieri” from the Gambero Rosso, the Gavi di Gavi will bring out the wonderful flavors of the scallops in harmony with the remaining ingredients in the dish.