If Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack were still on tour, their next stop would be Carbone Miami, a brand new restaurant with glam, Gimlets and Sunday gravy.
The restaurant opened less than a week ago in South Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood, marking the fourth location founded by Mario Carbone, Jeff Zalaznick, and Rich Torrisi of the Major Food Group, after Las Vegas, Hong Kong, and of course the original in New York City.
In the dining room at Carbone Miami, velvet chairs and forest green upholstered banquettes ooze an aura of vintage glamor and luxury. Servers in burgundy bowties—part of the uniforms designed by Zac Posen—whirl around as the Murano glass chandeliers and globe sconces brighten large platters of spicy vodka rigatoni, veal chop cutlet, and one of the menu's nods to Carbone's new coastal location, a glistening scallop crudo with pistachio and lime.
The revival cooking tradition that drew attention when Carbone started in New York City almost 10 years ago, what some might call “red sauce with a Michelin star,” continues in South Beach.
“The menu is classic Italian American,” Carbone tells La Cucina Italiana. “Rooted in the cuisine of Southern Italy, but taking its spiritual cues from Greenwich Village in the mid-1950s.”
As one might find in Campania, the seafood section of the menu takes center stage. Octopus Pizzaiolo, Lobster Ravioli and Linguine Vongole are some standouts. Other seafood dishes include Branzino, Dover Piccata, Salmon Oreganata, and a Jumbo Shrimp Scampi. The carni section delivers the standards that fans expect with Veal Marsala, Chicken Scarpariello, while vegetable dishes include the beloved sides of Squash in Agrodulce, Funghi Trifolate and broccoli rabe.
Count on aperitivo hour with Daquiris, Manhattans and Gibsons on the spacious outdoor patio. The wine list is extensive, with vintages from Italy's many regions, thanks to the efforts of veteran wine director John Slover and mixologist Thomas Waugh.
While dining, survey the walls. Between the drapes and mirrors imagined by renowned Interior Designer Ken Fulk, paintings from gallerist Vito Schnabel's collection electrify the walls, including works by his father Julian Schnabel, up-and-comer Robert Nava, and local filmmaker and artist Harmony Korine, offering a teaser of Art Basels to come.
Carbone is open for dinner.
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