This restaurant is now closed.
Last Sunday 35 of my closest food enthusiast friends and I descended upon the newly opened Vino E Olio for an Italian food experience. This is not your comfy-cozy neighborhood trattoria boasting half-gallon jugs of Chianti on the tables and all you can eat pasta as its claim to fame but rather the cousin from “the other side of the family’; Vino E Olio is a sexy, nouveau glam restaurant smack dab in the middle of the famed Miami Design District where at every turn is something fascinating, delicious and exotic.
Chef-artisan extraordinaire Chef Andrea Menichetti heads up the Vino E Olio glass-enclosed kitchen; a culinary wonderland of excitement and maneuver taking guests on a visual gustatory Italian food experience. Chef Menichetti is the son of Michelin star rated chef Valeria Piccini and Sommelier and Vitner Maurizio Menichetti founders of the famed Da Caino in Maremma, Italy. So it only stands to reason that Menichetti’s dishes are rich in Tuscan tradition with the added flair of his own eclectic style, completely fitting to the location of this restaurant.
Our Sunday afternoon indulgence was ten courses of Chef Menichetti’s rustic Tuscan cuisine. The menu was a compilation of the standard Vino E Olio menu and is not for the faint of culinary experimental. It is lively, rustic, and interpretative as one can only expect from a chef who is cooking in a glass kitchen. We started with an Acquacotta, a Tuscan peasant soup of tomatoes, onion and herbs. Next came the tongue tickler, an ice cream bruschetta, El ajo, el pan, el aceite de oliva, el helado con una salsa fresca de tomate. This is simply something you just have to experience and decide for yourself. It is bursting with flavors and textures and components that….tickle your tongue. The minute I tasted it I started to laugh…what else would you do when you are tickled?
The Parmigiana di melanzane e animelle con burrata (eggplant parmesan and veal sweetbreads with burrata cheese) was as tender and flavorful and beautiful to eat as it was presented.
This next dish was the definition of rustic Tuscan cusine, Polpo in doppia cottura con schiacciata di patate e fagiolini (double cooked octopus, first boiled then grilled, and paired with roasted potato and balsamic green beans) experimental, accepting and inviting, must have been the tentacles that pulled us in and the potatoes and green beans that kept us there.
Pork at its very finest! Maialino da latte con passata di piselli e funghi di stagione (roasted suckling pig served with pureed green pea and fresh mushrooms) tender and sweet, a luscious melt in your mouth gastronomic experience.
Just like a baker, if you cannot make a fabulous basic chocolate chip cookie you better go hang up your apron. Any Italian Chef worth his salt better know how to cook pasta….perfectly. Al dente to perfection was the Rigatoni con ragu’ di pesce e crostacei (rigatoni served with seafood and shellfish ragu’)
Gnudi di ricotta e spinaci al burro e salvia gratinati “Naked Ravioli” (handmade fresh ricotta cheese and spinach in a butter and sage gratin, sprinkled with parmesan cheese) The difference between Gnocchi and Gnudi, potato versus cheese. We’re talking cheese, pasta, butter and more cheese. And the problem with this would be?
“Maremma” Green Salad Special. At this point I think we we’re channeling the village of Maremma and this salad was a welcomed dish knowing the end was near as we were so generously served the seven previous courses….with wine.
Carpaccio di arance e ghiacciato di frutto della passion (orange carpaccio with iced passion fruit served with our extra virgin olive oil emulsion) Fruit. How civilized, how digestive, how spectacular! Oranges served raw and thinly sliced with iced passion fruit. Fruit haters beware, you’ll be converted.
Cannoli con mousse di cioccolato e crema al Grand Marnier (cannoli stuffed with chocolate mousse and grand marnier cream) Ta-Da! Favoloso!
Whether dining al fresco on the outdoor terrace, in the glass enclosed kitchen at the Chef’s Table, or in the very hip, sexy dining room Vino E Olio is quite the Italian food experience. Click here to view photos of our dinner, which also doubles as our weekly Food Porn leads to Foodgasms post.