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Get off to a rousing start by assembling your own antipasti platter from among meats (coppa, bresaola, prosciutto di parma), vegetables (braised fennel, roast beets, assortment of olives with wild fennel flowers), and cheeses (Gorgonzola, Taleggio), presented upon gorgeously garnished wooden boards, ideal for sharing over a quartino or two or three or four of wine. Sardinian chef and co-owner Pietro Vardeu has a bit of Mario Batali in him -- less dependent on strange animal parts but equally reliant on the smoke-imbued majesty brought to bear (and boar) by a roaring wood-fired oven. Try the branzino baked in salt crust, a Venetian recipe, brings pristine, juicy, mildly flavored white fillets -- delicious when kissed with a squeeze of lemon. Roasted whole octopus, braised rabbits and leeks, sweet ravioli drizzled with chestnut honey for dessert - yikes, this food is good.
New Times' Best of Miami 2012 issue is coming June 14. Until then, Short Order will serve up 100 of our favorite dishes in the 305. If you have any nominations of your own, please send them to cafe@... More »
Rabbit is a very lean meat that can be literally "tough" to cook, which is perhaps why we see such little example of it on Miami's menus. Occasionally rabbit will pop up on a list of blackboard specia... More »
It seems as though every restaurant and its sister café has a wood-burning oven. Most places use them to produce blistery thin-crust pizzas, but Sardinia's chefs employ their ovens the way folks in, um, Sardinia do. This translates to whole chickens, quail, rabbits, suckling pigs, fish, octopi, steaks -- the theory evidently being anything that once walked or swam will taste good smoked. And it does. Then again, so do the beets and other vegetables tossed into the oven. If you... More »
Ever since Norman Van Aken copped our award for Best Restaurant in Coral Gables for 10 years straight, there has been an aversion to repeating winners in the same category. It's so lazy. So boring. So predictable. But when an establishment is as singularly rewarding as Sardinia, there really isn't much choice in the matter. Few restaurants re-create the ambiance and cuisine of another country as authentically, and none has chosen a more gastronomically interesting nation. Peerless antipasti... More »
It just appeared, as if out of nowhere -- one day there was no Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante in South Beach, the next day there was. And the day after that the 96-seater was packed to the gills, and hasn't seen an empty chair since. While "party hearty" is the draw for many a SoBe dining establishment, it is Sardi-hearty fare, rustic and robustly flavored, that has lit the fire of the public's fancy here. Lighting the smoky fire of a roaring open hearth are logs of wood beside which you'll... More »
Ever since Norman Van Aken copped our award for Best Restaurant in Coral Gables for 10 years straight, there has been an aversion to repeating winners in the same category. It's so lazy. So boring. So predictable. But when an establishment is as singularly rewarding as Sardinia, there really isn't much choice in the matter. Few restaurants re-create the ambiance and cuisine of another country as authentically, and none has chosen a more gastronomically interesting nation. Peerless antipasti platters are assembled from each diner's choice of imported meats, cheeses, roasted vegetables, and other tasty tidbits such as Castelvetrano olives tossed with wild fennel flowers. The Sardinian wines are unique, the Italian wines extensive. Whole octopus, rib eye steaks, and suckling pigs get smokily roasted in a roaring wood-fired oven, branzino crusted in sea salt, lamb and rabbit braised into stew (entrées run $26 to $38). Pastas, almost all under $20, include distinctive cuts such as paccheri and malloreddus, and hearty garnishings such as wild boar sausage and rabbit ragout. Ambiance and service, too, are a notch above the rest, and the hours are easy to remember: noon to midnight seven days a week. Could Norman's record be in jeopardy?
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