October 25 is World Pasta Day, in case you needed an excuse to shamelessly load up on carbs. Besides, sweater season is coming up, and what better way to fall into an autumnal state of mind than with a hearty plate of homemade pasta paired with your favorite Italian wine? Go ahead and indulge in savory lasagna, creamy fettucini, cheesy cannelloni, and more at these five Miami eateries. We picked them based on their pasta dishes, which range from nonna-approved homestyle classics to contemporary twists on Old-World staples. Each restaurant on our list also offers an extensive wine list, so you can wash down every single bite with the perfect pairing of vino. We recommend taking Monday off so you can deal with that food coma.
Ask anyone who lives on Miami Beach what their favorite Italian restaurant is, and you’ll likely hear the name “Amare Ristorante” a lot. Amare is a family-owned restaurant that has been serving delicious food to locals and visitors alike for three decades, so it shouldn’t surprise you that, over the years, this SoFi favorite has topped many lists as one of the best spots to go in Miami Beach for amazing homemade Italian dishes. Every single item on the menu is cooked to order from scratch using only the freshest ingredients and meticulous attention to detail. If you love a great pasta dish, you’ll find lots of mouthwatering options here no matter what flavors you’re in the mood for. From their selection of award-winning pasta di Gragnano (made fresh with durum semolina), there’s the fusilli bolognese, which comes paired with a sauce of slow-cooked veal and beef ragu, carrots, and celery. We also love the casarecce al cavolo riccio, served with dreamy Tuscan kale pesto, toasted almonds, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms. Seafood lovers should definitely check out the spaghetti neri — it’s a squid ink pasta dish that comes served with king crab, artichokes, and bottarga di Muggine. And if you can’t choose between all the delicious choices on the menu, don’t worry. Just go with the degustazioni pasta, a sampler of three delicious kinds of pasta curated by the chef. Whatever you do, try to save room for dessert. The tiramisu at Amare Ristorante is out of this world, as is the Italian ricotta cheesecake. Grab a seat indoors or outdoors on the restaurant’s gorgeous patio and enjoy the cool autumn breezes.
Amare Ristorante is located at 1 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. For more information, visit www.amareristorante.com or call (786) 598-8622.
As far as wow-worthy locations go, Il Gabbiano in Brickell wins top honors for its captivating waterfront setting, stunning views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline, and romantic atmosphere. It’s a top pick for date nights and marriage proposals — just reserve a table outside on the restaurant’s lovely terrace and you’ll see why. And in addition to offering a magical setting that’s worth a visit all on its own, Il Gabbiano also checks all the boxes when it comes to incredible cuisine. The wine list here is extensive — even the most discerning oenophiles will find plenty of options worth raving about. But what we’re really excited about right now is Il Gabbiano’s selection of pasta dishes (we are celebrating World Pasta Day, after all). The menu here focuses on elevated classics from Abruzzo, Italy — like garlicky fettuccine alla vongole, cheesy oven-baked cannelloni, creamy tortellini con panna e prosciutto, and tender gnocchi Pomodoro e basilico. No matter which pasta dish you go with (and take it from us, you’re going to want to try them all), definitely pace yourself. No visit to Il Gabbiano is complete without trying one of their famous desserts. The tartufo ice cream with fresh zabaglione, cream, and berries is as tasty as it is beautiful, and the housemade chocolate lava cake with vanilla gelato will woo any chocolate lover.
Il Gabbiano is located at 335 S Biscayne Blvd, Miami. For more information, visit www.ilgabbianomia.com or call (305) 373-0063.
Riviera Focacceria Italiana
This sleek and sophisticated Ligurian spot in Miami’s bustling Midtown neighborhood is best known for — you guessed it — their unique, delicious homemade focaccia. It spotlights imported Italian cheese baked between two extra-thin layers of flaky dough (the dish even comes with a warning on the menu: “It may cause addiction”). That said, you can rest assured all the dishes here are just as incredible, especially the pasta entrees. Sweet organic basil, fruity taggiasca olives, aromatic marjoram, buttery pine nuts, and other typical Ligurian ingredients flavor most of Riviera Focacceria’s culinary offerings. We absolutely love their ravioli ragu Genovese, a dish of house-made ravioli stuffed with spinach, beef, Parmigiano cheese, and fresh Italian herbs, as well as their pappardelle gamberi e zucchini, imported Italian pappardelle pasta served with tender sauteed shrimp, crushed red pepper, zucchini, white wine, and just a hint of light garlic sauce. If you truly want to experience Liguria without leaving South Florida, order the pansoti al Sugo di Noci. This dish of homemade traditional Ligurian pasta filled with Parmigiano cheese, spinach, marjoram, and Italian herbs is one of Riviera Focacceria’s best signature dishes. It comes paired with a creamy homemade walnut sauce that pairs perfectly with fall weather. Gluten-free pasta is also available at Riviera Focacceria Italiana — just ask your waiter. And if you’re craving the ultimate wine pairing, you’ll certainly find something delicious on Riviera Focacceria’s wine list, which features vintages from all over the world, plus some truly unique organic and biodynamic natural wines.
Riviera Focacceria Italiana is located at 3252 Buena Vista Blvd #110, Miami. For more information, visit www.rivierafocacceria.com or call (786) 220-6251.
Tucked away in Mary Brickell Village, this locally loved gem has consistently been called one of the city’s top Italian restaurants — and all it takes is one visit to realize it totally lives up to the hype. Part of the first wave of authentic Italian restaurants to bring about what’s now referred to as Miami’s Italian food renaissance, Toscana Divino has also earned a Marchio Ospitalità Italiana designation — the “highest mark of authentic Italian cuisine awarded in the United States” — from the Italian Chamber of Commerce. Dining here is like taking a mini mental vacation to the rolling hills of Tuscany, thanks to the magic Executive Chef Andrea Marchesin works inside the restaurant’s open Italian kitchen. Chef Marchesin focuses on seasonal ingredients and takes a sustainable, farm-to-table approach to elevate traditional Italian dishes like hearty lasagna layered with beef ragu, creamy bechamel, and Grana Padano, tender tortelli with buffalo ricotta, spinach, Isigny butter, and sage, and fresh, homemade spaghetti paired with flavorful basil and a combination of juicy vine and heirloom tomatoes. The wine list here is just as impressive as the food menu — Toscana Divino is one of the largest purveyors of Italian wines in the city, and their glass-encased wine cellar is home to more than 2,000 bottles of fine wine, most from Italy’s Tuscany region. Any server will be happy to make a recommendation to pair with your meal.
Toscana Divino is located at 900 South Miami Avenue, Miami. For more information, visit www.toscanadivino.com or call (305) 371-2767.
Tutto Pasta is another fan-favorite Italian restaurant with a laundry list of accolades to draw discerning foodies to its doorstep. The Miami Herald called it one of the best restaurants in Dade County, and Zagat raved about the authenticity of its Old World-inspired dishes. All the pasta here is made fresh every day in an open kitchen using tried and true traditional methods, and you can taste all the love and dedication that goes into every plate. You can’t go wrong no matter what you choose to order here, but we’ll give you some suggestions anyway. If you’re into simple, classic pasta dishes, go with Tutto Pasta’s signature lasagna. It’s baked in the oven with porcini mushrooms, ground tenderloin, and just the right amount of fresh mozzarella. The fettuccine alla carbonara is another must-try staple, swirled in cream and flavored with smoky bacon, egg, and pecorino cheese. If you’re a truffle lover, opt for the tagliatelle; it comes served in a black truffle cream sauce with truffle pecorino cheese. But our favorite Tutto Pasta dish for fall is hands-down the pear ravioli, which balances the sweetness and tartness of the fruit with the saltiness of gorgonzola cheese. It comes served in a cream sauce with just a hint of truffle oil. Ask your waiter for a pairing recommendation from Tutto Pasta’s extensive wine list to complete your meal.
Details: Tutto Pasta is located at 1751 SW 3rd Ave, Miami. For more information, visit www.tuttopasta.com or call (305) 857-0709.