After enjoying the Aperitivo party a couple of weeks ago, we decided to give the restaurant a try, too. I did not realize the traffic nightmare that stood between me and great pasta. We left my parents house in North Miami Beach for the twenty minute drive to South Beach. It took almost an hour. The return trip took nearly two hours. Nonetheless, there was dinner involved.
We arrived a bit late for our reservation, but the restaurant was fairly empty on Thursday night. Located in the “retro” (really “old”,
now “hip”) Hotel Astor, the restaurant is gorgeous. Beautiful terrazzo floors, white and beige fabric chairs, suede padded booth walls and great lighting make for a spectacular room, that fits in quite nicely with the art deco surroundings.
When I caught a glimpse of my favorite pasta on the menu, cacio e pepe, I was sold. We started with a few appetizers, including the caprese salad, cheese platter and sea bass tartar. The sea bass was fantastic, complete with olives and briny capers. My Caprese salad was stunning, with thinly sliced tomatoes layered with slices of creamy mozzarella. The cheese plate was just absurd. It was an appetizer big enough for 6 people, with no other first courses. There were about 6 different cheeses, and between the four of us, we came close but did not quite finish it. Considering my love for all things cheese, it was a little surprising to me.
For our next course, I had (much to nobody’s surprise) the cacio e pepe, rigatoni with a creamy cheese and
pepper sauce. It was actually a bit creamier than what I have had in Italy, and the
pasta was just slightly on the wrong side of al dente, but it was good. And it was gone pretty quickly. FKGuy had the risotto, made with red wine and cheese. I may endure three hours of traffic to eat that again. Also at
the table was the eggplant parmesan appetizer (delicious) and the black truffle ravioli (also traffic-worthy).
We enjoyed two different Frescobaldi wines. First was the tenuta Frescobaldi di Castiglioni, a Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine blended with a bit of Sangiovese, Merlot and Petit Verdot, and a pretty good value on the wine list at $50. Next we tried the I Bastioni chianti, a full bodied, delicious wine that would pair nicely with meat. It also happened to
work nicely with our pastas.
Overall the meal was excellent. Would I go back? Absolutely. Although I am not eager to endure that kind of
traffic again anytime soon, the restaurant was fantastic.
dei Frescobaldi is located in the Hotel Astor, at 956 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach and is open for dinner daily.