Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Toscana Divino - Miami Spice

So you know how when you're watching the Super Bowl and they put Coca Cola commercials, you suddenly get thirsty and want to grab a bottle? Well, recently I was at Channel 10 at the filming of a live segment they've been doing on the Sunday morning news, featuring restaurants who are participating in the Miami Spice promotion. I was watching Executive Chef Julian Baker from Toscana Divino, located at 900 South Miami Avenue in the Mary Brickell Village, cook up one of the dishes the restaurant is offering during this foodie time of the year.  Not only that, but besides the tender, flaky Mediterranean fish Chef Julian was grilling, there were also a mirage of dishes sitting on the set that are also part of the Miami Spice menu. It isn't difficult to see why after smelling the enticing aroma that filled Local 10's studio, and mildly drooling at the sight of these dishes, I headed over to Toscana Divino (more like ran) to get a taste for myself. By the way, here's a look at Chef Julian with during the live taping of the segment.

Chef Julian Baker with Todd Tongen and Neki Mohan
I first noticed Toscana Divino's Miami Spice menu when I was researching which restaurants I wanted to check out during August and September. After enjoying a most scrumptious brunch there, I was curious as to what delights they offered for dinner. The menu itself sounded fascinating, with an interesting array of choices and ingredient combinations I definitely wanted to try. Seriously impressed with the quality of their food, inviting ambiance and dedicated service, the excitement grew. But let me recap their Miami Spice menu for you just to give you an idea:


Antipasto for the Table
Pistacchio Mortadella with Focaccia
Insalata di Granchio
Pacific Stone Crab, Soy Chili Dressing, Asian Pear, Pickled Mustard Seed Aioli
Acqua Cotta
Tomato, Onion and Celery Broth, Organic Poached Egg

Behold the Insalata di Granchio. This is one dish that you'll want to have over and over again. I loved the way Chef Julian played with the sweet and succulent flavor of the Pacific Stone Crab and enhanced it with the saltiness of the Soy Chili Dressing. Then, out of nowhere, tickled our palate by enveloping the meat with a  juicy, sweet Asian pear. Genius!

Tagliatelle Ai Funghi
Housemade Tagliatelle, field mushrooms, nepitella, butter and parmesan
Tortelli Burro E Salvia
Bufala Ricotta Cheese and Spinach Filled Tortelli, Sage Butter Sauce
Grilled Seabream with Capers and Parsley Oily
Guanciale Di Vitello
Braised Veal Cheek, Celery Root Puree, Beer Braised Onion, Hazelnut

The Tortelli Burro E Salvia is a must! It's the best I've had in everything from the texture to the taste. Filled with creamy Bufala Ricotta Cheese and Spinach, it practically melted in my mouth. The rich and savory Sage Butter Sauce added a nutty finish to the creation.

Torta Di Pistacchio
Pistacchio Olive Oil Polenta Cake, Raspberry
Affogato Al Café
Coffee ice-cream, amaretto biscuit, espresso, vanilla whipped cream

I "drowned" in pleasure with the Affogato al Cafe; my love for Toscana Divino eternally sealed. The sweet, refreshing treat with a delizioso kick is an Italian dream come true.

One of my top picks for 2013, Toscana Divino has outdone themselves with this Miami Spice menu. And it doesn't stop there. Come for Miami Spice, and then return for their regular menu. It's solid! I'll just leave you with some food porn of a few of my other faves from both the Miami Spice and the regular menu. For more information, visit their website at http://www.toscanadivino.com/index.php or call 305-371-2767.
Ceviche di Gamberi Rossi Toscana

Carpaccio di Branzino
Maltagliati Ai Frutti di Mare (Available in Miami Spice Lunch Menu)
Torta di Pistacchio

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