As a Miami native, I tend to stay away from Lincoln Road with the exception of maybe one gorgeous “winter” day a year for epic people watching. However, my love of Italian food led me there last week as I checked out Quattro Gastronomia as an invited guest for the first time. After ten years of successful business on Lincoln Road, I figured they must be worth a try. I’m happy to say it was a chance worth taking.
While there is ample seating outside on Lincoln Road mall, I actually preferred dining inside, as once you walk into the restaurant you almost forget that you are on the busy Miami Beach tourist destination. The bar is distractingly pretty and the décor is cozy. As soon as I was sitting – opting for a spot with my back to the front of the restaurant – I felt like I was in a favorite neighborhood spot. Along with signing a new lease, Quattro also brought on a new chef to help give the menu a bit of a facelift. Executive Chef Dario Bellofiore was raised in Venice and has plenty of experience and travel under his belt making him the perfect fit for a new era at Quattro.
To start the evening we had a few appetizers:
Parmigiana Di Melanzane In Forma - Baked Organic Eggplant Layered with Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese, Tomato Sauce, and Torn Basil
Polipo Del Mediterraneo Alla Griglia Con Ceci E Pomodorini - Grilled Mediterranean Octopus with Potatoes with Chickpeas Puree, Cherry Tomatoes and Lemon Dressing
Vitello Tonnato Con Capperi - Thinly Sliced Veal with Favignana Tuna Sauce and Capers
The eggplant was my favorite and I’m always leery about ordering eggplant without a recommendation mainly because I’ve been disappointed by watery dishes in the past. Not happening with this one – so order away! The Polipo grilled octopus was flavorful, although I prefer slightly smaller pieces of octopus. The Vitello Tonnato is a classic dish featuring thinly sliced veal covered in a tuna sauce reminiscent of tuna fish sandwiches I would eat growing up. While it was surprisingly tasty and a coveted favorite among Italian food aficionados I am not sure I personally can get down with that flavor while I’m waiting for my pasta to come out.
Next was the pasta and main course:
Branzino Intero In Crosta Di Sale Marino - Whole Mediterranean Sea Bass Baked in Salt Crust and Served with Grilled Vegetables
Preparazione Casalinga Dei Ravioli Di Casa Savoia Tartufati - Fontina and Taleggio Cheese Ravioli Drizzled with White Truffle Oil
Gnocchi Al Basilico Con Salsa Di Burrata E Pomodorini - Basil Gnocchi with Cherry Tomatoes and Burrata Cheese Sauce
Costatine Brasate Di Manzo E Risotto Ai Funghi - Braised Short Ribs with Mushroom Risotto
Paccheri Con Polpo Pomodorini E Olive Taggiasca – Paccheri with Mediterranean Octopus and Taggiasca Olives and Cherry Tomatoes
Antica Ricetta Della Lasagna – Original Recipe of Lasagna with Beef Ragu
The pastas are all homemade and you can tell the moment you bite into them as they melt in your mouth. The major rockstar dish of the night was the Fontina Ravioli with Truffle Oil. I really thought I was over truffle oil, as I’ve seen it overused time and time again but this dish had the right balance of truffle flavor. By the end of the meal, as we were all struggling to not fall into a food coma, we were still fighting over who got the last few bites.
On my next trip, that’s the dish I am ordering and I do not plan to share. So be warned. I would also gently encourage someone else at the table to order the Short Ribs and Risotto and hope that they aren’t as greedy as I plan on being.
Food coma or not, I’m a believer of the “dessert stomach” and there always being room. Naturally, we ordered plenty.
Nutella Semifreddo – Semi Frozen Nutella Mousse with Vanilla Ice Cream, Pistachio Rub, Whipped Cream, Caramel Sauce, Hard Chocolate, and Mint Garnish
Vanilla Panna Cotta - Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Berry Topping
Chocolate Molten Cake – Chocolate Lava Cake with Berries and Vanilla Ice Cream
There was no question that the Nutella Semifreddo was the winner of this round. It’s not a competition, but I always have my favorites. We got lucky because it’s not a regular menu item. The Semifreddo tends to change based on what is fresh and in season. Currently there is a Pistachio option on the menu. I had planned on that one but the moment Nutella was mentioned, all bets were off.
I think there’s a very likely chance that my trips to Lincoln Road will become more frequent. If you love Italian food, it’s worth checking out. Even more so if you have people who are in town that are convinced they must go to Lincoln Road, we know we all have those visitors. And the bonus people watching is well worth the trip.
1014 Lincoln Rd.
Miami Beach FL