The who: Venice-born Chef Carlo Bernardini (Le Cirque in New York City) opens Bacaro, an authentic Italian eatery.
The space: Tucked away on Michigan Avenue, off Lincoln Road, the cozy dining room is outfitted in walls suspended with wine bottles (around 120 varieties are offered), Edison light bulbs, tables made of thick wood slabs and funky murals.
The dishes: Venetian and regional Italian. The menu is divided into cicchetti, the Italian take on tapas, along with meats and cheeses for charcuterie boards, pastas and hearty mains. Prices are reasonable with smalls plates $5 – $18 and larger plates no more than $25.
The bread basket brims with ciabatta topped with tomato spread and focaccia. Then it’s on to boards of cured salami and artisanal cheeses. Burrata imported from Italy is served over kale with a tomato vinaigrette while the crispy fried artichokes over balsamic spinach comes with a spicy aioli. Other small plates include creamed cod fish (baccala) on crispy polenta with olive oil, stewed baby octopus in tomato sauce and arancini. Chef Carlo’s signature black truffle risotto is not to be missed and the rib-eye tagliata will satisfy carnivores.
Panettone cake-flavored ice cream for dessert keeps the Italian vibe going as does mascarpone tiramisu.
Bottom line: A chef-driven spot off Lincoln Road where wine and Italian tapas reign.
1625 Michigan Ave, Miami Beach