The who: Argentine native and chef-owner Manuel Hiraldo helms Don Nicola, a quaint pizza parlor adjacent to the marina in Aventura’s Mystic Pointe neighborhood. Hiraldo, who was mentored by legendary Argentine pizza maker Nicola Flauto, has put together a straightforward menu of pies and simple salads like a halved tomato served with olive oil and oregano.
The where: Don Nicola is located inside the gated Mystic Pointe community, so it can be a bit of a mission to find it. Outside patrons are welcome, but be sure to ask the guardhouse security staff for directions to Don Nicola’s parking spots. Once inside you’ll find a handful of tables in a wood-paneled dining room with a tiny bar, chalkboard menus and an open kitchen showcasing Italian ingredients like bags of Caputo Neapolitan flour and cans of San Marzano tomato sauce. Outdoor tables overlooking the marina are nicely shaded.
The pies: Thin-crusted and generously sauced, with toppings like Spanish chorizo, figs, prosciutto and hearts of palm. Prices are reasonable, with personal pies $8-$11, regular pies $12-$17 and bottles of wine at less that $20.
The why: To satisfy cravings for pizza and water views in Aventura.