Iron Side Café sates Miami’s Upper East Side with salads, sandwiches & pizzas

UPPER EAST SIDE: Fernando Nascimento and Nuno Grullon with pizza and ratatouille in the courtyard of their Iron Side Café.LINDA BLADHOLM/FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Iron Side Café is tucked into an art complex of the same name along the railroad tracks that run through the heart of Miami’s Upper East Side. Featuring salads, sandwiches and handmade pizzas, the cafe has ceiling-to-floor windows and an open kitchen. Huge doorways let the breezes in, and coral, coconuts, cowhide rugs and white leather couches create an industrial/island feel.

Business partners Fernando Nascimento and Chef Nuno Grullon opened the place five months ago after selling their shares in Metro Café. Fernando is from Rio de Janeiro, and wanted a fresh start in a more low-key setting. Nuno grew up in the Bronx in a Dominican family that cooked together. He started as a dishwasher at 16 and worked his way up, turning out simple, tasty fare with organic ingredients.

Relax on the patio by the small herb garden and enjoy crab salad piled on watercress with cilantro, avocado and tomatoes in lime vinaigrette or ratatouille plated with quinoa or couscous. The beef here is grass-fed from Gaucho Ranch, and the fresh mozzarella comes from MiMo Mozzarella, both located in the neighborhood.

Sandwiches include a burger with arugula and fontina cheese, grilled chicken with caramelized onions, avocado and lemon aioli and grilled portabello mushrooms with mozzarella. The Uovo pizza has mozzarella and quail eggs, and the tonna has oil-packed tuna with Nicoise olives — good with a Dogfish beer.

Luscious chocolate mousse cake makes for a sweet ending.


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