Light, flavorful Mediterranean fare at Miami Beach’s Amami Cafe

Cheese, cold cuts, nuts and toast served as the tagliere misto at Amami restaurant on Espanola Way, Miami Beach.

The partners at Amami United Flavors of the World are Italian, but the dishes are from around the Mediterranean. The concept here is mangia leggero or eating light. Milan natives Matteo Meneghelli and Kristine Grazioli came to Miami on their honeymoon to visit their good friend Aldo Dell’ Anno. Aldo, who grew up in Taranto in southern Italy, had come here to work for a fashion company, but had rekindled his love of cooking. The trio opened the café a few months ago with Aldo as chef.

Amami means “love me,” and there is a lot to love here, from Greek-style grilled calamari to creamy penne alla carbonara with clams, spiny lobster and zucchini. The menu offers all-day breakfast (eggs, cereal and croissants), smoothies, sandwiches, tapas, pastas, vegetarian entrees and daily seafood specials. Most entrees are served on a bed of baby greens, and any order can be customized.

Most of the produce and all the seafood is sourced from Florida. Share a tagliere (wood board) with charcuterie and mixed cheeses including milky burrata, shaved Parmesan and brie wedges with pear slices and toast strips spread with velvety, truffle oil-infused mascarpone. Tagliata brings slices of grilled tofu or rib-eye steak on arugula with portobello mushrooms and roasted potatoes. Steamed mussels from the Panhandle come in a pot, and turkey burgers are topped with avocado salsa. Specials include pasta with golden crab sauce and pan-seared red snapper.

End with salame al cioccolato, a frozen chocolate log embedded with bits of biscotti and almonds that’s sliced like salami. Delicioso!


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