The Who: Celeb-chef Scott Conant (Scarpetta) expands his Miami reach with a second restaurant at the Turnberry Isle Resort in Aventura.
The Space: The formerly staid hotel dining room has been transformed by the designer behind The Dutch to reveal a masculine yet sunny space. A marble-clad open kitchen frames the chef and his team at work (and Conant is actually there, cooking two days a week, for now). Floor-to-ceiling windows frame views of Miller Golf Course and the resort’s renovated waterfall. Bonus: Valet is free with restaurant validation.
The Dishes: Italian farmhouse cooking with Mediterranean influences. In other words: rustic, a little rich and always hearty. This is a three-meal-a-day restaurant, and there are plenty of golfers to feed, so expect things like a burger, roasted chicken and big steak to satisfy the crowds. Prices are on par for a high-end resort, with starters $15-$19 and mains $18-$32.
Starters include grilled octopus over fregola dyed with squid ink and clams, piled with chorizo and potatoes drizzled in smoked paprika oil. Conant’s famous Scarpetta spaghetti is not here, but there are homemade gnocchi pillows in that same pomodoro sauce, and a tagliolini with sweetbreads and pea shoots. Larger mains include a deconstructed short-rib lasagna, balsamic-lacquered duck with broccoli rabe and chick pea panisse, and local snapper with celery root, pickled caraway seeds and hen of the wood mushrooms.
The Corsair Sundae is a sweet combo of smoked vanilla bean ice cream, ginger whipped cream, blondie bits, housemade marshmallows, chocolate crumbs and salted caramel sauce.
The Bottom Line: Find Scott Conant’s hearty, farmhouse-style cooking in a polished, handsome setting.