The goods: Things in Miami don’t age…they reinvent themselves. Such is the case with the cavernous restaurant space behind Loehmann’s, once known as the Ivy, then Bar Rosso and now reborn at Cavalli Supper Club. The place has no direct relationship with designer Roberto Cavalli, but his Italian panache certainly permeates the glossy space.
Ambiance: The owners have revamped the place a bit since its previous incarnation as Bar Rosso, outfitting the dining room with black leather banquettes, crystal chandeliers and a pricey aquarium and raw bar framing the open kitchen. The L-shaped marble bar is still one of the more handsome places to get a cocktail in North Miami, with ample seating and a nice selection of wines by the glass. On weekends the enclosed back patio is host to live music where patrons sip vodka martinis on red leather couches.
The grub: Sicilian-inspired cuisine courtesy of Chef Ross M. Stern who held positions at St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton hotels. There’s a luxury hotel vibe to the menu with big ticket items like caviar (including Russian sevruga for $149 an ounce), foie gras and an ample raw bar selection with platters of shellfish going for as high as $89. If you steer clear of those items rest of the menu isn’t as wallet-busting with starters and pastas averaging about $14 and mains ranging $22-$46.
The roasted artichoke and garlic soup is a fine way to start the meal, topped with crab meat and balsamic vinegar “pearls” that pop with flavor. The house smoked salmon is presented as a fillet with a gentle smokiness and crispy potato cake along with dill crème fraiche. Mushroom lovers will do well with the porcini triangoli, pasta pillows stuffed with fungi bathed in a garlic cream sauce and topped with shredded black truffles. The mains include hefty dishes like a 12-ounce organic skirt steak and a 16-ounce bone-in veal chop with a Marsala wine gravy but if you’re looking for something lighter go with the whole-roasted yellowtail snapper stuffed with lemons and herbs.
Skip the sweet rice pudding doughnuts for dessert – too heavy after the rich meal – and opt instead for the fluffy tiramisu or the intense Chocolate Faberge, basically a molten lava cake in the shape of a Faberge egg with a Godiva white chocolate shell.
Verdict: If you’re in North Miami and looking for a posh supper club vibe or to linger over a few cocktails you can head to this spot.