Biscayne Boulevard has a new buddy. Best Friends has picked up where Tommy Billante and his Luna Cafe left off.
The brick ovens are still there, so you’d be wise to order a pizza. They make pizza a variety of appealing ways, and for an additional $3 you can get your pie with imported fresh mozzarella. Of the dozen or so choices, I liked the ones that had more of a gourmet feel: the Tartufon, with mushrooms and white truffle oil (what is it about that smell?); the Federico Fellini, named after the Italian director, topped with prosciutto crudo, arugula and fresh tomatoes, and the Distinta, topped with brie and caramelized onions.
Vegetarians have a lot of choices here, but the Ortolana is calling your name, with roasted bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini and spinach. Famished? Get your fill with stuffed pizzas that Best Friends call “The Blues.’’ The Blu Laguna (with sundried tomatoes, ricotta and spinach) reminded me of a Hot Pocket; it’s inside-out pizza crammed with basically whatever you wish. Have fun eating it with your hands.
But let’s move on to more diet-friendly plates. Best Friends takes great care with salads. A delicious summer refresher is the Pera Con Noci, with baby greens, bits of pear, toasted walnuts and gorgonzola. The dressing is a light raspberry vinaigrette. If you like a little more oomph with your lettuce, order yours topped with wood-roasted skirt steak or seared tuna loin or salmon. No complaints there.
The only big surprising non-hit was the Gustoso burger, stuffed with bacon and blue cheese. . The meat, cooked on a charcoal grill, tasted a little like cardboard. I admit I gobbled up my side order of fries dusted with pesto parmesan, though.
If you decide to pick up your meal instead of having it delivered, go ahead and bring the kids. They won’t mind the wait with a bounce house on the back terrace. Another treat: By the bathrooms is a huge floor-to-ceiling chalkboard with plenty of colorful chalk for random scribbling.