Tamarina puts coastal Italian flavors in downtown Miami

The who: Husband-and-wife team Yona and Tunu Puri have opened Tamarina in the former Lippi space in Brickell. Yona Puri hails from Mauritius; the restaurant’s name refers to a village located there. Israel Mora heads up the kitchen.

The space: The cavernous dining room has been warmed up with dark wood and antique furniture and Murano glass lighting. Up front is a crudo bar for oysters and freshly prepared tartares and carpaccios. An al fresco Champagne Bar on the outdoor patio is in the works. The bar-lounge transitions from cozy business happy hour to evening fine dining.

The dishes: Coastal Italian cuisine. Prices are more forgiving that Lippi, and portions are larger. Starters are $9-$19, mains $25-$38.

Start off with tiger prawn carpaccio, thinly sliced and layered with diced tomatoes and black lava salt. Pasta dishes include linguine with lobster, and ricotta-and-spinach ravioli. Larger plates include hog snapper in clam broth, veal Milanese and lamb chops with black quinoa. 

Desserts get innovative with a spherical tiramisu garnished with gold fakes and served with candied cherries. 

The Bottom Line: The Lippi space is reborn as a moderately priced Italian stunner.