Scarpetta, Miami Beach

In Dining by Leslie Moore

From the moment we drove up to this iconic building of movie and novel fame, to the delectable end of our glorious night at Scarpetta’s, it was like navigating a very glamorous and very grand scene on a 50’s movie set. I expected, at any moment, to see Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin laughing together over martinis and girls. The Fontainebleau reopened in 2008, following a $1 billion reinvention, and remains spectacularly Miami Modern and thankfully, architecturally preserved.

We entered the restaurant through the very modern and glitzy cocktail lounge; the restaurant itself is a quirky version of mid-century nautical that confirmed once again that we were on vacation in very unique city. The atmosphere was bubbly and sea foamy; the lines are soft and curvy, accentuated by round portals and rolled stainless.

Recommendations:  Smoked Tuna Tartar, Diver Scallop Crudo, Duck and Foie Gras Ravioli, Spaghetti, Long Island Duck and Fennel Dusted Black Cod.

The Tartar was robust and flavorful with a lemon emulsion and caviar, the Scallop Crudo was delightful and bright, prepared with orange segments, fennel and pine nuts. But the pastas are their signature dishes and although I was a wee bit skeptical at first to even order Spaghetti, it was phenomenal; creamy and rich, the tart, fresh tomato muted yet unrestrained. The luscious Duck and Foie Gras Ravioli was righteously decadent and so delicious. Our mains where served with the pride they deserved. The fish was delicate and lightly cooked; paired with a bouquet of flavors created from the fennel, tomatoes which all melded together with fragrant olive oils. The Long Island Duck was spectacular, with sour cherry jus, and cooked to perfection.