A Little Gem In Surfside
We just returned from dinner at Pescecane on Harding Ave. in Surfside. What a great meal. We have been there 5 or 6 times and it just gets better and better. This restaurant is under the radar and certainly worth a try. It gets mobbed on the weeekends, so we run in early and enjoy the great food and polished service. Give it a try, you won't be sorry
I was going to post this thread this morning after joining friends for dinner in Surfside last night. We passed by Ragazzi and it was (as usual) a mob scene. A couple we know were raving about a tiny place across the street that has a similar menu at half the prices - and half the customers waiting at the door. Perhaps they get the "overflow" from the crowd gathered every night at Ragazzi?
At first I thought it was Pescecane but it's actually called SPECCHIO.
Locals familiar with Oggi, Prima Pasta, Da Vinci, Ragazzi, Sambucca (all mid-priced pasta restaurants) will find SPECCHIO very similar in atmosphere and menu.
Look for a tiny storefront with a few candlelit inset patio tables out front and a lovely waitstaff inside. We shared a few salads and apps, a delicious proscuitto and melon starter and some homemade pasta entrees. AB ordered a black squid ink linguine with red sauce and shrimp and I loved my linguine and baby clams (in the shell). The service is quick and attentive, refilling water glasses and sodas and bread without a moment's pause.
At the start, they bring a soup bowl of just-marinated red ripe tomato chunks in garlic and olio with the bread basket for a "do it yourself" bruschetta (gratis). This was an extremely popular offering and a big step up from ordinary bread and butter or the little plate of spiced dipping oil... Generally, I prefer a heavier, peasant-style bread (takes one to know one), but once the tomatoes, oil, and garlic soak in - it's all good.
There are pretty traditional starters on the menu from tri-color salad, a soup of the day, carpaccio/bressaola. The pastas range from simple classics like rigatoni bolognese, to house-made lasagne (my friend ordered this and it looked GREAT), to a nightly special with mussels and shrimp. I opted to keep it simple as it's still so HOT and this was our first visit. The meat special last night - a duck breast grilled with rosemary on a bed of mushroom risotto - sounded too good to be true. I hope to find duck on the menu next time.
After dinner we walked the length of Harding Avenue to check out all the new places. Just next door to Specchio is La Rotisserie (which was packed) and the new location of the Greek Place. Half a block north we passed Pescecane and looked at the menu (pricier than Specchio - perhaps pricier than the neighborhood will bear considering there are a number of good Italian restaurants on the same block). Sushi Republic still packs them in and is doubling in size next month.
We love Surfside. There is absolutely NO scene save the wine sipping crowd cooling their heels outside Ragazzi and the football fans whooping it up at Flannigan's. Perhaps the lower rents and ample parking will help to create a genuine restaurant row in this sleeply strip of Harding Avenue. Considering how ghastly Sunny Isles Resort Row has grown, it is actually pleasant to walk through a few blocks of shops and cafes and enjoy an evening that's 100% hype free. (I leave out any further thought of the Food Gang after reading the Hounds' critiques and watching Chef Howie's sweat pouring into all the food on Bravo's Top Chef ::eeeeeew::: the HORROR!)
I look forward to hearing more from the Hounds about Pescecane or any of the other new Surfside restaurants...
Specchio Cafe 9485 Harding Ave, Surfside, FL (305) 865-5653
Pescecane Ristorante 9551 Harding Ave Surfside, FL 33154 (305) 861-1060
Sushi Republic 9583 Harding Ave, Surfside, FL (305) 867-8036
Flanigan's 9516 Harding Ave, Surfside, FL (305) 867-0099
Cafe Ragazzi 9500 Harding Ave, Surfside, FL (305) 866-4495
Greek Place 233 95th St, Surfside, FL (305) 866-9628
La Rotisserie 9487 Harding Ave Surfside, FL 33154 (305) 868-7667
Caffe Da Vinci 1009 Kane Concourse, Bay Harbor Islands, FL
Prima Pasta 414 71st St, Miami, FL (305) 867-0106
Oggi Caffe 1666 79th Street Cswy, North Bay Village, FL (305) 866-1238
It's Italian, and we ordered lobster tails with a spicy red sauce and pasta. Their chicken made under a brick is great, the veal chop is huge, fish is fresh and prepared many ways, and their pasta is wonderful. The owner used to be the top guy at Il Millino in Sunny Isles in the Aqualina Hotel. The food is fabulous, the restaurant is always mobbed when we have been there, and I do think the area can support a restaurant with their prices. Remember Bal Harbour is right down the street, and Aventura is only 10 minutes away.