Meal report – Osteria del Teatro, South Beach
My partner and I are visiting Miami Beach for a couple of days and decided we wanted a "nice" dinner last night. After searching Chowhound and looking at other reviews on line, we decided on Osteria del Teatro. We're very opinionated about Italian food, so this was a risk for us but we decided the rave reviews made it worth a try.
We called a few hours early for a 7:30 reservation, but the earliest they had was 8:30. When we arrived at the restaurant, the maitre d' opened the door and greeted us by name, and whisked us to a table. Every table was full, and the small dining room was very crowded, and pretty loud. But the service was very personal and very attentive. The waiter listed at least a dozen specials that weren't on the menu, and when we weren't sure, made some excellent suggestions. We ordered one appetizer, one pasta dish, and one meat dish, all to split. The waiter took note, and the two entrees were presented already split and presented on separate plates for the two of us. At the beginning of the evening, the service seemed rushed, but the pace slowed down when the restaurant finished dealing with a large birthday party at the other end of the dining room.
The bread was very good, and the appetizer was excellent – "burrata," a soft mozzarella mixed with cream. This was rich with black truffles and served with speck, a kind of prosciutto, and dressed with olive oil and black pepper. It was simple, rich, and delicious. The pasta course was homemade pappardelle, in a creamy tomato vodka sauce, and fresh porcini mushrooms. We had been worried that this might not go well with the Chianti we had ordered (Chianti classico: Roca della Macie – $44), but the waiter had reassured us, and was correct – it was fine. The meat dish was a rack of lamb, cooked perfectly (medium rare, on the rare side!), in a Barolo reduction, with a mustard crust (the mustard flavor was little jarring, to tell the truth). All in all it was a lovely meal, with extremely attentive service that just managed not to be over the top. For dessert we shared a huge piece of pecan pie, and a disappointingly thin shot of decaf espresso. Also disappointing was the lack of a liquor license – the pie would have been perfect with a grappa. With tax and a 20% tip, the tab was just over $200. A splurge for us, but we enjoyed it very much.
Osteria has the best burrata I had in miami. Next time, if you are a seafood fan, try the lobster pasta.
re: Trixie Too
Hey, I hope this isn't too late! It was expensive! I usually don't spend that much on a meal - $200 for two people (including tax and tip) - but we wanted a special meal, and the place was highly rated. We felt we got our money's worth - the food and service was great. The decor was so-so and the room was noisy, but I figured out that the noise was due to the fact that half the one-room dining room was occupied by a birthday dinner. Main courses were in the $25-$30 range. The burrata appetizer was stupendous. I have no idea whether you can bring your own wine - normally restaurants will let you, but sometimes the corkage fee is so high that it's not worth it. If I had to guess, I would guess that that would be the case with them - but you would have to inquire. If you're ready for an expensive dinner, this place is great.
As a supplemental to this-- we had dinner there a week ago tomorrow and the bill was $120 incl tax and tip but no alcohol. The menu pastas were in the high teens to low twenties but the special one, which I had, was $34 (linguine with grilled prawns in lobster tomato cream sauce). Both had appetizers (one soup, one spinach salad) and split a dessert.
This was a superb meal and rivalled Italian food we have eaten in lots of places. We arrived without a reservation and they graciously moved a few things around to seat us (having said that, groups after us without reservations were turned away diplomatically). Service friendly and little things like the quality of bread, a sparkling water that wasn't Pellegrino, etc were all pleasant add-ons.