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May 21, 2009 09:31 PM

Pizzavolante - another Miami pizza contender

Pizzavolante, Jonathan Eismann's new pizza parlor and mozzarella bar in the Miami Design District, opened for business today. I stopped by mid-day to snag a menu, link is here ->
and went back tonight to try out the fare.

I was initially somewhat dubious about the mozzarella bar thing, but after getting a look I began to understand the appeal. Pizzavolante offers several different varieties of mozzrella, from locally produced cow's milk mozz from Vito Volpe, to organic Vermont buffalo mozzarella, to Italian D.O.P. mozzarella di bufala and burrata. They can be paired iwth a variety of different vegetable accompaniments - fried zucchini, organic spinach and arugula, caponata, house-marinated olives, etc. or some prosciutto if you like. We got a sample of several and particularly enjoyed the burrata, which was silky and rich, and also the little ovolini from Vito's.

A standard margherita pizza is $9, is cooked in a wood-burning oven, and also comes topped with some of Vito's mozzarella. The outer edge of crust was crispy without being burned, the rest was thin and firm enough to support the sauce and cheese without being crackly. The standout here among the bread-sauce-cheese trifecta was the cheese, which has a great milky, lightly salty flavor and wonderful texture. I don't claim to be a pizza expert, but this was good and the price was right.

There is a short list of various pizza options (not the encyclopedic list you may find at some places) from $9-13 - one of which includes a "Volante 100" featuring toppings grown or produced within 100 miles of the store - as well as calzones, a few sandwiches, a few pasta dishes, and a hearty daily special (traditional Italian fare like lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, etc.). 18 wines at $18 or under and cheap beers add to the appeal. It's a simple place, mostly finished in white and chrome with bright orange plastic chairs providing some visual contrast. I wouldn't come for the atmosphere (though it's perfectly pleasant) - but for the good food, with high quality ingredients, at a reasonable price.

I've written more on our first visit here ->

3918 N. Miami Ave.
Miami FL 33137

3918 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL

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  1. Sounds a lot like casale, it will be very interesting to compare them.

    1. I have had the chance to eat here....I was happy with the value for the money. The Brooklynese Calzone was great. The pizzas were good, nothing over the top. Great Mozzarella choices.

      1. I really enjoyed the mozzarella bar and the accompaniments. I tried the mozzarella di bufala from Italy and the burrattatini. Both were excellent, I liked the mozz a little more. The organic tomatoes, spinach and zucchini were all fresh and tasty. I also sampled the margherita pizza which I also enjoyed. It's thin, light, fresh and tasty. The sauce reminded me of a vodka sauce.

        This place will be a winner because of the fresh, high quality ingredients they are using along with the reasonable prices. I'm looking forward to trying more mozzarella, pizza, the accompaniments and inexpensive wine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: The Chowfather

          This place is really good. The mozzarella di bufala from Italy was great again (super fresh) and the pizza was even better this time. I tried the cacciatorini this time which features the local mozzarella, Cali pepperoni and guanciale. great combo. Also tried the margherita di bufala which tasted great as well. The dough was very close to NY in taste. This place is a real winner

        2. I was also at Pizzavolante on its opening night. We had the special gnocchi with short ribs -- delicious sauce, very light gnocchi and the short ribs were tasty without being overpowering. We tried the Vermont mozzarella and the burrata both of which were delicious. We also tried the pizza Bianca and another pizza (with sausage, I think). Both were delicious. Overall we had a great time, delicious food, tasty inexpensive wines, and very nice service.

          1. I went the second night and also enjoyed it very much. Found the pizza better than Joey's which I had tried for the first time a couple nights prior.

            We started with half a burratta and vito's local mozz w several accompaniments (including some we didn't order and not including some we did- still all good). The baby heirloom tomatoes, prosciutto, and julienned zucchini were my favs. I also liked the organic andalucian olive oils on the table, preferring the "intenso".

            For pizzas we shared a margherita and a volante 100, which on that night included eggplant and red peppers. I loved the charred thin crusts on these pies, a bit buttery to me, very delicious. Great balance of flavors/ingredients and also for the right price. Also had a cheap bottle of pinot noir that was about $15 and went fine with the pizza.

            Are they serious about NO DESSERT options? At least gimme some ice cream!

            Nice addition to the ever growing pizza scene here in the 305.

            2 Replies
              1. re: dmo305

                Give them time for desserts, I think there will be some additions to the menu once they've gotten their feet under them. Or just go across the street to PT and get the key lime baked alaska. Though I was really hankering for some good gelato after my pizza.