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Pizzavolante - another Miami pizza contender

Frodnesor May 21, 2009 09:31 PM

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 ->
http://www.foodforthoughtmiami.com/2009/05/doors-fly-open-at-pizzavolante.html
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 ->
http://www.foodforthoughtmiami.com/2009/05/pizzavolante-miami-design-district.html

Pizzavolante
3918 N. Miami Ave.
Miami FL 33137
305.573.5325

www.foodforthoughtmiami.com

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Pizzavolante
3918 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL

  1. lax2mia Sep 22, 2009 09:27 AM

    Recent visit was awful, from service botches to limp and sorry looking pizza. Poorly trained waiter mistook my app order of fler de latte (that's how it's on the menu so I pointed it to him to make sure he got the right one) with zucchini salad to mean "the pizza with fior de latte which is named Margharita Fior di Latte and a zucchini salad on the side for some reason". Two pizzas came (the one we ordered and the Margharita) and we said we'd only ordered one. Manager came and said there's a misunderstanding and I explained what probably happened. He said, "Yeah, what you ordered was a salad". Ummm, yep. No apology, just an about face from the manager. Never heard a word from him again - no apology, no "how are things", nothing - because he was too busy schmoozing with the other couple in the place.

    As for the pizza itself, it was sad. Crust had no char. By the time you got to the second slice the crust was so soggy it fell limp when you picked it up. The sauce was thin and slightly sweet. It was a sad way to introduce my S.O. to this place. We'll give it one more shot till we write it off.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lax2mia
      Icantread Sep 22, 2009 12:47 PM

      My personal experience in June was so awful I'm almost surprised it's still open. Horrible canned-tomato sauce used for basically everything with little variation throughout. Other than curiosity, I do not know why anyone would go there, especially when you can get such a superior product at Joey's.

    2. h
      havaiana May 26, 2009 07:45 PM

      great lunch spot - have been 3 times in 5 days so i could get a taste of as many different things as possible! definitely some of the best pizza and mozzarella to be had in miami, and the pasta tasted like i was in a little trattoria in italy. love the chill vibe, the communal dining - never know what interesting conversations will be had serendipitously. ingredients that you feel good about, and an extremely appealing and accessible wine list make this joint an instant winner. it's brand shiny new so the wait staff is still getting the hang of things, but their attitude is great. feel like i've been dining (lunching?) in rome w/out the jetlag and usurious exchange rates!

      1. dmo305 May 26, 2009 05:47 PM

        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
          lax2mia May 26, 2009 07:05 PM

          Maybe it's Miami's first BYOD?

          1. re: dmo305
            Frodnesor May 26, 2009 07:48 PM

            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.

          2. c
            comidaqueen May 26, 2009 07:29 AM

            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. The Chowfather May 26, 2009 06:54 AM

              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
                The Chowfather Jun 12, 2009 08:23 AM

                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. MGTico May 25, 2009 08:51 PM

                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. t
                  tpigeon May 25, 2009 02:19 PM

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

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