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Mar 18, 2012 12:28 PM

When does Lucali open in Miami and where?

Just reading NY magazine and noticed pizzeria Lucali is said to open in Miami. Does anyone know when and where that would be?

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  1. 1930 West Avenue in Sobe, right next to Barceloneta. I was told 6 months but I would give it until the end of the year. Glad it was finally confirmed.

    8 Replies
    1. re: tpigeon

      Isn't Barceloneta on the corner of 20th and Bay?

      1. re: djs7d

        Yes. Lucali will be in the warehouse one building south of Barceloneta. I meant to say 1930 Bay Road. Sorry.

        1. re: tpigeon

          Is that confirmed? There doesn't seem to be any activity in that warehouse.

          1. re: SobeChower

            Yes it is confirmed and there is indeed activity.

            1. re: tpigeon

              Great. Any idea who is going into the old Casale space? It looks like they were clearing out whatever was inside into the dumpsters in the lot out front.

                1. re: SobeChower

                  No idea. For rent signs are still up I think...

                  1. re: SobeChower

                    I confirmed the for rent signs are up but when I passed today not only was the dumpster activity continuing, but there was an electrician truck parked there so who knows. Usually the first thing that happens when a place is rented out is the for rent signs come down...

        2. I heard the south beach location will have a full bar and specialize in bourbons -- just a rumor and and if it is true it will probably be some time after it first opens.

          58 Replies
          1. re: tpigeon

            Lucali will be a wine and beer place - no full bar. They will have a wine bar on premises. They are hoping to open next month but the way the city goes I would guess by year's end.

            Menu will be the same as Brooklyn.

            1. re: MelisaG

              We will see. I am excited too. They are saying by the end of this month. I think it will be by the end of December. Things are moving quickly there though...

              Apparently the oven there was hand built by them and is touted as a more advanced version of the original (also hand built by them).

              1. re: tpigeon

                They had a friend's and family on Saturday. They are hoping to open this week...

                1. re: tpigeon

                  TP, please let me/us know when they are open. Can't wait

                  1. re: The Chowfather

                    They are doing a soft opening now...or at least they were tonight.

                    You might want to call ahead to confirm as you live far away. They are kind of perfectionists so they might not be open every day now until they "get it right".

                    1. re: tpigeon

                      Five stars for Lucali. Pizza perfection! Sauce is silly good.

                        1. re: tpigeon

                          One more thing. Mark (who makes the pizza's) goes back to Brooklyn today. Today is the first day someone other than Mark will be making pizzas and calzones (this may be true in the entire history of either Lucali location). This is why I have refrained from talking about it myself until CF's post.

                          You really don't know what is going to happen until you try it. Which I am going to do tonight btw...

                          Mark apparently has a longer term plan of coming down one day/week.

                          That is one hell of a commute...

                        2. re: The Chowfather

                          Did you get in?

                          There was a mouth-watering background and story that made me wish I was "friend or family":


                          1. re: non sequitur

                            Anyone can come in now. I believe they will be open normal hours from now on...

                            1. re: tpigeon

                              Happy to report that I think the food has improved slightly since my last visit and has survived Mark's departure well. Even though it is early, I recommend this place strongly.

                              1. re: tpigeon

                                Any idea if they are open tonight?

                                  1. re: tpigeon

                                    They are closed Sundays.

                                    They have a very good nutella calzone dessert btw.

                                    1. re: tpigeon

                                      First impressions...

                                      Sauce is awesome, tons of flavor. Dough is chewy. Too chewy for me. No crunch to it really. Crust had some nice bubbles but still chewy. Definitely a different style of pizza compared to other places down here. Pizzeria Oceano beats this place handily but after one visit I'd say it's pretty solid. Need to give it a few more tries to see how the dough/crust holds up on other visits.

                                      1. re: Blind Mind

                                        I would not describe mine as chewy on Saturday, but it was certainly less crispy than Friday (but not worse in my opinion). They are still playing around with the pies. I think Saturday's pies had more sauce and cheese than Friday's. I did not mind this, but it may have caused it to be less crispy.

                                        1. re: tpigeon

                                          TP: We must have crossed paths: I was there Saturday at 6pm, must have had the first pie of the day, and I would echo your description

                                          I haven't met a pizza I didn't like (well ONE: Jerry & Joes in the spot that now has yummy Kings County), but Lucali was the best I've had in South Florida, and certainly equal to anything I've had in NYC. I haven't been to Oceano in FL, or Keste in NYC, but I've had quite a few of the other "greats".

                                          I was able to have the calzone also, which I HIGHLY recommend. At $10 I would absolutely have this if I were stopping in alone - it was a phenomenal deal.

                                          I'm happy they take credit cards, but I wish the BYOB policy were imported from NYC (or a $5 corkage fee?).

                                          All in all, it was fantastic, and I envy friends of mine that live across the street: 3 pubbelly places and now Miami's best pizza. I'd even consider an investment property in the area just based on the food!

                                          1. re: non sequitur

                                            You reminded me of something I'd not thought of much at first...

                                            1 mushroom pizza, 1 Cigar City Florida Cracker Ale, 1 Sprite, tax, tip = $45?

                                            1. re: Blind Mind

                                              I'm excited to eat at Lucali, but from what I've read the pricing is a little excessive... Somebody on Yelp complained about a $61 pizza. What is the price of a Margherita? Additional toppings?

                                              1. re: SobeChower

                                                Pricing is steep for pizza but it is really good. I think it is $28 for a margherita.

                                                The calzone is pretty filling, is excellent (I like it as much as the pizza) and is $10.

                                                I have not gotten toppings yet, so I can't say the price. Can't leave margherita land...

                                                In context of pizza, it is expensive. In context of what you would pay for excellent food, not so much. You can get full on excellent food here for much less than other places charge for their food (excellent or not).

                                                You would almost certainly have to pay more (considering travel, your time, etc.) to get a better pizza if you live near or in Miami.

                                                1. re: tpigeon

                                                  I'm excited to go and if the pizza is superior to everything else in town I have no problem spending twice as much for it. However, for what they are charging it has to be the best - It can't just be good pizza.

                                                  1. re: tpigeon

                                                    Though I agree and respect your views immensely, your apologizing is just making it worse. A $28 pizza is unconscionable. In Europe anywhere, they would laugh their asses off at our pretense, no matter how good.

                                                    1. re: taiga

                                                      To each their own. I am not apologizing. I am setting context.

                                                      I guess that also means the $29 oxtail ramen at Momi is too expensive too because people in Japan say so. Well, I can't get near as good a bowl of ramen anywhere else, so I will keep paying...

                                                      If you don't want to eat these dishes because it offends your sensibilities, fine. More for us.

                                                      1. re: tpigeon

                                                        Fair argument, TP. But I have to believe there's a significant difference ingredient-wise between what's in that ramen and what's on that pizza. Comparing Lucali margherita to Scarpetta spaghetti probably more accurate.

                                                        Lucali was a good pizza. I don't think it's as awe-inspiring as TP and Chowfather do but I also don't profess to be a "pizza expert". I need to go back a few more times with hopes of a better dough/crust performance to really form an opinion. I definitely want to try that calzone too because I really liked the sauce and saw it comes with a nice side of sauce.

                                                        1. re: Blind Mind

                                                          Possibly, but the margherita and the ramen are more likely to fill you up than the pomordo at scarpetta (which is amazing btw).

                                                      2. re: taiga

                                                        I agree. $28 for a margherita pizza is insulting -- especially when you can go to Harry's and get an incredible pizza with short rib (for example) for $16. You could go to Rosa Mexicana and get two Margaritas for that price (please don't bash me for bringing up R.M. on this site -- it was a joke/comparison). Other things you could have for $28.00 or less:

                                                        Order of medium stone crab claws at Joe's
                                                        3 course lunch at Milos
                                                        2 pizzas at Harry's
                                                        Leg of Lamb + Bibb Salad @ Michael's
                                                        Dinner for 4 (3?) at Shake Shack
                                                        . . . you get the idea . . .

                                                        You could make the argument that a Margherita pizza could feed 2 people (are they that big?) and one order of mediums would feed one. However, I think you have to consider the average price of other similar items. If you feel like stone crabs, you know you are going to have to pay $25+ in a restaurant. For even "gourmet" pizza, $28 is so much higher than any reasonable alternative.

                                                        As TP states - to each their own. I consider myself open to spending money on good food; but I have to draw the line somewhere. How are they going to make it with those prices?!

                                                        1. re: BigBonesBradley

                                                          The Margherita Pizza was $26 when I went. They might be tinkering with the pricing during the soft opening. It is definitely expensive, but in my opinion worth it. It is much better than Harry's and it is almost twice the size.

                                                          1. re: BigBonesBradley

                                                            They seem to be doing just fine...

                                                            edit. The new times doesn't think the pricing is so offensive...


                                                            1. re: tpigeon

                                                              I would like to try Lucali, but I think I must buy the carbon offset for the hand-polished San Marzanos if I am going to contribute the $28 and sleep well.

                                                              As far as Momi's $29 oxtail ramen, this is more complicated. In my years there and recent travels, I have never heard of such a price point for ramen. It's always $10 or less. On the other hand, $29 for a meal in Japan, where everyone routinely drops the equivalent of a hundred or two, would be a bargain. I won't try Momi however, because I'm going to Japan soon and prefer to slum with the 850 yen crowd.

                                                            2. re: BigBonesBradley

                                                              Another point is, on most days, I would rather eat at Lucali than all the other options you just mentioned.

                                                              1. re: BigBonesBradley

                                                                I'm not sure about Dinner for 3 or even 2 at Shake Shack for $28:

                                                                2 burgers - $16
                                                                Michael's Genuine Beer - $9
                                                                2 shakes/concretes/custards/etc. - $10


                                                                1. re: Icantread

                                                                  We were there Sat night and it was quite busy. We had one pizza with 2 toppings and 1 diet coke........$61.00. We enjoyed the pie, but not sure we will make it a regular stop at those prices.

                                                                  1. re: dlgc809

                                                                    Unless the toppings were $10 each & you are including tax & tip that is not possible.

                                                                    1. re: SobeChower

                                                                      The toppings were $8.00 for the artichoke and $4.00 for the mushrooms, $3.50 for a diet coke plus tax and came to $60.00 not $61.00, sorry.

                                                                      1. re: dlgc809

                                                                        I'm still having trouble getting to $60. It sounds like you tipped twice or I'm really bad at math.

                                                                        $26 for pizza + $12 for toppings + 3.50 for diet coke = $41.50 + 7% sales tax ($2.91) + 2% resort tax ($.83) + 18% included service charge ($7.47)

                                                                        Grand Total = $52.71

                                                                        There is no argument that the pizza at Lucali is expensive, but not nearly as expensive as your post indicates. Also, the artichoke hearts are double the price of every other topping.

                                                                        1. re: SobeChower

                                                                          People should also really try the calzone. At $10 it is a good portion size for one person and I may like it even more than the pizza itself (I have not decided yet -- it is very close).

                                                                          1. re: tpigeon

                                                                            I thought the pizza was much better than the calzone, but will try it again.

                                                                            1. re: tpigeon

                                                                              Is the calzone just sauce and cheese?

                                                                              1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                Yes. Sauce is on the side.

                                                                                I bet you could stuff it with any of the pizza toppings though. I have never asked...

                                                                                1. re: tpigeon

                                                                                  So it's basically a baked grilled cheese sandwich that you dunk in sauce? I thought it would've had sauce inside already like a normal calzone. Weird.

                                                                                  1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                    I like it the way it is, but you can probably ask to have the sauce inside as well...

                                                                                    1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                      I've never seen a calzone with sauce inside in NYC. It's either no sauce or tomato sauce on the side.

                                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                        I suppose maybe youre right. Living in Miami, it's been a long time since I had a calzone.

                                                                                      2. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                        BM, I have never seen a calzone with sauce inside.

                                                                                  2. re: tpigeon

                                                                                    TP, Best calzone I've ever had. Not even close. and I'm not even including the side of!

                                                                                    1. re: The Chowfather

                                                                                      Ok. You, know what's really good? Before going to Lucali, get high quality ham slices (fancy spanish or italian of your choice is just fine..) to go at any of the following:

                                                                                      Fresh Market, Sardinia, Barceloneta

                                                                                      Bring it to Lucali and have them make the calzone with the ham. No need for sauce then. That is a calzone...

                                                                                      1. re: tpigeon

                                                                                        Just had the nutella pizza there and it was outstanding. Far superior to the dessert calzone. Be warned that the pie size is the same 20 inch pie that the regular pies are (for now, I think they will reduce the size -- just too intimidating for most people). Unlike the regular pie, it is so rich that the vast majority of people who try to eat a slice will probably not finish it, so the pie literally feeds 8.

                                                                                        The pie costs $15.

                                                                                        1. re: tpigeon

                                                                                          Funny, the Brooklyn location has ham on the menu for calzones. Maybe there are regional differences on the menu -- or they haven't found a good supplier yet.

                                                                                        2. re: The Chowfather

                                                                                          Best dish on south beach. Calzone filled w 5 different cheeses and paired with an addictive tomato sauce. Bomb

                                                                                          1. re: The Chowfather

                                                                                            I've gotten their calzone "to go" to bring back up to PBC 2x now... And it's even terrific reheated in a regular oven the next day (unlike pizza in general).

                                                                                            Not to mention at around what $10 or so for the "small", it is quite a good deal.

                                                                                            1. re: CFByrne

                                                                                              If you have not tried it, try the calzone with pepperoni and mushrooms.

                                                                                              Bottom line is the pizza is fantastic at Lucali but the calzone is world class.

                                                                                              As a take out option, it is not even close as pizza deteriorates.

                                                                                      2. re: SobeChower

                                                                                        My husband must have over tipped by mistake...........We loved the pizza, the crust had a great chew and the sauce is superb. I'll check with him again on the cost.

                                                    2. re: The Chowfather

                                                      Pizza is still 5 stars. Don't let any yelpers and their type tell you otherwise.

                                                      1. re: The Chowfather

                                                        Looking forward to checking out this place as I will spending the month of May in Sobe at Yacht Club....I trust this is NY style....I live in San Diego (originally from NY) where Neapolitan is the rage and the morons from Tripadvisor rated San Diego the #1 pizza destination in the US (blasphemy)....Batali opened up his Pizzeria Mozza 5 months ago here serving Neapolitan style and I am not a fan ( 10 inch margherita with 2 glasses of wine, tax and tip comes to $ 70--and it's not good).....hope Lucali is good--looks very good from your pic.

                                                          1. re: tpigeon

                                                            And Tripadvisor is useless. Just a note: Lucali is not cheap - I think the prices have dropped some, but a plain pie used to be $26 (but at least is big enough to feed 2 people); by comparison especially, the calzone is an incredible bargain.

                                                            1. re: Frodnesor

                                                              Plain pie is now $24.

                                                              Lucali is cheap if you go with small calzones.

                                                              If you decide not to do that it gets more expensive but still worth it. As I have said before, I have spent a lot more for meals that were a lot worse.

                                                              I would not recommend the meatballs there. They are not bad but they are expensive for what you get.

                                        2. According to their Facebook page, the hours are now firming up...

                                          "Our hours aren't as "soft" as they used to be. Hours this week are:
                                          TUESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY : 6pm - 12am
                                          SATURDAY & SUNDAY: 1 pm - 12am"

                                          This was from March 21 and no further updates since, at least not on FB... If anyone has addtl info... please add... may be heading here this weekend...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. Anyone been here lately? How is the wait?

                                            I'm thinking of going Saturday, after 4PM Marlins game. So that would likely mean 7:30PM arrival.

                                            I know SoBe can be "late" to heat up. But any idea on what I can expect around then?

                                            Alternate plan, go at 2PM before game. Would prefer later, but I imagine this would be one of the quieter times.

                                            Thoughts? TIA

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: CFByrne

                                              I've been twice, haven't had to wait either time. I think it was on a Thursday and Sunday night, but I don't think you'll have a problem.

                                              1. re: CFByrne

                                                If you want a quiet time, take it to the ballpark.

                                                1. re: taiga

                                                  Hah! I have other plans for the ballpark!

                                                  Tentative day's schedule:

                                                  Pregame: Pan con minuta and more at La Camaronera.

                                                  Game: Pork sandwich at Papo llega y pon

                                                  Postgame: Pizza and Calzone at Lucali

                                                  As you can see, this game is largely an excuse for a Drive Down to Miami and Eat All Saturday Long adventure.

                                                  1. re: CFByrne

                                                    You should get the nutella pizza for dessert. It is really great. Good plan btw.

                                                    1. re: tpigeon

                                                      The calzone is also a pretty good deal and very good.

                                                      1. re: ajh05004

                                                        The calzone dessert is good but not nearly as good as the pizza.

                                                        I like the regular calzone about as much as their pizza.

                                                        1. re: tpigeon

                                                          Yes I was referring to the regular calzone.

                                                      2. re: tpigeon

                                                        Everything sounds great EXCEPT for the loneliness of the game. Hope you brought a book.

                                                2. Finally made it to Lucali, Saturday June 1.

                                                  We arrived at 7PM and were greeted and seated promptly by the hostess. I needn’t have worried about lines or waiting, the place was actually very quiet. I think of the ten or so tables scattered throughout, perhaps 3 or 4 were occupied.

                                                  The hostess, waitress, and a manager who stopped by our table, all made for a pleasant experience.

                                                  While I freshened up after a harrowing drive from Marlins Park, my wife ordered the Fennel Salad ($9) and the Artichoke Hearts ($8, said to be from Italy I believe).

                                                  The hearts were spectacular, but the salad was the only miss of the night IMO. As far as I recall it was simply julienned fennel, arugula, red onion, and a very mild vinaigrette. It was fresh, plain, simple – but just not anything remarkable or especially notable or memorable.

                                                  With all that already ordered, getting both the calzone and a pizza seemed too much, so we got the plain pizza. It was fantastic as expected. And it is a very large pizza. Even with the large crust, we polished it all off.

                                                  Breaking news: The plain pizza price is now $24!

                                                  In the past month I’ve been fortunate to enjoy Roberta’s pizza in Brooklyn, Pizzeria Oceano in Palm Beach, Schuola Vecchia in Delray (essentially, a Keste close), and now Lucali.

                                                  Of the three non-classic-Neapolitans, I would rate Roberta’s #1, followed by PO and then Lucali. But it is very very close and if I had each again, I might just completely flip those.

                                                  Finished off the evening with an wonderful dessert - a pasty topped with nutella and filled with some sort of ricotta mixture.

                                                  Interestingly, when we left at 8PM the store was still not nearly full (there was a good takeout business going on though). As we went to our car, we passed PB and PB Sushi and they were slammed out the doors.

                                                  I did not care for the “resort tax” (what resort? Is this typical?) added to our bill, even if it was just $1.28.

                                                  Nor the 16.5% service charge also automatically added to our bill. I almost missed that, and if I had, and then tipped my usual 20% and then noticed that later, I would have been very annoyed.

                                                  Billing issues aside, overall, I thought Lucali was outstanding, the room is beautiful, service and food excellent.

                                                  I am eager to go back and try more pizza, and the calzone and the nutella pizza dessert!

                                                  Photos attached:

                                                  View of kitchen from dining room
                                                  The boys making pies
                                                  Fennel salad
                                                  Artichoke hearts
                                                  Plain pizza

                                                  And just for kicks:
                                                  Roberta's Bee Sting Pizza
                                                  Pizzeria Oceano Plain Pie

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: CFByrne

                                                    I believe the resort tax is charged at all Miami Beach eateries, the restaurants don't have a choice in the matter. The service fee is a restaurant decision, but seems to have become pretty ubiquitous on the beach due to the number of European tourists who aren't used to tipping. Still, I think some restaurants do a better job than others of informing customers that gratuity was already included.

                                                    1. re: ajh05004

                                                      I have noticed an increasing number of restaurants that separately itemize either the Miami-Dade or the Miami Beach "tourist" or "resort" taxes (2%) in addition to Florida sales tax (6%) on the bill. No, they do not have a choice in whether to collect this.

                                                    2. re: CFByrne

                                                      It was only a matter of time before they lowered their price. $24 is what they charge in NY and I was surprised that the initial pricing was 13% higher than an already expensive pie.

                                                      It is also nice to see that they added salads to the menu.