macchialina is the best food coma in town


 
macchialina is the best food coma in town.
 
macchialina, the sister restaurant to the Pubbelly boys off of the Venetian Causeway, is located a little bit away from Pubbelly, Pubbelly Sushi and Barceloneta in the distinctly more "South Beach" location on Alton and 8th but it's no less distinctly delicious. 
 
The entrepreneurial minds behind Pubbelly Andreas Schriener, Jose Mendin and Sergio Navarro are the champions of the gastropub scene in Miami and deliver some of the best dishes in the city. Pubbelly, Pubbelly Sushi and Barceloneta serve up renditions of fare that they don't want called "fusion" (it says so on their website), but it's at Macchialina, the more conservatively Italian restaurant that the trip really showcase their talents for food - good, clean, well prepared, ingredient rich food. At Pubbelly, you'll get a Pastrami & Sauerkraut Dumpling that tastes better than you can imagine, because it's hard to image what a Pastrami & Sauerkraut Dumpling would taste like; at Macchialina you get the best pasta you've ever had. 
 
According to our waiter, who so clearly loved his job we kept asking him questions about the restaurant just to indulge him in answering them, the restaurant is the fruit of a new partnership with Michael Pirolo Eatery, an ex-chef of the Fontainebleau's Scarpetta. The most popular dish at Scarpetta is the spaghetti, plain ol spaghetti, so it makes sense that the pasta of Pirolo's new venture would be important to him. They couldn't poach the pasta guy from Scarpetta, who allegedly makes each fresh batch in a secluded room so no one can see, and consequently steal, his technique - so they flew in his brother and he taught him the family trade. This brother now works at Macchialina, where the pasta comes in more inventive dishes than spaghetti bolognese and the best dish we tasted all night, unanimously, was the truffled mushroom pasta (far right in above image). 
 
Actually, that's not entirely true, the creamy polenta with sausage ragu and cipollini tied for first place in the eleven courses of our very reasonably priced $45 tasting menu. Yes, eleven courses. Eleven delicious unbuckle-your-jeans-so-you-can-eat-more courses. 
 
The amuse bouche was a bite of burrata and after that it just kept flowing: steamed mussels; warm butternut squash salad with kale, prosciutto and hazelnuts; broccolini al cesare; the aforementioned polenta and mushroom truffle pasta (taglio li ni ai funghi); beet filled mezzaluna; spaghetti con vongole - by the time that the whole chicken came to the table it was a laughable experience. The word food coma has never rung truer. The tasting menu at Macchialina is a Man v. Food worthy meal. Then they brought a plate of scallops and four desserts. 
 
I will probably never order the tasting menu at Macchialina again. This being said, you should absolutely do the tasting menu on your first time there. It's a bargain, it's the best way to taste everything on the menu and it's probably the best meal you'll have this whole year. So far, it was mine. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

here I am in full food coma, leaning on the wall for stability and trying to convince myself that "walking it off," like, walking to the car, will help. While simultaneously planning to come back again, maybe next week for the daily $10 pizza and pint happy hour.