Since opening last year, Uvaggio has grown into a neighborhood favorite on Miracle Mile. And personally, the wine bar has been a favorite of ours since we started the blog last summer — Partners Craig DeWald and Heath Porter were our very first interview.
This year, Uvaggio saw a big change in the kitchen following the departure of opening chef Bret Pelaggi. Replacing him is Tanner Gill, a Texas Culinary Academy graduate who made a name for himself at various Austin restaurants before moving to Miami and joining Uvaggio. Our recent fall media dinner was the first time trying Chef Tanner’s food and we can honestly say Uvaggio hasn’t missed a beat.
The evening presented us with five fall offerings, each paired with a wine selected by Porter (Uvaggio’s Head Wine-O). For those who aren’t familiar with the Uvaggio food concept, here’s a quick primer: The restaurant follows a “tasting backwards” approach. The food is developed around the wine; the food not only complements the wine but is also designed to enhance the experience as a whole.
And it works. This “tasting backwards” approach had us looking forward to every course. Guests who pop into the cozy wine bar will be treated to a wealth of items that are so good, there’s no doubt you’ll become a regular.
Take the seasonal salad, for instance: fall greens, heirloom tomatoes, strawberries, goat cheese, avocado and a few other tasty bits. Paired with a syrah, everything just pops. The duck confit — with its acorn squash puree, dandelion-sorrel salad, mustard-apple vinaigrette, cranberry gastrique — makes perfect use of those fall flavors for an absolutely stunning dish.
Lovers of pasta will rejoice when they get a taste of the handmade potato gnocchi with roasted wild mushrooms, arugula pesto and truffle oil. The pillowy paradise will have your taste buds on Cloud 9. The Best Dish of the Night Award goes to the slow cooked brisket, though. First of all, it’s beautiful with sautéed baby bok choy, shitake mushrooms, bacon dashi, and a daikon slaw. The ingredients list sounds so random, but they all work magically together. Chef Tanner is holding nothing back, and it shows with this unique plate.
Our last course — the sous vide pork cheeks — were a light (and welcomed) ending to the evening’s hearty parade of delicious dishes. To quote our foodie friends Mitch and Mel Take Miami, “This meal was one for the ages.” As for the wines, they were all great. We’re not too knowledgeable about wine (unless you talk to us about Bordeaux), but you’re in capable hands with Heath and the team. We sure were.
Uvaggio Wine Bar is located on 70 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. For hours of operation and other information, visit their official website or call 305-229-0915