Italian restaurants are a dime a dozen in Miami. It’s hard not to go a few blocks without stumbling across yet another eatery serving up our favorite carbs. With so much competition out there, it takes a real winner to stand out from the crowd.
Enter Toscana Divino, which has been a centerpiece of Mary Brickell Village for years now. Other tenants have come and gone, but the Italian restaurant has stuck around through thick and thin. Its longevity should come as no surprise, though. This is some of the best Italian food in town.
When you sit down for dinner, opening the menu reveals a wealth of mouthwatering options from light bites to hefty pastas and even heftier mains. The restaurant prides itself on making as much food as possible in house: the bread, the cured meats, the pastas … you name it. We suggest you get started with the beef tartare or burrata caprese — not ordering them would be a sin.
At first sight, the tartare’s playful “wood stump” presentation (no other way to describe it) got us excited for the dish, and our excitement continued as we dug into the appetizer. If you’ve had beef tartare before, you haven’t had it like this; the texture is different — and improved — and the accompanying olives deliver a pleasant tang that kept us thinking about the dish well into our meal.
We were even more impressed by the burrata caprese, which came highly recommended. “You have to get the burrata,” our friends said. Now, we can’t recommend it enough. Crazy creaminess + super-ripe tomatoes = a must during any visit.
The beef tartare and burrata caprese really set the bar high for the night. In the past, we’ve been burned by starters at other restaurants. They’re so good that we expect the rest of the meal to be just as awesome — and it’s not. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case here at all. While the tartare and burrata raised our expectations to astronomical levels, our two pastas met (and exceeded) those expectations with ease.
Pici senesi all’anatra. Never forget those words. Repeat them to your server, and watch the gates of heaven open up right before you. Okay, we’re exaggerating — but just a little. This hand-rolled pasta with duck ragu and pecorino is bursting with flavor and full of tender meat just waiting to be devoured. You will not want to share this dish.
And if your dinner partner orders the pappardelle finocchiona, they won’t want to share either. White sausage, fennel pollen and pecorino combine for a phenomenal dish. Don’t let the super-thin, delicate pasta fool you: This plate packs a punch. For something lighter, consider the risotto cacio e pepe. On paper, it seems simple — rice, Parmesan water, Parmesan butter, pecorino and peppercorn. But while the description might not turn heads, don’t judge a book by its cover. The delicate balance of cheese, peppercorn and creamy rice just blew us away.
To end our meal, the chef brought out a plate of pistachio bites, which included cake, panna cotta and sorbet/gelato. The whimsical plating made eating this dessert feel like a little adventure; it was a lot of fun tasting pistachio in all these different forms. In fact, our entire meal was a lot of fun. There’s a reason Toscana Divino has been around so long: consistently great food. Our advice to you? Make a reservation and experience it for yourself.