Photographs by Bob Quesada from Spizzigo and Giralda Under the Stars

 

The layers are revealing themselves… caressing my taste buds… the stock, the wine, the “soffritto”, the tomatoes, the meat is so tender that it falls off of the bone and melts in my mouth, the flavors lingering behind, bringing back a certain nostalgia as if there was a “nonna” in the kitchen … I am sampling “Ossobuco alla Milanese” at Spizzigo on Giralda Avenue in Coral Gables. Ossobuco, a Lombardian specialty sometimes referred to as the “King of Meats” is a warm and succulent dish whose complexity never ceases to delight and satisfy; at Spizzigo they have turned it into the “Meat of Kings”.

Opened just eleven months ago, Spizzigo has managed to position itself as a must visit Italian food destination in the Gables. That is not an easy feat considering how many Italian restaurants are in the area.

The secret of this rise in popularity lies in keeping all the dishes authentic and paying attention to the most minute detail, as owner Eduardo Quesada (no relation) says: “…our veal comes from a specific farm in Australia, we buy only the best natural ingredients, we buy only the best cheese, our wines are unique to this restaurant and we make everything in house… even our own wood oven baked focaccia ” which is served at every table; the fact that his wife and daughters also work here is a testament to the family’s dedication. With so many eyes on the business, nothing escapes notice.

Spizzigo is a restaurant with several specialties one of which is “Fettuccine alla Ruota” the fettuccine is laced with seasoned cream and brought piping hot tableside, tossed into a partially empty cheese wheel where cheese shavings have been scraped from the inside. The pasta finishes its cooking process inside the cheese wheel where it absorbs the essence of the cheese. This is a must have, the flavor is just incredible. Another must have is the “Fiocchi” which are little pasta purses filled with pear and gorgonzola cheese, this is another one of those dishes which will titillate your taste buds as layers upon layers of different flavors caress your palate.

No great meal would be complete without a great dessert. Spizzigo doesn’t disappoint, among the incredible line up of homemade desserts, the “Nutella Gelato” stands out, it is Eduardo’s own creation and only available here. It is a marriage of mousse and gelato which produces a unique creaminess with a hazelnut flavor that stays in the palate and dissipates gradually. It is awesome.

Giralda Under the Stars hosted by Downtown Coral Gables offers an incredible al-fresco dining experience and gives restaurant-goers the chance to enjoy some of their favorite restaurants, along with live music, art and beautiful Miami weather every first Friday of the month from November to April 2013.

Bob Quesada facebook page

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