4141 NE 2nd Ave #101
(305) 456 – 9948
MC Kitchen in the Design District, has the makings of a great Modern Italian restaurant. Dina Marino began cooking in her childhood home where her mother and grandmother manned the kitchen, turning out homemade pastas, sausages and creative pizzas. She honed her culinary skills at the Culinary Institute of America. Marino then worked under the tutelage of Michael Chiarello in his celebrated Tra Vigne in Napa Valley, followed by years as a chef of three of Aspen, Colorado’s top restaurants. Upon her arrival in Miami, Dina and partner, Brandy Coletta, wasted no time giving the interior of what was formerly Fratelli Lyon, a smart new look. White orchids on crisp tablecloths and butterflies that flutter on a Brazilian wood wall soften the main room. The ambiance is at once sophisticated and calm; where diners can share an intimate dinner and a conversation, even when all 145 seats are occupied.
Several remarkable antipasti spearhead the menu. I was most captivated by the artichoke heart bruschetta, which is exquisitely posed below a farm poached egg and shaved black truffles, and finished with a creamy Parmigiano fonduta. On a rather quiet evening, it appeared that the artichokes had run low and one heart was portioned among several plates. Nonetheless, the flavors sang out, and the combination was a triumph. On a lighter note, halibut crudo was perfectly dressed in hearts of palm, baby artichoke shavings and lemon oil. Chili, garlic, basil and orange zest enlivened oven roasted langoustines over polenta. Ten pastas, mostly homemade, are currently on the winter menu. This is an area of the menu where Marino excels. The garganelli Bolognese is a lusty standout of veal, venison, pork and porcini mushrooms. The pumpkin tortellini is flush with Florida rabbit ragu, Tuscan cabbage and house made ricotta. Signature selections include the lamb sirloin, charred outside locking in the meaty juices, and served with braised lentils, apple butter, and a frisee salad.
Also deserving of your attention and a cause for real indulgence is the Gianduia chocolate mousse crowning a sea salt sugar nest.
Monday – Sunday: 11:00 am – 4:30 pm, 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm