Visiting Fornaro leads to many surprises. Dishes that Miami has never even heard of, unexpected ambiance in a certain shopping center in the Grove, Italian food made by a Brazilian, and prices that are so low they are actually surprising. All these factors plus more lead to quite the experience in this newly opened restaurant off of US1.
Owner Lorenzo Ramon’s dream was to open an Italian restaurant and present Miami with a dish that kids would ask their parents to take them out for. Although the latter hasn’t necessarily been achieved yet, Ramon has opened the Italian restaurant that the area didn’t know it was missing. The dish Ramon’s dream refers to is the Polpettone, a breaded croquette-like dish made from fresh mozzarella encased in freshly ground filet mignon. Cutting into the crispy round reveals a luxurious stream of cheese that gives way to succulent and tender filet mignon. Basically, this is the Italian version of the Minnesotan Jucy Lucy.
Fornaro's black-and-white decor features subway tiles and Edison light bulbs that make for dim and romantic lighting. Simple furnishings allow the restaurant to serve as a modern chic restaurant while still maintaining it’s neighborhood-friendly ambiance. Stepping into Fornaro, you are greeted by friendly staff that makes you feel welcomed and appreciated.
Although the ambiance and food warrant making a drive, Ramon claims that his primary goal is for Fornaro to be a neighborhood favorite. This is evident by the price range, with entrees ranging from $11 to $15. “You can come here and have a casual meal or an upscale one. If you want something as simple as pizza, we can do that. But we also cater to you if you’re trying to have a date night,” says Ramon.
Although something as “simple” as pizza is on the menu, Ramon and his head Chef, Marcus de Mello, put care into every single thing they do. From choosing between close to a dozen squid purveyors to find the right item for calamari, to sourcing a wood-burning oven for pizzas, to hand making fig cake, the love that the staff has for this restaurant is unmatched. Ramon and de Mello exude humbleness and modesty, making the restaurant that much more attractive. You can tell that they are proud of their product, and do everything out of a labor of love.
2750 SW 26th Ave.
Miami, FL 33133