My husband and I tend to shy away from all the busyness of Lincoln Road. Even after a year in Miami it still remains somewhat of a “mystery” to me. All of the restaurants look the same – mostly feel the same – and walking by you always get approached by borderline aggressive hostesses who are trying to get you to come in to their restaurants. My evening at the Italian restaurant Quattro showed to prove my “Lincoln Road theory” wrong! My husband and I were met by a welcoming hostess whom kindly asked us where we wanted to be seated. It had been a few chilly days in Miami, but even so, we chose a table next to one of the outdoor heaters. Upon our request they turned the heater to high, and we now had the perfect setting for a candlelit dinner with the excuse to do some of Miami Beach’s best people watching. Oscar, our server of the night, greeted us and handed us menus.
We decided to start off our evening with sparkling water accompanied by Italian – of course! – prosecco. Alongside with the wine he also served some wonderful crusty Italian bread. For appetizers we ordered Vitello Tonatto, which happens to be one of my childhood favorites – thinly sliced veal with a creamy sauce made from tuna, mayo and anchovies topped with capers, lemon and parsley. The secret here is the balance of flavors, you want it to be creamy, but the mayo can not overpower the other flavor components, and this they mastered to perfection. We also ordered the Octopus. This was served on a bed of chunky mashed potatoes with a lemony dressing and tomatoes and parsley for garnish. The Octopus was tender and had a nice char flavor (just how both my husband and I like it) I personally could have wished for a bit more acidity in the dressing.
For entrees we went with a “Risotto di Mare” (seafood) and a Filet Migon served with pepper sauce, sautéed fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus. The risotto had the perfect richness and depth from the tomatoes that you want in a good seafood risotto. They had chosen scallops, octopus, clams and mussels for this dish. The presentation here was authentic and simple. The Filet was perfect. It was tender, juicy and cooked just to our liking – Medium. The creamy sauce was nicely balanced with the spicy peppercorns, and the potatoes crispy and salty on the outside, and soft on the inside.
For dessert we were recommended the Panna Cotta – and yes, both the server and General Manger were “right on money”, this was by far the best Panna Cotta I have ever had outside of Italy. To me, the beauty of true Italian food is the simplicity of flavors and ingredients. The Panna cotta was a great example of just that: cream, sugar and vanilla bean. It was accompanied by a homemade tart lemon sorbet and ripe berries. The combination of sweet and tart turned out to be the perfect ending to a hearty, comforting Italian dinner. If you are looking for a romantic and authentic restaurant, I would definitely recommend Quattro on Lincoln Road! I cannot wait to return in the near future. A big Thank You to Quattro for excellent service and food.
By Contributor Writer Marie Larson