Miami’s Best Fresh Pasta at Navé, Erba, and Gregory’s Diner


I support

  • Local
  • Community
  • journalism

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of the New Times free.

Diets come and go. There is more to enthusiastic eaters than just. Today’s “it” regimen, the ketogenic diet – a reincarnation of the low-carb Atkins diet that was a reincarnation of the fasting programs that medical researchers in the early 20th century found could prevent epileptic seizures – is thankfully not a problem For a group of Miami chefs who have opened a number of restaurants in the past few months that specialize in fresh pasta and were simply made with minimal effort and ingredients.

Such delicacies have long been around in places like Macchialina, Scarpetta on Fontainebleau Miami Beach, and Pane e Vino near Española Way. Now there is an ever-changing selection of pasta in Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer’s hideaway Little Haiti, Boia De. Starchy foods can also be found in downtown Carey Hynes and Will Thompson’s Jaguar Sun.

New spots like Michael Beltrans Navé (3540 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove) – directed by Justin Flit from Midtowns expensive Proof – and Niven Patel and Tim Piazzas Erba (8975 SW 72nd Pl., Miami) are also on pristine noodles. Roel Alcudia at Gregory’s Diner (7301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami), sister of the Design District’s Mandolin Aegean Bistro, offers a selection of fresh noodles as well as a list of nostalgic diner dishes.

Fettuccine and mussels in Gregory's Diner.

Fettuccine and mussels in Gregory’s Diner.

Image courtesy of Gregory’s Diner / Gesi Schilling

Cities across the country have long grumbled about an overabundance of Italian restaurants. However, the recent obsession of many chefs with something seemingly simple and delightful is far more than any other trend. It is a signal of a new level of commitment and commitment both for the guests and for the young, aspiring chefs who serve them. If it’s a trend, those who follow can continue on the path of shunning gimmicks for taste and craftsmanship.

“For me and Tim [Piazza]Making pasta is just very comforting, “says Erba’s Patel. The menu at her location in Downtown Dadeland consists of almost half-fresh pasta, along with simple little plates powered by Italian sensibility and what is harvested on Patel’s homestead farms.

The wealth of ricotta-filled agnolotti ($ 18) is mimicked by a velvety drop of red kuri squash and brightened up with rosemary and shaved pecorino romano cheese. Toothed bucatini (US $ 17) were glossed over with salty and hearty anchovy butter last night and, thanks to a sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs and the roasted fish roe bottarga, refined with canned lemon, chives and some crunch.

“We have a lot of fun working with our hands, and after a while it becomes very therapeutic to make dough and pasta,” says Patel.

The calming, ritual aspect of making fresh pasta is widespread among chefs. In the noisy, hot, and fast-paced world of professional kitchens, extruding fresh spaghetti, slicing gnocchi, or rolling cavatelli seems to be a rare form of meditation that many chefs find calming and productive at the same time.

“I can serve really nice fresh pasta and I know someone can look at the bowl and see the value,” says Hynes of Jaguar Sun. “My chefs will learn something they can take with them for the rest of their lives: I can do it in my little kitchen and it makes everyone happy.”

Rigatoni with pesto.

Rigatoni with pesto.

Photo courtesy of Navé

It shows the Agnolotti ($ 23) in downtown Miami bursting with the sweetness of corn and sea. Each supple little purse is filled with corn, shallots, leeks, and a touch of white wine, which is then tossed into a saffron-scented crab broth with a little butter, smoky Urfa peppers, and shaved almonds to thicken the sauce for a calming, delight with blue crab that will stay with you long after your plate has been cleared and your drink drained.

There’s a similar level of polite wealth at Coconut Grove in Beltrans Navé, where fusilli spirals ($ 18) are encased in an ultra-protective chicken liver ragu that has a meaty richness, sweetness, and acidity that you’d expect from a lost city Gold can compare.

The eight pasta dishes offered here are only part of the Italian coastal motif of Navé. However, its importance is underscored by the glass-walled pasta room in the middle of the restaurant. Though your eyes may be on the $ 148 seafood plateau or the tuna fries with au poivre sauce, the only chef hard at work in this room is the frizz ravioli and slicing short stubs of rigatoni, which is on tempting is.

“When we decided to make pasta and seafood, we immediately thought about this room,” says 35-year-old chef / partner Flit. “After years of cooking and eating pasta, I can immediately tell the difference between store-bought and even good dried pasta, and I think we had to do this to meet our standards and the new standards that you have.” I see. “

The rigatoni ($ 15) offer a textbook pesto that’s high in pecorino. There’s also wild boar ravioli ($ 22) striped with pale yellow and cocoa-colored batter and wrapped in tender braised beef sprinkled with red wine gravy and topped with whipped kabocha squash.

Erbas Bucatini with anchovy butter, bottarga, breadcrumbs and lemon.

Erbas Bucatini with anchovy butter, bottarga, breadcrumbs and lemon.

Zachary Fagenson

Such joys should indeed be common.

“Pasta is automatic in every place I work. It will always have its place on the menu,” says Alcudia of the recently opened Gregory’s Diner. “Pasta gives me the comfort of cooking your grandma’s things myself.”

And few dishes do it better than Gregory’s fettuccine and mussels, rich in flavors of white wine and fresh parsley, all of which cling to perfectly al dente pasta.

Of course, getting it right day in and day out takes constant effort. Fresh pasta, like bread, is susceptible to changes in weather and humidity, and requires a keen eye and trained hand to be done correctly. But with so many places doing the stuff now, there is also a new group of young chefs who are learning to think so precisely, and they will take those experiences with them to restaurants yet to be opened.

So what’s the only thing wrong with the fresh pasta trend, if that’s what you want to call it? It’s the unfortunate task of pitting all these places off against each other to decide where to eat tonight. Whichever you choose, you can rest assured that pasta will finally be made right.

Keep The Miami New Times Free … Since we started the Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we want it to stay that way. We offer our readers free access to concise coverage of local news, food and culture. Produce stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands with bold reporting, stylish writing, and staff everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Feature Writing Award to the Casey Medal for the Deservable Journalism have won. Given that the existence of local journalism amid siege and setbacks has a greater impact on advertising revenue, it is more important than ever for us to raise support for funding our local journalism. You can help by joining our I Support membership program which allows us to continue to cover Miami without paywalls.

Zachary Fagenson became a restaurant critic for the New Times Broward-Palm Beach in 2012 before joining Miami in 2014. He also works as a correspondent for Reuters.

Comments are closed.