On a whim, I decided to try a new spot that I had heard nothing about. Located at 1099 NE 79th Street is a hidden gem you may not have heard of but you will be glad that you are now. Ferraro’s Kitchen and Wine Bar is sure to impress.
The Chef and Owner is Igor Ferraro, who is a native of Venice, Italy. His father was a wine producer and it led to Igor’s interest in becoming a sommelier. He also studied in the hospitality industry and eventually opened a successful cooking school in Rome. In 2012 he opened a gastro pub there called Tramezzini that focused on Venetian dishes. In 2013 he brought his Italian cuisine to Coconut Grove at La Bottega, where he brought his passion for regional recipes using top quality ingredients. After two years, in September 2016 he opened his own restaurant Ferraro Kitchen in the MiMo district.
The restaurant is quite attractive, with an open kitchen, a wrap around bar and a dining room that seats about 38. It also has a fabulous patio with lounge seats and tables within a walled off private garden.
His menu is a journey through the flavours of Italy. Igor takes pride in providing the freshest and most natural ingredients.
The menu offers charcuterie, crudos, salads, pastas, soups, fish, seafoods and meats as well as a nice selection of vegetables. He has built classic recipes with top notch ingredients. For instance, his zuppa di pesce (fish soup) had the most tender calamari, and also contained shrimp, octopus and fish in a flavourful and well-seasoned broth. The octopus carpaccio was sliced thinly and drizzled with a good quality olive oil, lemon and sea salt. That is the only garnish you need when you are using quality products. On another occasion, I tried the burrata, which was a fine example of what excellent burata should taste like, with the milk oozing at first bite.
For my main, I tried the farro di funghi selatici which is an Italian grain risotto with wild mushrooms and pecorino cheese in a decadent cream sauce. I highly recommend this dish if you aren’t concerned about calories, it was outstanding and transporting. The eggplant parmesan was another delightful dish. We’ve also tried the lasagna Bolognese, a rich and sinfully tasty dish. The Pasta with the wild boar ragu was robust and flavourful rendition.
Drawing from his experience as a sommelier, Ferraro offers an extensive wine collection, heavy on Italians. His prices are fair and you may want to experience a super Tuscan or a great choice from another region in Italy.
Ferraro also happens to offer wine tasting courses as well as cooking classes. Guests get a chance to sample and learn about a variety of wines and Italian dishes.
For dessert, there were a couple of choices, and we went with the limoncello cake and the tiramisu. Without a doubt, you must try the tiramisu, it merits a special mention. I am not usually one to order this, but the version here is dreamy and a highlight. The restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.
I am a new fan of Ferraro Kitchen. Everything is made from scratch and Igor cooks from the heart.