One of the surprise moments for me this year (2023), was visiting Bellini Restaurant at 2988 McFarlane Rd in Coconut Grove. It is not a new restaurant, Bellini opened three years ago on the 5th floor and rooftop of The Mr. C Hotel. I honestly never heard of it until an Italian friend of mine, visiting Miami from Lake Como, said I needed to try this place as it had ‘authentic Italian fare.’
Fourth Generation Cipriani brothers, Maggie and Ignacio, have followed in their family’s footsteps to open this attractive space with breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay. Embracing a modern chic, contemporary, yet relaxed Miami style. Bellini’s cuisine offers traditional Italian cooking that can be enjoyed from morning to night, seven days a week.
We were blown away by this 107-seat restaurant view with wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows and the atmosphere of coastal Italy. Soft teal, coral, and cream colours with blond wood accents and terrazzo floors. A gleaming wooden bar and grand chandeliers. You get a nautical vibe and the feeling of being on a yacht. Pictures of sailboats are throughout the restaurant. For beautiful sunset views, the best place is out on the patio. However, if you can’t snag a seat on the patio, you can request a window seat that also gives you a view. Waiters are dressed formally in white tuxedo jackets and black bow ties, reminiscent of all the Cipriani establishments. But this eating house has a more casual ambiance. Anything goes here, from dressing up to patrons arriving in shorts and flip-flops. The prices are also noticeably less than some of their other establishments.
I haven’t been for lunch, but there are offerings like burrata and heirloom tomatoes, crudo, omelettes, a Mr. C club sandwich, pasta, and risotto. For dinner, more traditional offerings of Cipriani dishes like carpaccio (beef, langoustine, or branzino), steak tartare, fish and seafood, a variety of salads, soup, and about a dozen choices of pasta and risotto. The pappardelle-alla-Bellini in a creamy tomato sauce is popular, as is the Tagliardi al Tartufo Nero di Norcia, a creamy pasta with black truffles. The clear winner for me was the traditional lasagna Bolognese, one of the best renditions I have had in Miami. There are offerings from the land like veal scaloppine al limone, lamb chops (half the price of Cipriani’s), and chicken and beef options. From the sea, grilled langoustine, sea bass, branzino, salmon, and fish of the day. You do need to order a side of vegetables as everything comes unadorned.
Dessert had several choices, but you can’t go wrong with the soft-serve pistachio gelato or the iconic vanilla meringue cake.
The Bellini Bar, has a stellar collection of Italian wines, thoughtfully crafted cocktails, and spirits. We opted for its namesake Bellini cocktail and were not disappointed.
Four generations of Cipriani have grown a single restaurant into a world-renowned hospitality brand. Bellini Miami (there is another location in New York) can add to their list of distinguished venues with attentive service and a luxurious menu of dishes drawn with flavours from across Italy. Bellini offers timeless Italian fare ranging from the loved and recognizable traditional Cipriani dishes to newer artisanal plates.