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April 29, 2013

Mangia (or, Yelp Miami’s Tuscan Golden Feast)!

Posted by Johnny Todd

After five years of marriage, one might expect something wooden from his/her spouse (don’t look at us; dems the rules). So... a tree? Not fun. After five years of being a member of the Yelp Miami Elite Squad, one might expect a night of Tuscan food and wine delights the likes of which people will talk about for ages. Brickell rising star Toscana Divino hosted Yelp’s Golden Dinner and the lives (and bellies) of the attendees would never be the same.

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Golden anniversaries are meant to be big. Huge. And, that’s exactly the way this golden dinner began. After being seated at assigned seats with name cards and gifts, Elites were treated to Zonin Prosecco which paired beautifully with the first course of Tagliere (bread board; served family-style): Salame Finocchiona, Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella, Pecorino Toscano, Mozzarella di Bufala, and Tuscan Olives. Stunned Elites had little time to recover as they then experienced pours of Rocca di Montemassi Vermentino Toscana and Corte alla Flora Brunello Di Montalcino to accompany the sent-from-heaven Maccheroni Sugo Toscano (Fresh Maccheroni, Tuscan Beef Ragu, and "Strascicata Vecchia Maniera") & Tortelli Di Ricotta (Fresh Tortelli Ricotta Cheese & Spinach, Brown Butter & Sage).

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All of this was in preparation for Chef Julian Baker's crowning jewels: entrees. Choosing from Pollo Arrosto (Roasted "Bell & Evans" all Natural Chicken Boneless Breast, Potato Puree, Roasted Mushrooms, and Balsamic Chicken Sauce); Tagliata Di Manzo (Roasted Loin Steak, Garlic & Rosemary, Celery Root & Olive Oil Emulsion, Organic Watercress, & Baby Radish); Porchetta (Crispy Pork Belly, Lavender Garlic Cream Swiss Chard, Apple, and Pork Jus); Tonno (Grilled Tuna Loin, Organic Greens & Bean Salad Lemon, & Balsamic Vinegar); Pesce Spada (Olive Oil Poached & Grilled Swordfish Loin, Tomato & Sage Braised White Beans); and Branzino All'Isolana (Baked Sea Bass Filet, Organic Tomatoes, "Taggiasche" Olives, Potato, Basil, and Olive Oil), Elites gasped, oohed and ahhed, before cutting into cuisine that blends the very best of traditional Tuscan cooking with the modern global flavor profiles.

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Owners Mauro Bortignon and Tommaso Morelato entertained guests as the dessert course (including semifreddo, tiramisu, chocolate tart, and espresso amongst others) capped a perfectly golden evening. Missed out on the five-year fun? Brilliant photographer Gerardo Iglesias took photos you can see here. Ecstatic Elites penned their impressions here. Five years goes by quickly when writing reviews of the best the Magic City has to offer. It only makes sense to commemorate those five years with a meal that was five years in the making. Molto yummy!

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Living my life like it’s golden,

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Johnny T

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