Cafe Vialetto is located in the centre of Coral Gables. Talking about location, the restaurant is on Le Jeune Rd., however when we drove by, we couldn't see the entrance, or a parking lot. We then drove around the building and came in from the back, through a narrow alley. Not a big thing, but strange and just so you know, go straight in the back. You get to this small house where there is the luckiest valet ever: he takes your car and park it 10 feet away in the small lot. Valet is complimentary so no complaint.
As soon as we walked inside, we were greeted by the young hostess. We had a reservation via OpenTable. The hostess told us we needed to wait another 15-20 minutes: no problem for us, we went to Miami for a week-end of relaxation. She offers a glass of house wine (red or white) and we realize that they are giving a complimentary glass of wine to everybody who has to wait for a table: nice touch!
The place has a the look of a small Italian restaurant from Italy: very warm, concentrated in a way. The owner is walking around greeting people at tables and kissing on the cheeks every woman who leaves: he knows everybody, which means lot of regulars here, and that normally is a good sign.
In spite of the Italian name, owner and workers are mostly from South America. Just saying, it's not a negative thing. Actually it matter nothing as I saw already in other places that Southern-Americans (esp. from Argentina-Uruguay) can reproduce Italian dishes with great success.
We were seated and the waiter brought us a complimentary bruschetta; another point scored for Vialetto.
I ordered a bottle of Chianti La Maialina 2007, Classico Riserva: reasonably priced, pretty decent wine.
For appetizer my wife and I shared the Creamy Polenta with mushrooms and truffle oil and boy, that was spectacular. The mushrooms seemed to have seen a little wine during cooking time and the truffle oil added a subtle aromatic flavor that made the dish a nice start.
We then ordered the entree:
Risotto with short ribs for my wife and the Short Ribs entree for me which came with Champagne Risotto.
My wife's risotto was very good, well cooked, nice balance of flavors. My short ribs were tender, tasty but extremely huge!! I wished I could have taken the leftovers with me but I don't live in Miami, so I...ate the thing. Saying that afterward I was full is a serious understatement. But it was very tasty and very good. Light years better than - for instance - the short ribs I had at Rincon Argentino in Kendall.
As we were very full we passed on the dessert, ordered two espresso and then were about to order something to digest but they don't have liquors. That is a negative point especially for an Italian restaurant. Ever seen in Italy a restaurant with no "amaro" or "grappa" to digest? Anyway, a little nuisance, nothing major.
Service was good, attentive as it should be. Food was very good and we will be back again to try something else.
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