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“Tucked-away but Amazing Italian”
Review of Cucina Creativa Ristorante - CLOSED

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Cucina Creativa Ristorante
Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: Coconut Grove
Reviewed February 3, 2009

This restaurant is now operating under the name Al Fresco, but still in the same place in the Arts and Minds High School. Up a flight of stairs (and only a sandwich board indicates that there might be a restaurant up there) you are greeted by candlelit tables in the atrium and a giant movie screen. Tonight there was a Sting concert playing, but I have heard that they sometimes play old movies which must be lots of fun.

Atmosphere was a little weird at first, as we were the only people there, but the hostess seated us and quickly made us feel at home by chatting pleasantly with us and our 4-year-old. We sat inside as the evening was a little chilly, but outdoors would be perfect on a warm night.

The food was terrific and very reasonably priced for Miami and the Grove. We had nice green salads with house-made balsamic dressing, then veal scallopini for my husband, agnolotti with ricotta and spinach for me, and a pepperoncino pizza for our daughter. The agnolotti were very light and the tomato sauce was just the right blend of sweet and savory to accompany. I shared my dish with our daughter and helped myself to one of her pizza slices. This pizza is baked in a brick oven and the crust and sauce are fabulous. We thought the pepperoncino were peppers, but it turned out to be a shaved meat similar to salami but not as highly flavored. It was a happy misunderstanding, as the toppings were delicious. My pasta dish was just $11.95 and the pizza an extremely reasonable $8.50. My husband's veal was the most expensive at $22.

A great experience overall! We don't live here so perhaps they are better known locally (there were two more tables seated as we were eating and it was just a Tuesday night), but I hope they will still be here when we return to Coconut Grove next year. I'll be looking forward to eating here again.

Thank oliviasaru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 11, 2007

Off Commodore Place up some stairs by the Arts and Minds Charter School you can find the Italian restaurant Cucina Creativa. We just happened upon it as we were exploring Coconut Grove on foot. They had just hosted a large wedding party and the tables were not cleared yet so we could see some of the left overs and they looked great!

So we decided to give it a try the next night. What a find! Everything was just wonderful. We sat inside because it was starting to rain a bit, but they have a nice outdoor section. Much of the food is very authentic Italian (so says my Italian-American husband) and he liked the handmade ravioli the best. There is a wood burning oven and they make a great, unique house bread in this oven that is hard to describe, but is a puffed creation.

We even asked to meet the chef after the meal and the waiter took us to the kitchen door to offer our thanks for a great meal. His name is Gilberto and he is from Colombia but man, can he cook Italian. (Apparently spent time learning in Rome at some point.)

Highly recommended and not a restaurant you will easily find unless you know about it. The restaurant is the cafeteria for the charter school students at lunch, so only open to the public at night. The name definitely fits the place. Very CREATIVE!

1  Thank LynK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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