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.
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