Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sylvano Review: An Italian Hidden Gem in South Beach

Mushroom Risotto at Sylvano.
There's a few special places in the world where one can walk in for the first time and immediately feel right at home. Living in South Beach surrounded by with all the hustle and bustle from the tourist traps and the newest glamorous dining spots, the gastro scene can sometimes be a little impersonal, and finding that 'at home' feeling can be a bit of a challenge. Thank goodness there's a few exceptions such as Sylvano, an Italian hidden gem, located in the Collins Park neighborhood.

Upon walking into Sylvano, the first thing you'll notice is the friendly ambiance and the fact that it’s full of locals. The place just seems to bring out conversation and make people sociable, mostly because of the friendly staff and the owner, Sylvano, who is always there overseeing the operation and greeting customers as they come in. If you have the option, try to go for the outdoor seating. With its palm trees and garden lights, the patio exudes a lovely romantic vibe that is especially charming and inviting at night. 

Adorable outdoor seating: a must, while at Sylvano.
Have I mentioned that the food there is fantastic? One of my favorites is the Fried Calamari & Zucchini, perfectly tender, moist and paired with a spicy marinara. Another favorite is the Mussel Soup, a bowl filled with fresh mussels and marinara broth that is so good, you will not want to let a drop go to waste. Just dip your bread into it, close your eyes and enjoy!

If you are a pasta lover like me, the Four-Cheese Gnocchi is a definite must. These nuggets of soft pillowy goodness are covered with a delicate cheese sauce, and just melt in your mouth. Another favorite is the Pizza Bianca al Tartufo, which is incredibly aromatic, thin crusted and made with the perfect amount of cheese.  

Fried Calamari & Zucchini, served with Spicy Marinara Sauce.
And please, if you visit Sylvano, you must must must order dessert. Their Chocolate Lava cake is served with vanilla ice cream and is simply divine. On occasion, you will spot a lucky guy or girl getting their signature birthday celebration, which causes the whole restaurant to go dark for 40 seconds while the entire staff sings a very cheerful happy birthday, and brings over the perfect dessert with an enormous fireworks candle on top.  I was one of those lucky people last week, and let me tell you, they made me feel quite special! :)

When it comes to South Beach hidden gems, Sylvano most definitely ranks in the top of my list. In a city where there’s an abundance of glittery and pretentious dining options, it is nice to know that there’s still genuine places out there that can give you a warm, fuzzy feeling and make you feel right at home.

Miami Mich

Love the charming little garden lights!
Incredibly delicious white truffle pizza. A must-try at Sylvano.
Though I prefer outdoor seating, the inside of Sylvano is also quite charming.
Four Cheese Gnocchi: another must. Don't forget to dip the bread in the sauce!
White Truffle & Zucchini Ravioli.
Your humble narrator loves this place so much, she picked it for her birthday dinner celebration!
The Lava - by far, the best dessert at Sylvano.

Sylvano: 1925 Liberty Ave Miami Beach, FL 33140

Sylvano Ristorante Italiano & Sports Bar on Urbanspoon

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