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Il Gabbiano Restaurant: Miami Waterfront Dining Review

Il Gabbiano, on the edge of Biscayne Bay at the mouth of the Miami River, claimed one of the absolute top water-view spots in all of Miami.  Adding to that, the ambiance, the exquisitely prepared Italian delicacies, and the flirty, attentive barrage of waiters, make it stand out.  And… the locals have taken notice.   Offshoot of Il Mulino in New York, the Masci Brothers opened Il Gabbiano here in Miami, and despite the fact that you’ll never find it if someone doesn’t tell you where it is, it is packed….   You need a reservation…. without which, you are basically up the creek without a paddle.  Waterfront, and not at all visible from the street, it’s tucked away behind the Inter Continental Hotel and One Miami’s “Prime Blue Grille”.  Drive in and leave your car with valet.

Between the floor-to-ceiling glass, open terrace, vast expanse of open water,  yachts, tugboats and an occasional dolphin, the setting is spectacular.  Go early… before twilight.  The view is to die for, and the terrace is inevitably breezy, so be prepared if you’re sitting outside.

Barely in your seat, you’ll be treated to “tocchettini” (chunks)  of fresh parmigiano reggiano…. and  garlic-rubbed bruschetta covered with vine-ripened tomatoes, basil and olive oil… and an appetizer of fried zucchini sliced paper-thin with a spicy crushed-red-pepper zip.

Pasta is as mouthwatering as anything I’ve found (here or in Italy!).  Several versions are homemade (and the chef is amenable to ‘swapping sauces’… something I’m notorious for asking for!).  My choice … Pesto (over long homemade noodles)!  

Dover Sole is another favorite.  The wine list is good.   The Limoncello is a delight.  (And the recipe for limoncello is so “simple”:   Lemon rind, sugar, liquor… a couple of days soaking … sounds easy…  but I think you have to have just the right lemons, and just the right touch!)  Il Gabbiano is one of my favorite restaurants  to recommendation in Miami.   Great romantic place to go.  Equally wonderful for entertaining clients and business associates.   Beautiful bar.  Exceptional ambiance.  A find!  For menus and more information: www.ilgabbianomiami.com     I’d love your comments about Il Gabbiano (the “Seagull”) … or other Miami restaurants with water-views, great ambiance, or remarkable food.

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