Vintro Hotel + Kitchen, a new luxury boutique hotel and restaurant, is a hidden treasure off the beaten path in South Beach, nestled near the Bass Museum and Miami City Ballet’s studios. The hotel’s décor is a combo of vintage and retro, thus the name Vintro. Featuring 50 deluxe rooms and a lovely rooftop terrace with an infinity pool, the hotel is rated in the top 25 hotels in TripAdvisor’s 2015 Traveler’s Choice awards.
As part of Miami Spice, Vintro Hotel + Kitchen is offering a three-course prix-fixe dinner for $39 every night through August and September. My guest and I tried it, choosing to sit indoors because of the midsummer humidity. On cooler days the back patio overlooking the renovated Collins Canal is a fine place to dine. The dining room showcases Guillermo de Yavorsky’s décor, a vibrant mix of simple sophistication, and a mix of old and new. He cleverly took a long, narrow space with 30-foot ceilings and made it stylishly functional, featuring a single row of tables, jazzy Saturn Ring chandeliers artfully filling the high space, plants placed for privacy between tables, and a pop portrait of Mona Lisa enigmatically smiling from on high over all.
We chose to sample wines by the glass from the very well edited wine list. My guest chose an elegant Joseph Phelps “Insignia,” from the Napa Valley, a fresh and lively Cabernet Sauvignon with notes of red cherry, blackberry cardamom, tobacco, espresso, Herbes de Provence and graphite. I tried a Matua Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, pungently aromatic, with herbaceous notes of fresh cut grass, and grapefruit and lime, opening to a wonderfully complex bomb of red pepper and gooseberry notes, with lush passion fruit and tropical fruit overtones.
The Mediterranean-influenced, Latin-inspired menu offered a choice of Meatballs with Chimichurri and Red Peppers, which we both loved. The red peppers were so sweet that we thought they were tiny, exotic heirloom tomatoes until our server, Beni, set us straight. Crispy Calamari was served with Pico de Gallo—a fresh tomato, onion, and jalapeno salsa—and Squid Ink Aioli, a garlic sauce. I opted for the third item, Croquettes stuffed with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto, a deliciously decadent choice, light and tasty.
Main course selections included Roasted Chicken, with Orange and Rosemary; and the Fresh Catch of the Day, Bronzino with Herbs and Olive Oil, which perfectly enhanced the sweet taste of the fish. My guest chose the Lamb Burger, seasoned with an array of exotic spices. Main course sides included perfectly charred Cauliflower, and Steak Potatoes seasoned with truffle salt, a real crowd-pleaser.
We were almost too full for dessert but managed to “suffer” through two choices: Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust, and Chocolate Mousse, with an outrageously silky, creamy texture and a dark chocolate taste that exploded in the mouth.
Our server, Beni, who hails from Milan, and Peruvian Chef, Luis Antezana, deserve special accolades. Both the service and the food was eccellente.
Vintro Kitchen, 2216 Park Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139. For reservations: 305-704-3680.
See more at: http://www.miami-spice-restaurants-2015.