Cafe Prima Pasta: A Taste of Italy In Miami

Nineteen years is a remarkable milestone in the restaurant business, and Cafe Prima Pasta has thrived through almost two decades with an authentic Italian cuisine serving the Miami community.

This small neighborhood gem has undergone several changes over the years from a small 28 seat eatery to an expansion which now serves over 120 diners. In celebration of their 19th anniversary, Cafe Prima Pasta has revived a classic menu with a modern and creative twist to traditional favorites while still maintaining an authentic Italian flavor.

Premier Guide Miami was invited to sample their new additions. After settling in, we were offered complimentary bellini cocktails which is served throughout dinner to each diner.

Chef Carlos Belon, the newest member to the team, briefed us on the offerings for the night. We were offered samples from the new menu. We began with a teaser of prosciutto, cheeses and a basket of fried zucchini strips. Malanzana Parmigiana, crab raviolotti in creamy lobster sauce, risotto with mushrooms, veal piccata sauteed with white wine and branzino livornese which is fresh Mediterranean fish baked with tomatoes, capers, onions and Kalamata olives in between.

The portions are very filling, but we left space for dessert which was the perfect ending to a lovely evening. Dessert was a sweet combination of tiramisu, profiteroles and cheese cake in mango sauce.

The restaurant is said to be frequented by celebrities like Matt Damon, Shakira, Dwayne Wade. And on this evening, Michael Jordan’s girlfriend was seated only a few tables away from us.

Cafe Prima Pasta needs no promotion as most of the diners were through word of mouth, and there was a long waiting list of diners sipping on bellinis at the bar.

The restaurant also caters to the young ones with a kids friendly menu which include mac and cheese, chicken milanese, veal grilled paillard and penne alfredo.

Cafe Prima Pasta is detached from the South Beach scene and an ideal place to enjoy authentic Italian fares. Diners can digest homemade pastas, cheeses, freshly squeezed juice and $2 ice cold Peroni on tap, Café Prima Pasta’s privately labeled olive oil and red and white wine, and of course their affordable prices in this casual atmosphere.

Cafe Prima Pasta’s new additions:

As a prelude to an evening of authentic Italian cuisine, enjoy a complimentary Bellini upon arrival. New appetizer items include Polpo alla Toscana ($12.95), tender sautéed octopus and roasted potatoes in a white wine reduction with cannellini beans; Salmon Tokyo ($14.95), blackened, pan seared salmon  infused with lemon and an oriental infused sauce served over a bed of aromatic arugula and crisp apples; and Tuna Osaka ($14.95), fresh tuna tartare served over spring greens with a splash of lemon and soy sauce.  

First time featured entrees include Garganelli Lamb Ragu ($16.95), lean lamb served in a rich ragu over homemade penne pasta and fresh ricotta; Fiocchi Rapera ($18.95), made-to-order ravioli stuffed with fontina cheese and sweet pear, topped with roasted prosciutto in a creamy truffle sauce; Scampi Cosanostra ($21.95), succulent shrimp sautéed with garlic, lemon and herbs over tender baby spinach and potatoes; Salmon alla Grappa ($23.95), baked salmon filet sautéed with sweet grapes, sundried tomatoes and balsamic reduction; Veal Portobello ($23.95), veal scalopine sautéed with plump Portobello mushrooms and ricotta pecorino; and Branziono alla Caccia ($23.95), baked fish with lemon fresh herbs, fennel and roasted cherry tomatoes.   

The recently renovated dessert bar offers traditional Italian desserts such as Tiramisu ($7.95), Profiteroles ($7.95), Cheesecake ($7.95), Tartufo ($7.95), Apple Tarts ($7.95) and Chocolate Soufflé ($7.95) with rich Italian coffee drinks paired with complimentary biscotti and mini-meringues. Dessert menu additions include an array of homemade Italian Sorbets ($7.95) scooped into pieces of fresh fruit and fresh squeezed, made-to-order juices in an assortment of tropical flavors and blends that can be added to a signature cocktail or served chilled as a health conscious choice to a carbonated soft drink.

The full bar features signature cocktails made with premium, top shelf alcohol, signature house blended Italian wines and ice cold Peroni Nastro Azzurro served on draft from 5p.m. to 8p.m. Monday through Thursday for $2.

For more information and to check out the new menu, visit Café Prima Pasta, http://www.primapasta.com to make your reservation.