A Review of Blu Pizza e Cucina, Mary Brickell Village

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tonight was dinner in my backyard in Mary Brickell Village at Blu Pizza e Cucina. My friend Lisa and I decided we were overdue a dinner with the "girls", our female dogs (Mon Cherie and Samantha). So this evening we would not only rate the food, but the service and hospitality for customers with dogs.

Blu Pizza e Cucina is located on the west patio of Mary Brickell Village (downtown Miami). As you drive on South Miami Avenue, you can not see the storefront since the restaurant is tucked away in the outer rim of stores and restaurant (on the same side as Blue Martini, Rosa Mexicano to give you landmarks). Outdoor seating was tight despite the vast terrain of patio. The evening was a comfortable 70 degrees and so eating alfresco was a popular choice. A little elbow room would have alleviated the sardine-can-like stifle. (Note: the tables on the outer skirt are reserved for large groups).

In visiting the website, the sleek decor, wood-burning stove, and Tuscan-inspired recipes hold the perfect balance of tradition, innovation and sophistication. The pizzas from the wood-burning stove take center stage. But tonight Lisa and I were searching for balance between taste and protein. We would try the pizza next time.

We settled in a narrow two seater (not really dog friendly), dogs leashed to our chairs and within walking distance of other tables for sniffing. So start the clock, how long would it take for the wait staff to bring a water bowl for the dogs?

It wasn't until the third time the waitress came to our table that we gave up and requested a bowl of water for the girls. We think she was new.

First things first. The bread. Some restaurants are known for their homemade or bakery style bread. The artisan, sourdough-type bread was warm and delicious accompanied with a brown paste, almost like hummus.
For starters, we shared the specialty salad (Pere Noci) with pears, gargonzola cheese and walnuts. We think they forgot the dressing but the salad receives high marks for the blend of ingredients and its freshness. We highly recommend it.
Lisa ordered the skirt steak with potatoes and grilled vegetables. Upon serving the food, the elongated steak was rolled up in a bun and pinned together with a green twig garnish. In plucking the twig, the skirt steak gracefully unfolded across the full circumference of the plate. The portion was acceptable. The price- $17.50

The hit of the night was the pumpkin ravioli. The pasta was firmly al dente and the portion was far from skimpy. With bits of asparagus, tomatoe, and onion, each bite was a sweet surprise. A fan of pumpkin ravioli, the subtle sweet taste (my guess is a sprinkle of brown sugar) and the vodka pink sauce married all ingredients to melt like butter in your mouth. In offering a sample to Lisa, her eyes turned bright. She agreed. The plate is priced at $15.00 for seven large pasta fillings.

When Lisa was taking my picture with Mon Cherie for the blog, the guests at the next table noticed the difficulty in getting my dog to pose and look at the camera. I shared how she used to take many pictures in the past but Mon Cherie was out of practice. That's OK. The focal point of this blog is about the food and service for guests with dogs, I explained. Our neighbors graciously shared their opinion of the food for this posting.

Introducing Edison, a researcher, and Tanya a neurologist. Edison ordered the T-Bone steak and rated it "good". Tanya ordered the corvina, a white, flaky fish, and rated it a 3 out of 5 (5 being the best). In fairness, she compared it to restaurants in New York City, where she commutes back and forth. So a rating of 3 on a curve of New York City Grade, is probably a better than an average mark.

A memorable meal is more than savory food or the service. To quote a master chef, Thomas Keller, "People around the table make the meal". Tanya and Edison were no longer guests at the next table. After introductions, a delightful conversation sparked about food, restaurants, and travel. Tanya and Edison were now new friends around the table. A meal to remember.

I'm already looking forward to my next visit (no furry company this time) to dine indoors and take in the ambiance, the iconic wood-burning stove and indulge in a Tuscan-inspired pizza.

So far the best pizza in the world I have ever tasted was in Naples, Italy near the port. Lisa, do you remember the name of that restaurant?

Until the next review...

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  1. Thanks for the "Killer" review. I'll consider coming to this restaurant the next time I'm in FL


  2. That green stick in the steak is Rosemary!

  3. Christine - the more you write, the more this Idaho native thinks she should venture out into the larger world...

    Maybe your future posts will include a review of "where to stay in Miami?"


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