Il Gabbiano, Miami

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jennifer Angel with glass of red wine at the bar

Within my home radius but completely unbeknownst to me is an Italian restaurant, Il Gabbiano tucked in a corner of downtown Miami.

The introduction was made by new friend, Jennifer Angel, mistress of astrology and writer for NY Daily Times. Literally tucked in the corner where the Miami River and Biscayne Bay meet. According to Jennifer, the restaurant is a powerhouse for attorneys and corporate executives during lunch from surrounding highrise office buildings. Evenings are equally packed and our Thurday night dinner was no exception.

Although Jennifer made a reservation on Tuesday night, there was no record upon our arrival. First impressions... So we started with a drink at the handsome bar. Shortly afterwards, the hostess directed us to a table outdoor with a panoramic view of the dynamic intersection of river meets bay. Despite the odd winter weather pattern this season, this evening was perfect. We were off to a good start.

A highlight of the experience is the assortment of starters complimentary of the restaurant. It's more than your traditional bread basket. While this Italian mix of bread was notable, it was followed by a parade of fried zucchini strips, aged balsamic vinegar with a chunk of manchego cheese, and fried zucchini chips. I see a theme here with zucchini. Every bit was delicious.

Jennifer warned us that one can easily get filled with the complimentary starters and therefore recommended main dishes to share. She was right! Between us three gals, we shared a large caesar salad and a customized fettucine carbonara.

The caesar salad came highly recommended. I soon learned rather than a creamy sauce with traditional hint of anchovy, the dressing was a clear tangy vinaigrette. Not sure I would classify it as a Caesar salad but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

The fettucine carbonara was gratifying! Along with the red wine, the meal was a fluid melody of Italian gastronomy.

And the service? Since we sat down our waiter, busboys and even the owner, Luigi, showered us with regular attention. Surely they recognized Jennifer Angel as a regular and a celebrity in her own right. Interesting Jennifer shared that when dining with two male friends at a later date, the level of attention was not the same but nothing to fret over.

We definitely plan to return! Reservations are strongly recommended.
Note: Make sure you get the name of person who makes your reservation.

Christine, Adrienne, Jennifer

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