Foodie Find: FORTE by Chef Adrianne
The sprawling splendor on Miracle Mile is deserving the dining and Tuscan Villa design applause it continues to collect.
FORTE by Chef Adrianne is the sprawling splendor on Miracle Mile deserving the dining and Tuscan Villa design applause it continues to collect. Chef Adrianne Calvo herself became a celebrity with Cracked, and then continued with culinary distinction when she redesigned and reopened the picturesque Red Fish Grille. Now, on the top stretch of Coral Gables where upscale restaurants have been corrugating and therefore generating a clientele seeking great food served with style, FORTE arrives with traditional Italian cuisine served in a rustic yet modern setting. Sure, there’s a sprawling center stage bar surrounded by clean wood tables, but there’s also exposed brick hugging the banquets lined along the sides, nodding to the menu’s collection of traditional pasta, pizza and housemade cheeses. Everything screams “family” including the word FORTE, which is the maiden name of Chef Adrianne’s Italian mother.
To start this experience, enjoy the Palmoa aperitif of Patron tequila, grapefruit tonic and jalapeño infused simply syrup. It pairs perfectly with the setting, the scene and the succulence of the food to follow. The bread service is even of homemade caliber, served with a plate of candied lemon, imported olive oil, black pepper and rosemary from the plant, snipped with scissors into the dish. The chef suggests your first course comes from the raw bar, and the Palmoa pairs perfectly with the Yellowfin tuna served with extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest and crispy capers. Though you might also tray the salmon carpaccio with cucumber relish and petite arugula salad or the wagyu beef carpaccio with Caesar aioli and shaved parmesan.
The menu’s big and unique beckoning is the Burrata Bar. The warm Bufala fresca is served with fresh mozzarella and small but sweet red tomatoes served with thick slices of crusty bread. There’s also the burrata con tartufo with braised cipollini onions, balasamic glass and garlic breadcrumbs or the homemade cheese with panna, which is served with pistachio almond pesto and heirloom cherry tomatoes.
For antipasto, there are Marcona almonds and grilled bread, as well as a salumi selection that includes mortadella, soppressata and bresaola or formaggis of parmesan, taleggio and stracchino.
The pizza selection is too delicious to to decide upon. The mozzarella with goat cheese, marinara and crushed red pepper flakes arrives as a breathtaking pie, with manageable slices you cannot stop consuming. Though there’s also a pizza with pepperoni, mozzarella and hot honey and one with speck, Stracciatella and hot honey.
For salads, the Caesar shines with romaine, anchovies, garlic breadcrumbs and a soft boiled farm egg. Should diners decide to stray from the traditional into the trendy, there’s a chopped kale with lemon, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan.
The homemade pasta selection offers up house made noodles prepared for the culinary crafts of Chef Adrianne. There’s a 24 Hour Braised Short Rib Pappardelle with garlic bread crumbs. And a Rigatoni with creamy tomato sauce and starcciatella. Don’t miss the bucatini with parmesan dust and cacio e pepe to give it a transitory kick. There’s also a four cheese ravioli, a spaghetti alla chitarra carbonara with egg yolk and a Sedanini with farm vegetables and Italian sausage.
For dessert, do not miss the cannoli cake. It’s trio of layers combining the Italian sweet ricotta cheese and chocolate chips with the American attraction of vanilla, flour and eggs, all topped with a baby cannoli. Of course, there’s also a dark chocolate Nutella croissant bread pudding and a strawberry cheesecake.
Brett Graff is SocialMiami.com’s managing editor and has been a journalist covering money, people and power for over 20 years. Graff contributes to national media outlets including Reuters, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Maxim, and the PBS show, Nightly Business Report. A former U.S. government economist, her nationally syndicated column The Home Economist is first published in The Miami Herald and then on the Tribune Content Agency, where it’s available to over 400 publications nationwide. She is broadcast weekly on two iHeartRadio news shows and is the author of “Not Buying It: Stop Overspending & Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids,” a parenting guide for people who might be tempted to buy their children the very obstacles they’re trying to avoid.