I recently was invited to check out Via Emilia 9 in South Beach. I had not heard of it before and was super excited to go after taking a peek at their website.
Named after the merchant road in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna (Italy’s greatest gastronomic treasure), ViaEmilia 9 is Miami Beach’s first authentic regional Italian restaurant and market. Emilia Romagna sits on the border with the third-smallest country in Europe, the Republic of San Marino, which happens to be the birth place of my mother-in-law, and a place I had the good fortune of visiting several years ago.
Perfect for lunch or dinner, Via Emilia 9 has something for all palettes and represents the Italian regions of both Bologna and Modena. Never compromising authenticity, Chef Giancarlo “Wendy” Cacciatori imports everything served at Via Emilia 9 from Italy (with the exception of fresh fruits, vegetables and eggs), including bread, which is brought in from the Vasalli Bakery in Ferrara, Italy. Via Emilia 9 has an expert “Sfoglina” or pasta maker on site hand rolling a variety of pastas and raviolis daily and upon request, she can personalize the stuffing of your ravioli or any pasta you’d like to try.
To get us started on our culinary journey through the Emilia region, Chef Wendy prepared for us a perfect antipasti plate that included 24 mo aged Parmigiano, 18 mo aged proscuitto di Parma, balsamic pearls (Chef Wendy & Tina import the balsamic from their own barrels in Emilia, where the balsamic sits and ages), fresh figs, artichoke, lemon jam & arugula with a side of gnocco frito (fried dough). Let me just say O – M – G!!!! This platter is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of tasting and I have tasted a lot, trust me! The quality of the imported products is undeniable. I loved (and ate, no…devoured is a more accurate description) everything on that plate. And the fried dough…don’t get me started. It was served piping hot and oh so good! We were served a lovely Lambrusco from the Emilia region to pair and it was nice and light.
The next dish to arrive was the cappellaci di zucca which were made that day (see above picture). These cappellaci were stuffed with pumpkin and marscapone cheese and came with crispy sage butter and topped with fresh Parmegiano cheese. This course was served with a Pinot Nero, a white Pinot Noir made by separating skins from the pulp- a really unique (and tasty) wine. My dining companion and I both LOVED this dish, every aspect of it. Pure perfection.
The next dish delivered to our table was their tagliatelle with prosciutto. I especially liked the bonus piece of grilled prosciutto placed on the top; the crispiness was a unique and welcome addition. A wonderful cabernet had been selected to pair with this course. Again, the freshness of the pasta along with each of the ingredients in the dish stood out to us and is an exception to what is served at most “Italian” restaurants here in the U.S.
For dessert, we delighted in the trio di ciaccolato. Tenerina al cioccolato (homemade chocolate cake), salame al cioccolato to (chocolate salami, an Italian dessert made from cocoa, broken biscuits, butter, eggs and a bit of port wine or rum. … like salami, chocolate salami is formed as a long cylinder and is sliced across into discs for serving) and mascarpone & strawberries. We loved each of the three components of the dish. The most unique I found was the chocolate salami.
Via Emilia 9 recently received a facelift. After two years in business, the traditional Italian eatery underwent renovations to incorporate a new open kitchen plan, an expanded market featuring homemade and imported Italian goods for sale, an eat-in bar, and pasta making station, along with other additions. Via Emilia 9 owners, Chef Wendy and his partner Valentina (aka Tina), decided to open up the space to give diners a look into the daily workings of an authentic Italian kitchen.
“We want to involve our guests in the cooking process and not just the end result. Being able to show people the process behind making food and being able to interact with their food is part of Italian tradition,” said Chef Wendy.
We tried just two of the wonderfu pasta dishes served at Via Emilia 9. Other dishes you may be interested in trying when you come is their signature dish, the Tortellini in Brodo (tortellini in broth) which is homemade and hand rolled- the tortellini is stuffed with Prosciutto di Parma, parmesan cheese, mortadella, beef and pork. Other highlights include The Basket from the Emilia Romagna- a charcuterie board that features prosciutto, mortadella, pancetta, parmigiano, as well as fried dough, prosciutto, mortadella, stracchino cheese, and marmalades. Other highly recommended dishes include the Ravioli dello chef, the Tagliatelle Panna Salsiccia e Funghi (tagliatelle with mushrooms, sausage and cream sauce), the Cotoletta alla Bolognese, the Chef’s Filet and the homemade flatbreads.
Via Emilia 9 is also available for catering and private chef services at your own house or event. Happy Hour is offered daily from 4 – 6:30pm featuring bottles of wines & appetizers for 50% off. They also have what looks like an amazing 5 course truffle tasting which I am undoubtedly going to try! You can learn peruse their menu and learn more by clicking here.
Via Emilia 9 is located on 1120 15th Street in Miami Beach and is open daily from 11 a.m. until 11p.m. for both lunch and dinner and brunch on weekends. Reservations are available by phone at (786) 216-7150.