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Klein on Cecconi's: Italian for Pricey; Pesce Elliott on Cecconi's: 3 Stars

Lee Klein calls Cecconi's, another Miami beach Italian restaurant , "as pricey as a Venetian vacation, yet constantly crowded." He also says that "finding reasonable pricing at places such as this one is as likely as discovering a pearl in your oyster--and Cecconi's doesn't even serve oysters." That said, "lack of value is one of the few flaws" he found. The restaurant is "elegant and comfortable," and the philosophy of the chef, an alum of Casa Tua, is "the same as it was at the prior engagement," ie. "a very clean, basic compilation of fresh ingredients." However, the chef's "deftly light hand can occasionally prove a bit too subtle."

As for service, well, "the bulk of [Klein's] meal was thurs served in highly professional fashion--until it wasn't." As for the food: "The starter that best showcases [the chef's] let-the-food-do-the-talking approach comes via a chopped salad;" "each petite parcel of pasta delivered a delicately sumptuous mix of minced veal, beef and pork." Bottom line: Cecconi's cuisine is based on tradition rather than any need to be inventive." Pricing aside, "What seems missing are the usual consolatory extras, be it an amuse-bouche at the start, petits fours at the end, or notable service in between." But, "if you relish dining on flavorful Italian food in a breezily romantic setting, Cecconi's won't dissapoint." [MNT]

Victoria Pesce Elliott also reviews Cecconi's, saying the chef's "Confidence and skill are reflected in nearly every dish, and the quality of the ingredients matches his talent." However, thanks to bean soups, cheesy raviolis and baked meatballs, "the menu may seem heavy for the tropics." Ambiance is tops and "the real magic is in a tropical garden furnished with cushy, ice-blue upholstered chairs and banquettes." Among the food that worked: "delicious but dense Venetian carpaccio," "delightfully homey half poulet rouge roasted until as bronzed," "gorgeously charred tangle of meaty octopus," and "a vast international wine list with notes of brilliance and flashes of obscurity, albeit a whiff of pretension." What didn't work? "Stumbling service." Bottom line? 3 stars. [Miami.com]

Cecconi's

4385 Collins Avenue, , FL 33140 (786) 507-7902 Visit Website

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