After a brief stint as a well-received pop-up in 2019, Erba is back — with a new permanent location in Coral Gables. The newcomer from the Alpareno Group, from chef Niven Patel and Mohamed Alkassar, showcases classic Italian dishes with Florida twists.
Erba, Italian for “herb,” features Patel’s melding of Italian and Miami flavors, reflecting the city's diverse cultural influences. Menu standouts include Roman hearts of palm, mafaldine with Bahamian conch instead of traditional clams, and a reimagined tiramisu infused with tres leches, a nod to Miami’s diverse background.
“The style of cooking that I do, which is ingredient-driven, is inherently Italian. But we’re incorporating elements like hearts of palm, Florida avocado, and conch into our menu, which isn’t typical to Italian menus,” said Patel. “It’s about blending local flavors with Italian techniques.”
Much of the inspiration behind Erba’s menu stems from Rancho Patel, a nearby farm owned by Patel. The farm emphasizes sustainable agricultural practices, from crop rotation to composting.
The restaurant also offers an Italian-focused wine list with over 120 bottles, designed in collaboration with Kirsta Grauberger, Alpareno Restaurant Group’s Beverage Director. Additionally, patrons can sip on farm-to-glass cocktails crafted in partnership with bartender Scott Beattie, who has created cocktail menus for the likes of the three-Michelin-starred the Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley.
The restaurant also features one of the best happy hour deals in town. Every day from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., diners can score discount drinks and dine on a $45, six-course pasta-tasting menu. For those who want a more luxe meal, the restaurant also offers an eight-course Chef’s Table for two to six guests with two seatings a night. These are ticketed meals ($195 per person, booked on OpenTable) with two tiers of beverage pairings available.
Erba can seat up to 150 guests, spanning its dining area, bar, chef’s table, and private section. Saladino Design Studio crafted the decor, blending Old World pieces with modern elements centered on ‘love’ and ‘connection’. A bright foyer welcomes guests before walking into a space with vivid pink and red walls, Cupid-centric wallpaper with a playful touch of bold colors, and a dog named Dante.
“From our whimsical wallpaper to the ambient music—think Marvin Gaye—it’s all curated to exude warmth and passion with a vibrant touch reminiscent of the city of Miami,” said Alkassar.
Erba is the latest restaurant in Alpareno’s collection, joining the likes of Ghee Indian Kitchen in Kendall and neighboring Coral Gables’ restaurants Orno and Mamey.
As for the group, they are thrilled to continue their expansion in the neighborhood. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the warmth and support from the community. Their genuine appreciation for our offerings has been heartening, making us feel truly at home,” said Alkassar.
Erba opens to the public on Thursday, October 5 at 227 South Dixie Highway. The restaurant will be open Sunday to Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday to Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.