Macchialina is an Italian restaurant that was highly recommended to us by one of the bartenders we were chatting with at our hotel in Miami. We had reservations somewhere else, and he suggested Macchialina instead.
Upon arrival, the place was packed. Very busy with many people waiting for tables both inside and outside. The place is small but in high demand. We were promptly seated by the window. We started with the house made porchetta and some gnocco fritto. The porchetta was delicious but the gnocco fritto was too thick. They were puffy, but more like a regular pizza crust than the airy, delicate pillows we had in Emilia Romagna. They were still delicious combined with the porchetta.
I had mentioned in our reservation notes who had recommended us to the place, and that it was my wife’s birthday. Very kindly, the next dish they brought out was some complimentary burrata. It was nice and fresh. Airy, with great texture and taste.
The next dish was the biggest disappointment of the night. Having just had a bad pasta experience, I was looking forward to a proper pasta. The pappardelle with mushroom, thyme and Parmigiano. We also added fresh Alba truffles. The main issue was that the pasta was overcooked. Not as overcooked as at River, but still overcooked. The flavors of the truffle, thyme and cheese also did not come through.
For my main, I had the branzino which was perfectly cooked. A very nice crispy skin and delicious tasting fish.
Overall, the service was fantastic, and the place has a great atmosphere. Lots of locals. The pasta was disappointing, especially since they show hand made pasta on their website. Perhaps ours sat under a heat lamp too long, or maybe, people in Miami do not like pasta al dente. Who knows. The meal ended with some complimentary limoncello. We had no room for dessert at this point, and were very full. My wife had the Milanese veal. It was massive. 7/10