A Uruguayan family runs New Campo Argentino in the Little Buenos Aries neighborhood of Miami Beach offering grilled meats, pastas, pizza, salads and sandwiches.
New campo means “new farm” as the current owners bought out an Argentine three years ago and created a menu including all the favorites of the pampas region
.Owner Gabriel Ottati is named after a town in southwest Italy where his father immigrated from to Uruguay. He cooks and runs the restaurant with his half-brother Federico Legaz, who has an Argentine father. They grew up in Punta del Este on the Atlantic coast of eastern Uruguay and came to Miami 13 years ago after a stint at a pizzeria in Ibiza, Spain.
Uruguay is said to mean “river of painted birds” in the Guarani Indian language and the dishes here flow from colorful Gaucho and Italian traditions. Uruguay has millions more cows than people and beef rules at the table. Here one can go for the parrillada (for one or two), bringing grilled skirt steak, chicken, chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage), short ribs and mollejas (sweetbreads). There’s also expertly salted and flamed rib eye, New York strip andvacio (lean flank steak). Specialties include filet mignon brochettes skewered with onions and peppers served with potato salad and green peppercorn sauce and the lomito al Campo is a steak sandwich topped with ham, bacon, mozzarella and a fried egg.
There are also grilled slabs of provolone sprinkled with oregano. Meaty grilled portobello mushrooms are stacked with layers of pomodoro sauce, roasted eggplant and prosciutto capped with fresh mozzarella. Panquequesare thin crepes are rolled up in dulce de leche for a sweet finish.
Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who blogs at FoodIndiaCook.com.