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Under the Tuscan sun

By Betty Cortina-Weiss

When Stefano Cavinato and Tomasso Morelato first talked about opening a restaurant in Miami, they knew it would be an opportunity to show off their Italian roots. “We wanted it to offer the very best of Italy,” explained Cavinato, who last year opened Toscana Divino restaurant in Mary Brickell Village. As it happens, the duo’s dream coincided with a not-so-small initiative coming from way back home: Italy—as in the nation itself—last fall declared 2013 “The Year of Italian Culture” and launched a program of cultural events around the United States. “It was good timing for us,” Cavinato said. And for Miami too. With help from South Florida’s Italian-in-Chief, Consul Adolfo Barattolo and his wife Federica Zavanella, who recently opened their Coral Gables home to Indulge for a special celebration of Tuscan deliciousness, Cavinato and Morelato and their Toscana team—including chef Julian Baker and event planner Alessandra Fiorini—put together a delectable menu that included a Tuscan take on ceviche, creamy mushroom risotto and braised pork so tender it was virtually a custard. For the tablescape, they used an eclectic array of elements, from classic Tuscan pitchers filled with sunflowers (“That’s how you would do it in Tuscany,” Fiorini said.) to Toscana’s own modern colorful glassware (available for purchase at the restaurant). It was a transporting afternoon affair and so successful that Toscana is launching an in-home event service where the scrumptiousness pictured here could come right to you. So go ahead: mangia!