A Fork in the Road: Carol’s, Italian with Brazilian touches, opens in downtown Miami

Life has come full circle for Carolina Moura since she opened her restaurant Carol’s on the same street as the department store of the same name her parents ran when she was a child. Now they help out in the rustic space with brick walls and faux weathered wood flooring. The menu is Italian with pizza, pasta, salads and sandwiches with a few Brazilian favorites.

Carolina was born in Sao Paulo and grew up in Key Biscayne with summers in Brazil with her Italian grandparents. She earned her masters in marketing and communications from the University of Miami. Executive Chef Kris Hillborn, formerly at Gigi in Midtown, learned to cook from his grandmother in South Carolina and went to culinary school at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.

Start with coxinha, teardrop-shaped croquettes made from rice dough stuffed with pulled chicken and Catupiry, a Brazilian cream cheese named for an Indian chief. And pao de queijo (cheese rolls), good with balsamic-olive oil dip. Pastas include porcini ravioli in sage cream and fettuccini with beef ragu. The BLT is made with pancetta, heirloom tomatoes and basil aioli. There’s pan-seared grouper over mashed potatoes, braised short ribs with potato puree and chicken gumbo thickened with a roux and okra over jasmine rice. On Saturday there’s feijoada, black bean stew with pork parts including belly, ribs and neck bones served with collard greens and orange segments. Finish with Catupiry cheesecake at this welcome newcomer.

Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who can be reached at