This hidden restaurant is tucked in an oasis. Here’s why it’s worth finding

The patio area at Vista.
The patio area at Vista.

The two-story restaurant Vista is nestled between Little Haiti and the Design District and is the first restaurant in the Upper Buena Vista complex.

Boutiques surround an ancient banyan tree visible from the pergola-covered patio with hanging potted plants swaying in the breeze. Inside, the restaurant is intimate with an industrial-modern look with wooden light fixtures and an open kitchen in back. Upstairs there is more seating and a rooftop terrace.

The husband and wife team behind Vista, Roberto Bearzi and Fiorella Blanco, brought Ristorante Fratelli Milano 12 years ago with Roberto’s twin brother Emanuele. Chef Giuliano Leverone, a disciple of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, created Vista’s menu.

Start With These Dishes

Vista grilled peaches
Grilled peaches

Whet your palate with a Manigordo cocktail. Named for a Costa Rican ocelot, it’s made with rum, lime, pineapple, chamomile, Bergamonte and bitters. Pair it with carciofi baresi, tempura fried artichokes in the style of the southeast coastal city of Bari in Italy. They are crispy and best dipped lightly in the hot sauce.

Another good option is the thinly sliced octopus with Spanish Romesco sauce, baby potatoes and squash puree with chorizo oil and salsa verde. Seasonal fruit such as peaches are grilled and served on a bed of arugula with stracciatella cheese. But the best seller is the fried calamari with sesame salt, pickles and yuzu sabayon.

Share These Dishes

Vista brisket
Maltagliati with braised brisket and tomato at Vista

Groups can mix and match charcuterie and artisan cheeses served with seasonal jam, local honey, olives and pickles. Be sure to add the bread basket with freshly baked breads, grissini, focaccia and ciabatta, with a side of sun-dried tomato spread.

Mains that can serve two include the local grilled snapper with coconut rice and mango chutney, salmon a la plancha with beluga lentils and pea puree, and roasted chicken in orange sauce with roasted golden potatoes.

Vista octopus
Grilled octopus at Vista

There’s also the fishermen’s soup, cioppino, in briny tomato broth with scallops, snapper, strips of squid and clams. Or get several pastas to share. Choose from wide paccheri tubes in cherry tomato sauce with chunks of lobster and summer squash, curved, ridged shell-like gnocchetti in a poblano peppers sauce or rustically cut maltagliati with braised brisket and tomato.

There’s also a daily risotto. On a recent visit it was made with rich-tasting porcini mushrooms, perfect against the creamy rice.

Save Room For Dessert

Try the creamy mango cheesecake with a thick, buttery crust.

Contact Linda Bladholm at Hidden Gems highlights out-of-the-way restaurants in Miami-Dade County. It is not intended to be an anonymous, critical review.


If You Go: Vista

Address: 5020 NE 2nd Ave, just north of the Design District

Contact: 305-405-7547,

Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. with brunch from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Prices: Appetizers $6-$18, pasta/risotto $18-$34, mains $17-$33, desserts $3-$9