Mai Tardi

Graziano Sbroggio has a knack for giving Miami diners exactly what they want. From the casual, two-decade-old TiramesU and perennially popular Spris to the fabulously hip Segafredo, the Veneto native has created South Beach hot spots with enduring appeal. So it’s no surprise that his rapid revamp of the brief-lived Brosia space is a hit. Within weeks of opening the Design District stunner, Sbroggio was re-engineering the gorgeous but oddly dysfunctional outdoor dining room. Calling it Mai Tardi (“never late”), he has achieved his goal of creating “the image of a casual place where time is not of the essence.”

Ambiance: The majestic, 100-year-old white oaks and swirly blue and green mosaics by the brilliant Italian tile team Bisazza still grace the 4,000-square-foot space. It’s a great oasis for a cocktail or a glass of wine from the budget-priced Italian-California list, though the bar in the pocket-size indoor dining room has been replaced by a wood-burning pizza oven.

What Worked

  • Over three dozen thin-crusted wood burning pizzas
  • Classic marghertia pizza with smoothly melted mozzarella, a smattering of mellow sauce and experty seared puffy, chewy crusts
  • Sunday Brunch uova al tegamino, an egg in tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese baked in the pizza oven
  • Frittelle di riso – rice fritters with raisins, toasty pine nuts and puffs of creme anglais
  • Tender, tight and recession-busting curlicue of skirt steak served with a triangle of grilled polenta and a sweet tangle of caramelized onions
  • House made, crowd-pleasing hearty pappardelle with an osso buco ragu
  • House made porcini tortelloni
  • Gorgeously golden, habanero-laced piri-piri shrimp with a touch of ginger
  • See-through slices of beef carpaccio with crystally sheets of Parmesan and a mustard-tinged dressing
  • Over a dozen expertly designed gluten-free dishes, including a nutty quinoa salad with nibs of toasted almonds, caramelized cherry tomato halves and cubes of fresh mango and hot and satisfying elbow pasta with melted eggplant, tangy goat cheese and minty pesto
  • Decadent dessert calzone stuffed with Nutella and topped with airy puffs of crema