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Pizzas and rosé go a long way at this rustic Italian spot on South Beach

Jun 14,2018
Pizzas and rosé go a long way at this rustic Italian spot on South Beach - blog post image

Call Me Gaby, open since December, is a recent addition to the South of Fifth neighborhood, an olive pit’s toss from South Pointe Park.

The rustic Italian cuisine is served in what resembles a villa on the French Riviera, with distressed white wood tables surrounded by bougainvillea. At night large candles in glass lanterns illuminate the terrace and lounge. Inside, you can watch the pizzaiolos at the brick oven in action.

Owners Anthony and Kathy Guitera, Corsicans who grew up in France (Cannes and Marseilles), met in Miami Beach and ran several restaurants on Ocean Drive. Kathy was born to a Vietnamese mother and Corsican father in Saigon where her parents ran the rooftop restaurant in the famed Arc en Ceil Hotel. Folks nicknamed Guitera Gaby after Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, the fashion icon she admires. The family-run place (Kathy’s niece is the manager) is affordable by South Beach standards, a place one can kick back and enjoy unpretentious dishes.

Start With These Dishes
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The focaccia with a crackly crust, with sea salt and rosemary, is perfect for dipping into spicy olive oil. The tagliere di affettati is an Italian salumi board with sweet ham, salami, robust calabrese sausage and prosciutto. It’s paired with cubes of parmesan, walnuts, grapes and black olives. It goes well with a glass of rosé from Cotes de Provence.

Share the lamb and beef meatballs with whipped ricotta and chives. Tomato in a Jar is large chunks of heirloom tomatoes with cucumber, bell pepper, red onions and black olives in lemon and olive oil dressing. The roasted baby beet salad has fresh, bittersweet citrusy caprino goat cheese, orange segments and crushed hazelnuts.

Share These Dishes
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Order the fiocchetti pasta purses stuffed with truffle cream tossed in Parmigiano-Reggiano fondue sauce with caramelized pear, fried sage leaves and lashings of balsamic vinegar. Other pastas include gnocchi in gorgonzola cream and pappardelle ribbons alla Bolognese.

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