Secreto Restaurant and Art Gallery in Kendall by Ray Raposo

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Four of us went to the lovely Secreto restaurant on Kendall Drive and 117th Avenue to celebrate two December birthdays. On this occasion, the intimate restaurant with a capacity of 50 had a lovely decorated Christmas tree near the front entrance.
We have all been to Secreto a few other times before this visit. Secreto, which means secret in Spanish, is a culinary treasure in West Kendall. It’s perfect for celebrating a romantic birthday or anniversary with your spouse. Its small menu features the true essence of Italian cuisine with a Latin flare resulting in inspiring creations that taste as delicious as they are pleasing to the eye. Using the finest ingredients and highest grade foods, the exotic flavors are mouthwatering. Besides their signature Menu items featuring pasta, seafood and meats, they also offer daily specials in all categories as well as a variety of wines. Being a small restaurant, if there happens to be a large party seating near you it can get loud, but generally it is very pleasant. Also, if you’re looking for mass food quantity, this is not he place for you. Stick to Macaroni Grill or for even more, The Cheesecake Factory for enormous servings.
 
Writer Ray and wife Peg enjoying their meal.

After sitting right away we were served water and warm bread along with the Menu. I started on this visit with the soup of the day, which was tomato based and quite delicious. Others ordered the Italian classic Mozzarella Capresse featuring Buffalo mozzarella cheese served with tomatoes and basil in an imported virgin olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. For the main course a couple of us ordered the Fettuccine Mare Monti. The homemade pasta sautéed with sundries tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, smoked buffalo mozzarella and scallops & large shrimps served with a white truffle oil sauce.

Cousins Carmen and Miguel with their meal.

It was incredibly flavorful and quite filling as well. The two others ordered the Ravioli di Granchio. However the kitchen only had one serving left, so they went with the fettuccine as well. The ravioli features homemade pasta stuffed with crabmeat in a lobster sauce topped with shrimp and spinach… very flavorful. Really, you can’t go wrong with any dish they offer, all have always been excellent. The Scaloppini Picatta featuring veal scaloppini sautéed with capers, white wine and a light lemon sauce has always been excellent. If you’re a risotto fan, theirs features a Champagne creamy risotto cooked with fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes and oregano, served with pan seared chicken in lemon sauce. For desserts they offer some tasty classics such as creme brûlée and tiramisu as well as some more exotic combinations.

The walls of Secreto are totally filled with numerous colorful paintings by a variety of local artists in order to keep their walls lively, entertaining, and ever changing. They feature artwork by artists such as Leonor Murciano, Gilda Sacasas, George Rodez, Silvia Garcia and Robert Brown. All the artwork you see in Secreto is actually for sale. Just ask or email them.

Also see the provided Links at the end of this article.
Just some of the many paintings featured on the Secreto walls.
The bilingual staff is attentive and accommodating as well, ready to satisfy the customer’s every wish. Most likely you’ll find there’s nothing to really complain about. However, I have found that no establishment is perfect for every customer and with every dozen great experiences, you’ll find one person or a couple that is not satisfied. Not about Secreto, but in general, some people complain about everything from a staff’s attitude to the ambience, to the seats, the temperature, and finally to the food served. Some complain about server’s suggestions, related to their personal food allergies as if all servers are mind reading doctors. I tend to concentrate on the positive, and make the experience an agreeable one. Something has to be really wrong to ruin an evening out with friends for me. If you’re extremely sensitive, hard to please and very picky… here’s what I recommend to you: Stay home, where only you and yours will be responsible for your complete satisfaction and total dining perfection. 
Secreto has been serving the public since 2009, and by the number of clientele on a Thursday night, you can tell not only that the “Secret” is out, but that they should be around for years to come. They are definitely doing something right, and most repeat customers can attest to that.
 
Secreto is located on the intersection of North Kendall Drive (88th Street) and 117th Avenue on the south side of The Crossroads of Kendall shopping center. 11652 N. Kendall Drive Miami, Florida 33176.  You can call them at 305-596-4840.  For information on purchasing artwork you can email them at: info@secretorestaurant.com. For more information check their website at: www.secretorestaurant.com

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