Lovely Caffe DiNotte on Sunset Drive by Ray Raposo

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We went to Caffe DiNotte on Sunset Drive in Kendall for a group lunch to celebrate some family birthdays recently. We’ve all visited this restaurant before, since it has been a gem for fine Italian food with a touch of Latin flavor, in an intimate setting, for years. The restaurant also features walls filled with colorful paintings and some walls with wine storage. Most people are happily surprised by the colorful paintings on the walls in a restaurant in the middle of a strip mall, and others will think they’re in a frame shop. It’s funny how different people react to the same environment.  There’s also a bar area near the front entrance for those sitting alone or that just want a drink. The Caffe DiNotte Menu prices are not cheap, so don’t expect pizza joint prices. However, besides dinner, they offer an Executive Lunch special with soup or salad, a main course dish and dessert for a reasonable price of $16 plus tax and tip, which comes to about $20. With the prices at even fast food restaurants these days, it’s a pretty good deal for a much better meal and surroundings. They also have daily specials, and your waiter will give you a full description of the dishes.

Ray and niece Margot enjoying the meal.
Our group tried both the small salad and the soup, both good. The Chicken Francese was the overwhelming choice for most, while others tried the  Fettuccine Carbonera with chicken, the Risotto and Flank Steak of a fish dish.  Everyone was pleased with their choice. One of us wanted a larger salad and they complied with the wish. For dessert they offered either tasty Flan or Tiramisu. We had brought our own cake, which they were happy to slice up and serve to everyone after we had sang happy birthday. Both the Executive Lunch menu offers quite a large selection of dishes. There’s also a Pork Tenderloin with bacon; Linguini all Calamari; Chicken Ravioli; Linguini Bolognese; and Penne Pasta al Pomodoro to name a few. The regular menu also has some interesting dishes like Veal Scaloppine Alle Barol; a stuffed with lobster Ravioli di Aragosta; Costolette Di Note a rack of lamb; and a lightly blackened seared Yellowfin Tuna. If you love Lobster Bisque soup, it alone is worth the visit. Besides dining in the restaurant, they also have an online ordering through DoorDash which gets you your food delivered to you in under an hour.
Years ago, when there were not many fine restaurants in the Kendall area, Caffe DiNotte was a hidden treasure with few rivals. Still most regular customers have nothing but good things to say about Caffe DiNotte, other occasional customers will say that the restaurant is not all that great anymore. I suggest you try for yourself, and depending on your personal experience you’ll either be back or give it a pass.
The servers are all professional and have working for many years, they have their system of service, if you’re a bit demanding, you might have a slight clash with their style. One word of advise I will give you is never try to go to Caffe DiNotte on any day or night that there’s any type of Irish holiday, like St. Patrick’s Day… this is because Scully’s Tavern is located in the same u-shaped strip mall, and the crowd will overwhelm the parking available.
Caffe DiNotte is located at the Shoppes of Sunset: 9793 SW 72nd Street, Miami.
Their hours are 12:00 to 3:00 PM for lunch weekdays, there’s no lunch on weekends, and 6:00 to 10 PM for dinner, except till 11 PM on Friday and Saturday nights.
You can call for reservations at 305-412-3310.
Our party included the birthday ladies, Elsa and Rebeca, plus Lucio, Paul, Ray and Elsita.

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