A group of ten long time friends met for dinner recently at Salvatore D., a fine Italian restaurant in Kendall. Some of us have eaten at this little piece of Italy, formerly known as “Il Piatto Italiano” many times, for others it was their first visit. This restaurant, tucked in a strip mall on Sunset Drive and 87th Avenue has been serving Italian specialties for more than two decades. They must be doing something right.
Once you enter the establishment and are greeted by the hostess, you can sit in a waiting area with leather couches just to the left of the entrance. They also have a bar area in the back of the restaurant, but on this night it had been reserved for a private party. While we waited a server came by and took our drink orders, and soon brought them to the four of us who had arrived early. Besides beer they offer most all types of cocktails and wine by the glass or the bottle. Once our table was ready, the four of us were shown to our table, no need to wait until our whole party arrived. Why some groups have to wait is beyond me.
Our round table sat ten and was near the front. It was just right for talk, laugh and good fun.
Once our whole party had been seated, we were presented the Menus and more drink orders were taken. The Menu is quite extensive and most should find just what they had hoped for. There are interesting as well as exotic Antipasti dishes such as Francine della Sicilia, which are stuffed rice balls with ground meat as well as home made béchamel croquettes, his Mom’s recipe, a savory treat my grandmother Elsa used to make as well. On this night they had fresh Octopus as well and it was well received. You’ll also find Fried Calamari which we tried, Mussels in garlic and wine sauce, and fresh Bruschetta, chopped tomatoes with garlic and basil, and a few others. They also offer soups, a Minestra dei Fagioli which was homemade delicious and a different “soup of the day”. Four types of fresh salads including a Ceasar and Carpese. They have several Pasta dishes as Prime Piatti, most under $20.00 a plate, including a generous Lasagna Bolognese which was perfectly executed. There’s Fettuccine Carbonara or Alfredo, and meatball Spaghetti as well. For those seafood lovers they have a Linguini or a Risotto ai Frutti Di Mare.
They also offer a number of other seafood, including shrimp and fish dishes like fresh Snapper alla Francese and wood-roasted Salmon. If chicken is more to your liking they offer it in quite a few styles such as Parmigiana, Florentine, Siciliana, Cordon Bleu and the one we tried, Francese. Their veal dishes offer several choices, Cacciatora (in chunks), Milanese, Marsala (scaloppini), and Parmigiana. Not to leave beef eaters out, they also offer a New Zealand Lamb Chop, a 10 oz. Angus Fillet Mignon, plus a 12 oz. Angus NY Strip Steak. All their meat or fish Entrees are served with a side of pasta, or you can request a vegetable such as Steamed Spinach or Sautéed Mushrooms. Although most dishes run in the low to mid $20s, there are a few that cost in the $30s and above range, like the Nodino Di Vitello alla Griglia, which is a 14 oz. Veal Chop marinated in olive oil and garlic grilled to your taste. A few of us tried a dessert, we had the Creme Brulle which was just right.
Our whole party of ten was very pleased with the tasty food, the drinks, the attentive service and the overall atmosphere. We were never distracted by anything or anyone as we enjoyed the meal and the sharing of many stories the whole evening. As a group we very seldom have a bad dining experience, sure an occasional dish might not be perfect, though I read terrible reviews all the time online… when its at an establishment that we’ve enjoyed repeatedly, it makes me wonder how much of it is as result of the attitude of the customer. Food for thought.
Salvatore D. is owned and operated by Salvatore Dicembrino and his wife Maria, they have over 35 years of restaurant experience and it shows. The long and deep space has warm wooden floors, a number of tables for 4 and a few larger round tables, all covered with white table cloths and peach napkins, their dishes are a clean white. The overall homey vibe is achieved with artwork on the walls, decorated bookcases you might find in an Italian home as well as a few wine racks, all adding to the warm feel.
Salvatore D. Finest Italian Cuisine is located at 8760 SW 72 Street in Miami.
They are open for dinner daily from 5 P.M. to 11 P.M. and until 12 P.M. on Fridays and Saturdays. They are closed on Mondays. They also offer a home Delivery Service.
You can make reservations by calling 305-274-4044 or order online at http://www.salvatoredrestaurant.com