Photos by Adam Delguidice
Nestled off the fray of South Beach’s north-south artery, Alton Road, Macchialina reigns as one of Miami’s most approachable, Chef-driven eateries serving up ambitious, Italian fare. Garnering repeat visits from A-list celebrities to local Miami hospitality gurus, the restaurant’s buzz lies in its ability to offer guests not only undeniable consistency of signature plates and libations, but the continual discovery of new ones. Now, the popular neighborhood gem is shaking things up with the launch of a revamped cocktail menu and carafe program.
Spearheading the award-winning wine program at the rustic Italian hotspot is bar maven and Italian-wine devotee, Managing Partner/Beverage Director, Jacqueline Pirolo – offering an extensive selection of all-Italian wines (except Champagnes) sourced from estate-grown grapes and boutique growers – many quite rare and hard to find in the states. With that in mind, Macchialina now offers carafes or “half-bottles” of any bottle on their wine list for half the listed bottle price to motivate undecided and adventurous customers to try something new. Pirolo is notorious for encouraging her guests to step out of their comfort zone and take the road less traveled when it comes to ordering wine.
Curated with thoughtful expertise by Ms. Pirolo – the new cocktail program perfectly complements Executive Chef/Owner Michael Pirolo’s rustic cuisine combining the transportive flavors of Italian spirits like Mirto, Cynar, and Zucca with thorough execution. Like the restaurant’s menu, the new list of libations features an array of imaginative concoctions inspired by Italian bar culture placing a strong emphasis on Aperitivo-style cocktails; while the signature drinks selection offers more unique interpretations of the classics. And like her award-winning wine list, the cocktails are an ode to the boot-shaped nation’s rich drinking heritage that highlights the Pirolo family’s Italian roots and the spirit of Macchialina.
“We have a passionate and creative team of tastemakers behind the bar at the moment – big shout out to Amy Weidig, Mark Broadfoot and John Cooper for helping keep our vision alive”, says Pirolo.
“This year, we decided to shake things up a bit and do a friendly, cocktail collaboration between the four of us – the rules were simple: create cocktails that pair well with our cuisine, highlighting Italian spirits and ingredients all while maintaining straightforward, simple and clean flavors – no frills. Each bartender had two weeks to conjure up 4-5 unique cocktails; After much peer-to-peer deliberation, the finalized drinks were presented to Chef Michael and I to decide which would earn a permanent spot on the new list.”
New, aperitif-based pours include Mark’s play on an Eastside Rickey using Braulio in place of gin, the ALPINE RICKEY ($14) Braulio, lime, cucumber, mint, Fever Tree club soda; his WHITE NEGRONI ($14) Gra’it grappa, Luxardo bitter bianco, Martini Rossi ambrato; and John’s version of a classic Sherry flip, the MAGICAL MYSTERY FLIP ($14) Zucca, lemon, house-made strawberry syrup, whole egg.
The updated signature cocktails list includes Amy’s herbal riff on a French 75, the SETTANTA CINQUE ($14) Bombay Sapphire, Wild Sardinia Mirto, lemon, ginger ale; John’s tequila-fied espresso martini, the CAFFÉ FREDDO ($14) Montenegro, Angelisco Blanco, coffee, house-made orange bitters whipped cream; Amy’s SPEYSIDE & SALVIA ($14) made with the Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, Mancino Secco, Cynar, sage, and Angostura is like a dry Rob Roy and an Old Fashioned had an Italian lovechild. The smokiness from the Founder’s and the herbaceous sage play up savory notes common in Italian cuisine. Jacqueline’s MACCHIALINA GIBSON ($16) made with Absolut Elyx, pickling spice infused Mancino Secco, and mamma Rivas onions hits closer to home.
Loyal Macchialina bar dwellers fear not! Mainstay cocktails such as the BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHIANTO SPRITZ with Cappellano Barolo Chinato, Q grapefruit soda, Lovo prosecco; OUR NEGRONI Plymouth gin, Gran Classico, Carpano Antica and THE SPECK-TACULAR NOW, made with speck-infused Smooth Ambler Contradiction, honey clove syrup and Jamaican #1 bitters, can still be found on the menu.
Macchialina is located at 820 Alton Road on Miami Beach. Dinner is served nightly at 6PM.