Onetime New Yorker Steven Perricone has been running this Miami fixture several short blocks west of downtown’s Brickell Avenue high-rise corridor since 1996, and even though the area has lately become chockablock with fancy-schmancy eateries, Perricone’s has remained a beloved destination for locals (especially as a weekend brunch spot). Why? For starters, good service and reliably tasty food with a bit of an Italian bent—if you’re a seafoodie, don’t pass up the house version of cioppino (shrimp, mussels, scallops, fresh ahi tuna, and salmon medallions over linguine all swimming in a rich briny broth). The pasta list in particular is long and creative, as are those for entree salads (heads up, vegetarians) and desserts. But what kicks it all up to the next level is the gracious, lovely indoor-outdoor oasis feel, filled with lush greenery that does a fine job of whisking you away from the surrounding big city. Before leaving, stop in the gourmet market up front for a gelato that’s among the most authentic we’ve come across in Miami, amid an array of cheeses, cold cuts, wines, and other Italian goodies.
- David Paul Appell