Panarea is a taste of authentic Mediterranean

Panarea Mediterranean Sea Grill is the third restaurant I’ve tried at the NE 110 St. and Biscayne Blvd. location in North Miami. I loved the other two and was sorry to see them go but the quaint, intimate space is a bit tough to get to.

Knowing how to navigate getting there to make the journey easier, I was excited to try the new Mediterranean menu. I brought my sister Susy along for the media tasting.

Owner Luco Delogu, who hails from Sardinia and his Executive Chef Claudio Sandri, who was featured on “Iron Chef America” on Food Network, love highlighting the flavors from all over the Mediterranean. Their carefully thought out menu features dishes from Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel and Northern Africa.

Needless to say, the menu was a sampling of all these European countries. Even the menu that evening was presented as “a journey through the true Mediterranean…a tasting menu.”

Light and flavorful first course at Panarea was paired with Grillo a Sicilian wine.

Italy and France dominated the first course which consisted of tuna tartare, marinated sardines and Mediterranean seabass or Crudo di Branzino.

Mediterranean flavors from Spain, Lebanon and Egypt for the second course.

The second course represented a multitude of countries. On the round wooden board with a fresh lemon wedge was served Octopus a la Valenciana and fried sand smelts from Spain, traditional baba ghannoujh eggplant puree from Lebanon and filfil roomi hummus from Egypt. It was paired with a delicate French Rose wine.

Whole grilled Turbot, third course.

The stunning and abundant grilled turbot from Turkey, served with a sarmoriglio sauce and accompanied by fried artichokes with mint tzatziki dip served with a Viognier French wine.

Spirulina pasta with seasonal vegetables, fresh tomatoes and olive oil.

It wouldn’t be a trip through the Mediterranean without pasta and there were three servings during the fourth course. Fresh spirulina pasta from Colie Islands, Chitarra Vongole a square spaghetti with clams and fresh sea urchin from Italy followed by farro con gamberi emmer wheat berries with shrimp, zucchini and fresh tomato also from Italy. Paired with Teroldego from Italy.

Moroccan lamb stew at Panarea.

A hearty, but delicate Moroccan lamb stew with apricots, chickpeas, potatoes, carrots, herbs and cinnamon back notes was paired with a Spanish Bobal wine.

To end the meal a Crema Catalana or traditional Spanish cream custard and grilled brie cheese with fresh fig, walnuts, pistachios and honey were served with a Spanish Moscatel wine.

And if Executive Chef Claudio Sandri weren’t busy enough with Panarea’s menu, he’s also hosting a monthly Mozzarella Making Class starting on Aug. 30.

Panarea Sea Grill, 11052 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami, FL 305-640-5580.



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