Zucca brings Italian flair inside boutique hotel

I was quite surprised when I attended a media tasting at Zucca and realized as I arrived that it was inside the boutique Hotel St. Michel, an iconic fixture in Downtown Coral Gables.

Curious to sample the Italian fare inside this French-themed hotel, the restaurant’s contemporary look was quite inviting. We settled around the bar for what would be a barrage of family-style tastings of various items from their menu.

It was nice kicking off the meal with a cocktail and I chose their twist on the Old Fashioned and my sister Ana ordered the lovely, pale pink-colored Zucca Frose made with Fifty Pounds Dry Gin, Rose wine, mandarine Napoleon pomegranate and rose water mist and petals.

Then the food started coming out, family style. Antipasto was presented on a large wooden board loaded up with prosciutto, various cheeses, mortadella and jam. Toasty focaccia bread topped with olives and peppers on a board comes with tapenade and fresh tomatoes for topping and olive oil for dipping.

Delicate zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella (the menu also features them stuffed with ricotta and anchovies or scamorza cheese and prosciutto) are creamy and lightly crispy. The filet steak skewers, also on a board, are tender and juicy and were followed by the homemade ravioli stuffed with pumpkin and sauteed with light butter sauce and sage. It’s obvious the careful preparation of the pasta squares because they’re light yet very satisfying.

We finished off the meal with mini versions of tiramisu and panacotta in small shot glasses. Classics that are always a welcome finish to any dining experience.

Italian food served inside a French boutique hotel? Sure, when it’s done this well, why not?

Zucca Miami, 162 Alcazar Ave., Coral Gables 786.580.3731 https://www.facebook.com/zuccamiami/

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