Brickell’s Four Ambassador’s has a new Italian eatery to call its own. Chef Rino Balzano has opened La Canzone Ristorante and Lounge inside the signature suites and hotel, bringing over 30 years of experience in the business to Miami for the first time. He’s already made his mark on Broward County, now it’s time to see what he can accomplish a little more down south.
Born in Naples, Italy, he began an affinity for food when he was a little boy, watching his parents cook. After graduating from culinary school in Rapallo, he took to the high seas for ten years as a chef on a major Italian cruise line. There, he learned from several maestros who really began making him see that the restaurant business was for him. “It’s a wonderful place where you can express yourself creatively in every way,” Balzano says about owning his own restaurant.
Later, he ventured to the United States to open several restaurants and feed hungry Floridans. As a restaurant owner and chef, he was constantly meeting new people and making them happy with his food; coming up with new dishes and creating a nice atmosphere for everyone.
In Ft. Lauderdale, Balzano became highly recognized for his culinary point of view. He won awards from The James Beard Foundation, The Miami Herald, The Sun Sentinel and many others. Celebrities began to notice the chef’s food and wanted in on what he was cooking. Robert De Niro hired the chef to cook during some of his films, along with Demi Moore, Robert Duvall, Juan Gabriel and other members of Hollywood’s elite. And, Balzano has got the pictures hanging up in his office to prove it, just in case you don’t believe his stories.
While gaining notoriety, family is what kept him grounded. “Family is what keeps me going, what makes me get out of bed in the morning,” Balzano says about the significance of his family’s support. His father’s influence on his cooking is still a big part of his style today. And when it comes to being in the kitchen, there’s another Balzano who can take the heat. Brother Luciano is a big part of La Canzone and will mostly be taking charge of the back of the house, while Balzano will take on a more supervisory role at the restaurant. The Balzano brothers are so close that it can be said that they are one. Also, his wife helped out making sure everything for La Canzone’s opening went smoothly, and it did. The restaurant opened its doors on September 1.
The epitome of beautiful will be experienced at La Canzone. Overlooking the bay, you will be carried away by an airy, relaxing feel right when you walk in. It is simple, yet elegant, perfect to dine with your family on all of your Italian favorites. Its modern, contemporary look is forward-thinking, while offering all of the classics any Italian grandmother would be proud to serve in her own home.
Balzano definitely knows what it takes to own a successful restaurant, but expects something new and different every day at La Canzone. A new day brings a new challenge for him and he keeps going, reaching for his goal. He has never lost his passion and knows that without it, in the kitchen, you have nothing.
La Canzone is a gorgeous place for both locals and guests to The Four Ambassadors. With ample room to bring a large group, or keep it intimate with a special loved one, you can make any night a special one at Brickell’s newest and prettiest Italian spot. Unlike some restaurants that specialize in cuisine from just one area, food from every region of the country can be expected here for lunch and dinner at reasonable prices. Also, a special Sunday brunch is being planned for the future. A little bit of everything will keep people coming back to La Canzone Ristorante and Lounge. And no, you can’t forget about the second part of the name. At night, the lounge and bar is open to all with music, live artists and happy hour deals.
A version of this article was published in MyCityEats.