The word capriccio translates to search for one’s little indulgences. Mauro Valentini’s very own capriccio was a search for warmer weather and more palm trees in his backyard.
Valentini’s family has been in the restaurant business for over 20 years. With two restaurants already to their name – Via Apia in New York, and Frascati in Connecticut – it was now time to venture down south.
“The restaurant combines the beauty of Miami with the flavors of our food,” Valentini said. “We started in Miami five years ago at our Doral location, without the river.”
This newer location will take your breath away at first glace. Spectacular views of the Downtown skyline and the Port of Miami showcase something our city is known for worldwide: exquisite waterfront dining. It really is a unique outdoor dining experience in the area, as Valentini describes it.
Whether on land, or sea Capriccio on The River has something for you.
“If boaters come they are welcome to dock on our terrace and dine with us,” he said. “They can get off or we’ll take the food right to them.”
The menu will keep you coming back to not just enjoy the scenery.
“Our menu is very Italian, but with a twist,” Valentini said. “Combining flavors and keeping our dishes with the essence of many regions of Italy, as well as offering tropical refreshing specialties.”
For antipasti, the tartare di tonno highlights colorful mango with fresh ahi tuna, vibrant avocado and speckles of sesame seeds. The vitello tonnato will start any meal off right with braised veal, tangy capers and a drizzle of tuna aioli. Capriccio’s standout risotto timbalo is also available as an aperitif, with mushrooms, and a combination of fresh seafood and rice that is cooked perfectly al-dente.
Salads are plentiful and have become a staple at Capriccio’s on The River for both local eaters and tourists visiting the area. Del Bosco requires tri-colored mixed greens with sweet strawberries, balsamic pears, apricots, candied walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and a creamy balsamic berry vinaigrette thats brings everything together.
There are also some paninis here that are perfect for lunch or dinner. The capri exudes all the flavors of Italy which Valentini’s family have so blatantly mastered. Prosciutto and fresh mozzarella join ripe roma tomatoes, with a burst of basil, all inside two slices of focaccia rustica.
But the capriccio panini is the must have sandwich around here, and it’s not just because of its name. Grilled chicken and roasted red peppers are paired together with melted provolone cheese, topped with house-made pesto genovese, inside a french baguette.
If you’re in the mood to share, a selection of pizzas are available right out of a wood oven just for that reason. The San Daniele keeps things simple and tasty, with pomodoro sauce, prosciutto and fresh mozzarella. Capriccio also comes in pizza form. Add some basil to that pomodoro, anchovies, hot cherry peppers for some heat, olives, bright spinach, smoked ham and some mozzarella on the top. It’s a mouthful to say, and eat.
Sandwiches and pizza aside, for dinner, expect nothing but the best. Primi, or first course, includes some options like orecchiette del tevere and zuppa di pesce. The first is house-made, almost small ear-shaped pasta with Italian sausage and oven roasted tomatoes. The latter is seafood pomodoro over perfectly cooked linguini. Both are delicious options for right before your main course.
Secondi items seal the deal with pollo valdostana: chicken, prosciutto, eggplant and fontina cheese are a perfect combination. Or the cernia marecchia is a good choice for seafood lovers. Expect a grouper filet with sauteed vegetables and some of that classic risotto. Save room for dessert, though, Valentini insists.
A decadent and beautiful selection of gelatos imported right from Italy will be taunting you in a glass display. Some must-have flavors are limoncello and pistachio – but the stracciatella with bursts of hazelnuts and a rich, almost ganache-like chocolate bottom is just a spoonful of perfection. Other desserts include a pizza di nutella for more chocolate-hazelnut goodness, and a torta della nonna.
If you want all that Capriccio has to offer just for you and your loved ones, catering is available along with a private room for parties and get-togethers.
Find your own new indulgence at 41 S.E. 5th St. at the Brickell on the River Towers, River Walk North.