La Centrale, Miami’s Italian Food Hall Mecca | CULINARY
Miami’s Italina Food Hall Mecca to open in Brickell City Center
The much-anticipated Italian Food Hall, La Centrale, Miami’s largest at 40,000 square feet, is scheduled to open to the public this February 16th. The three-story hall is a culinary mecca for South Florida food lovers, and will feature Italian restaurants, specialty retail shops, culinary event spaces, cooking classes, and an impressive curated wine cellar as well.
Conceptualized by Florence-born Jacopo Giustinaini and hospitality veteran Matthias Kiehm, La Centrale offers 14 different Italian eateries and five chic bars adding up to over 600 seats. Options range from grab-and-go food counters to more upscale, sit-down restaurants, all with a common denominator focusing on fresh, made-from-scratch, authentic Italian products. Executive Chef Vincenzo Scarmigila (formerly of Las Vegas hotspots like GIADA at The Cromwell) will be overseeing all the menus, ensuring the variety of regions in Italy are wellrepresented and diverse in flavor and price point as well. Guests can expect to indulge anywhere between $2 on a premium Lavazza espresso to $58 on a branzino fish entrée imported from the Italian coastal town of Orbetello.
Begin on Level One, which is designed to mimic a classic Italian piazza and revolves around fresh, quick-service dining options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as a focus on Italian street food. There’s Caffé, a Sicilian-inspired coffee shop offering freshlymade Italian cannoli, pastries, and cakes. The Mercato is considered the main purchasing spot and, as seen by the massive wooden trellis overhead, is designed after the train station in Florence. There are six grab-and-go counters here, including Espresso, Salumi E Formaggi, Insalate, Focacceria, Rosticceria, and Pronto, offering take-out Italian dinners. Pizza E Pasta, the rustic pizza and pasta restaurant, is the market’s casual, family-style spot serving housemade Neapolitan pizzas and house-made pastas. Sample delicacies like ravioli friti, lightly fried spinach and ricotta filled ravioli served with Calabrian chili Pomodoro or prosciutto and arugula pizza with a ricotta-stuffed crust. To create a truly authentic expression, stones dating back to 1663 were brought in.
Head up to the second floor where you’ll find all three sit-down restaurants, the market’s signature Aperitivo Bar, and a chocolate and gelato eatery. Guests will be able to purchase fresh seafood from the fish market, prime cuts of meat from the meat market, and housemade mozzarella made fresh every day. The Aperitivo Bar lies prominently in the center of level 2, surrounded by 14-foot Mediterranean olive trees. The bar is shaped like a water well inspired by Roman towns. Price points are competitive, with negroni cocktails at $10 and there is live music and entertainment featured on the stage. Carne, is the hall’s meat restaurant boasting an authentic Italian butcher shop as. Meats are cooked in a traditional wood-fired grill. The vaulted tile ceilings are inspired from the region of Chianti and originate from the same terracotta suppliers used to reconstruct the famed 13th century Duomo of Florence. For fish lovers, there’s the airy restaurant, Pesce, evoking the spirit of a seaside restaurant along the Italian Riviera. Stagionale serves as the hall’s seasonal, plant-based restaurant, and boasts an impressive mozzarella counter, where guests can watch hand-pulled mozzarella made on the spot. Sweet tooth cravings will be duly satisfied at Venchi, the gelateria and chocolatier shop with over 80 types of chocolate products.
To add to the comfort and ease of those visiting La Centrale, guests seated at any of the restaurants can request a food checklist which will be filled by personal shoppers as they dine. Once their meal is over, they will receive the bag of requested items to take home.
Oenophiles may want to begin on the third floor where they will find La Centrale’s wine mecca. Enoteca is the heart of the third floor, channeling a traditional Tuscan winery offering 30 wines by the glass. Small bites are also included such as lentil and cod croquettes. A $20 prix fixe menu for lunch and dinner will be featured daily. Bottega Del Vino is the wine and liquor shop featuring over 500 labels and 4,000 bottles of wine, 85% of which are of Italian origin. Cantina offers a daily prix-fixe menu and serves as a premier private event space for 10 to up to 50 guests.
Tucked away on the third floor is La Cucina, a state-of-the-art cooking and event studio that will be offering food-lovers the opportunity to learn various preparation and cooking techniques of Italian food in a relaxed and fun setting. La Cucina will also act as an event and dining space for private parties, book signings, guest chef takeovers, wine tasting, as well as kids cooking classes.
La Centrale is located in Brickell City Centre in downtown Miami, and both Giustiniani and Kiehm are eager to share its authentic one-of-akind Italian flair with the public.
“Miami is in its Golden Age with new museums, a high speed rail system coming soon, and institutions like it’s never had before. It is one of the most dramatic urban success stories in the United States. South Florida has a great appreciation for authentic food tied to its diverse and deep cultural roots, so choosing Miami was a natural choice,” Kiehm said.