MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A husband and wife are teaming up to bring the authentic tastes of Italy to Miami, with their newest restaurant that relies on fresh ingredients and of course, delicious pasta.
It’s ‘viva Italia’ at Via Emilia Garden in Midtown.
The newest location to its popular sister restaurant on South Beach, Via Emilia 9.
Owned by celebrated Chef Giancarlo ‘Wendy’ Cacciatori and his wife Valentina Imbrenda, who handles the front of the house and is co-owner.
Via Emilia Garden is a 2,000 square-foot indoor, outdoor eatery that features an open kitchen with collectible sneakers on the wall and an outside garden and market where you can take home almost anything cooked in the restaurant.
“The design was all mine and my husband. It’s our passion and our ideas,” said Imbrenda.
The couple met five years ago at the South Beach location.
Chef Cacciatori first wanted to date Imbrenda and then he wanted her to work with him as well.
The rest is history.
“We are both good with people. I love it. It feels like home,” Imbrenda said.
The restaurant is named after a road in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.
Every dish is all about authenticity.
“One thing that we don’t ever overlook is authenticity, as a matter of fact my husband refuses to change his recipes. It says so on the menu,” Imbrenda said.
All pastas are made on premises and boiled, not in water, but in their homemade chicken broth to add more flavor.
“First of all the pasta is cooked perfectly and the prosciutto is not too thin, but not too thick,” said CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo, after tasting the dish.
“It’s perfect. I love this dish. It’s my favorite. This is how my husband got me, with this dish,” Imbrenda said laughing.
He must’ve also wooed her with the super delicious pasta with sausage and mushroom.
“I think what makes the pasta very tasty is the sausage, the sausage is really, really good and it’s made in house,” said Imbrenda.
We snack on the mouthwatering and refreshing Prosciutto and fresh melon.
“The prosciutto is a little salty and the melon is sweet, so they balance each other,” said Imbrenda.
“You could leave me alone with this all day. I mean, right, sweet and savory,” said Petrillo.
We finish with the elegant eggplant parmigiana.
“We first grill the eggplant, then we bake it in the oven with the mozzarella, tomato sauce and parmesan cheese,” Imbrenda said.
“I feel like I’m in a small town somewhere in Italy, it’s so authentic and it also feels very natural,” said Petrillo. “And the cheese, please the cheese, ‘grazie!’”
Via Emilia Garden is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.