MIAMI — There’s no question that when this dowager hotel reopened after a renovation that costs tens of millions of dollars, this was the prize jewel of all the well-hyped restaurants. When you arrive at the hotel, they will have to tell you how to get there, it’s so far away from where a cab will drop you. (And I had to stop twice to ask directions.)

The Fontainebleau, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

When you get to the space, you’ll find it’s just the opposite of what you expected: instead of some dumb hotel restaurant, you enter a small, intimate, charmingly decorated room that feels like it’s anywhere but here. The food is nothing short of spectacular. You’ve never had pasta that was this delicate, unless you’ve been to Chef Scott Conant’s eatery in New York. It’s the same great food.

Favorite starters are the crispy fritto misto and the creamy polenta. There’s also a Japanese mackerel tartar that jumps right out at you.

On your first trip, I insist you bypass the steaks, chops and seafood and focus on his pasta dishes as your entree, especially the scialatelli and the agnolotti dal plin (a delicate pasta filled with chopped meats, fonduta, mushrooms and parmigiano). You’ll go nuts.

(OK, I confess: I did go for the braised short ribs as a starter and I wanted to eat half a dozen portions more of what they gave me, it was SO good.)

About The Author

Andrew Delaplaine is a Blast Miami staff writer

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