This time of year, chef Antonio Mellino closes his famous Amalfi Coast restaurant Quattro Passi for the season and comes to Miami Beach to put his two Michelin star touch on his eatery Forte dei Marmi.
He leaves one sun-drenched seaside resort town for another, aided there by his son Fabrizio and here by his other son, Raffaele.
Named after the Tuscan town, Forte dei Marmi, which translates from Italian to “fortress of marble,” is a perfect description for the clean-lined, pale restaurant housed in an arched building that dates back to 1938 and sits on the quieter end of Ocean Drive near the southern tip of South Beach.
Mellino opened Forte dei Marmi in 2016, almost immediately finding the family-owned farms in Homestead ripe for the plucking when sourcing ingredients.
“Yes, we have a lot of … organic farms we find about one hour from here,” Mellino says. “And we collect all the vegetables and some tomatoes … two or three times per week.”
Surprisingly, not all the restaurant’s fish comes from Caribbean waters.
“We find a lot of fish from [the] Caribbean. It was good, but the tasting was a little bit different, because in the Mediterranean, the sea is a little bit more salty,” he says. “But here is good, too, so we split a little bit and a little bit.”
With this visit, Mellino launched a Mediterranean raw bar downstairs in the dining rooms designed by Miami architect Chad Oppenheim and Milan designer Henry Timi. Upstairs on Nov. 16, the menu addition was feted in the FDM Arts Club, a lounge, by 100 guests with a swanky party co-hosted by Cultured Magazine.
Forte dei Marmi is located at 150 Ocean Drive, in Miami Beach. For reservations or more information, call 786-276-3095 or go to FDMMiami.com.