Spiga, Italian Trattoria

18 years of love and passion

Spiga Ristorante Italiano

Opened 7days a week at dinners time

Monday – Friday: 6pm to 11:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 6pm to 12:00am

www.spigarestaurant.com

For over 18 years, Spiga Restaurant has been offering an intimate atmosphere, with a romantic and poetic decoration, along with the quality and simplicity of its food.

Inspired by the traditional art of bread making, and by its traditional ingredient Spiga (wheat in English), has developed a unique home style where our entire menu is prepared daily just like it would be in a traditional Italian “Trattoria”.

Spiga offers handmade pasta, gnocchi, and ravioli, but not only. It also prepares its own bread as well as its desserts. And finally they guarantee a constant use of fresh fish and vegetables. In order to recreate this Italian warm atmosphere, the owner Roberto LeGrand puts many efforts into keeping the same quality and attentive staff. Thanks to this culture, staff members know well their clients and preferences which enhance the quality of the service. He truly cares about his customers, and he does indeed create a family atmosphere in a part of town not known for that particular quality.

The restaurant’s home is the Impala Hotel, a soothing and stylish place with burbling fountains and gorgeous guest rooms. Candlelit tables on the terrace (too hot for most summer diners) promise a serene interior as well, but once you’re inside South Beach energy takes over. The Saturnia marble floors, although classy and beautiful, offer no buffer for the decibels in the intimate ten-table space. Wooden chairs scrape over stone; tall models hover around the six-stool wooden bar at center stage, chatting in brash, youthful voices; and the wait staff call out to each other and guests alike in warm, strong tones, as if they were family welcoming you into the kitchen. “Everybody’s treated like family here,” Legrand says proudly.

Many customers routinely accompany him back to the kitchen to help supervise the preparation of their own plates. Legrand observes, “Spiga is a place where everyone feels at home.”

Spiga’s values will remain forever: Excellent Food, Great Mood, and Respectful with their clients.

In the kitchen with the chef
By Steve Capellini

Have you ever wondered about the origins of bruschetta? It seems that official olive oil tasters roaming the Umbria region of central Italy years ago were getting a little nauseated dipping directly into huge vats of the pungent stuff, so they resorted to drizzling it onto pieces of bread.The oil connoisseurs soon began looking for variations on the bread and oil theme, testing a panoply of possibilities. Before long the bread was being toasted and covered with cheese, sliced vegetables, skinless-seedless tomato cubes, basil, touches of garlic, and other spices, with the concoction rivaling the oil itself in gastronomical importance.

Roberto Legrand, chef-proprietor of Spiga in Miami Beach, is not originally from Umbria, but much of that and other Italian regions took root in his soul while he lived in Italy several years ago. He has since become a master of bruschetta himself, capable of producing more than 250 permutations of the simple starter dish. “It’s a great way to begin a meal, a light warmup for the palate,” notes Legrand, speaking in a polyglot’s offbeat accent that reflects the mix of influences you’ll find at his restaurant: heat from Brazil, where Legrand was born; sophistication from Milan, where he studied; languor from Venice, where he worked for a time at Harry’s Bar & Grill; and a dash of speed from the Big Apple, where he plied his trade at trendy Bice.

Spiga’s dining room is one of the most beautiful and romantic in town. The man directly responsible was Peter Hawrylewicz, one of Miami’s premier architects. It was 1994, and having completed the renovation of Casa Casuarina, Hawrylewicz turned his discerning eye to the Impala, one of South Beach’s first boutique hotels. The rich, gracefully curved cherry cabinetry, wine racks, and bar that remain in place today look even better now, imbued with the warm hues of age. The dining room appears almost exactly as it did when Spiga premiered. Not much else has changed about the place, either.

Original proprietor/chef Roberto Legrand is still the boss. Day-to-day management has been entrusted to Francesca Cuccurullo, who began working at Spiga in 1998. Some of the waiters have been around even longer than that, so service is delivered by experienced hands. Spiga’s moderate prices are likewise pretty much the same as they were, having edged up in only a small, cost-of-living sort of way. We should be most grateful the heartwarming, trattoria-style cuisine has held steadfast. That is because one of Miami’s most underrated chefs, Saele Cantoni, has been behind Spiga’s stoves since the first year of operation. “Fresh and homemade” is his blueprint for authenticity, and you can witness it on nearly every plate – in the bread basket too, which overflows with slices of focaccia and a crusty rustic loaf, both prepared on the premises.

Stability and consistency are not the most exciting of restaurant traits, yet there is nothing more important to the success of any business. That is probably why Spiga not only draws tourists to its slightly secluded location, but also claims an ever-growing legion of loving locals.