Il Mulino – Sunny Isles, Miami Beach, Florida
Updated: May 23, 2022
Time was when the Il Mulino in Greenwich Village, NYC, was among my favorite restaurants (it’s been there for over 30 years). So, when I went to Sunny Isles many years ago, I thought the Il Mulino there was going to be good as well. But, to my surprise, I liked it even more. I do not have any negative criticism of either restaurant, and I have been dining both places for many years. (They have other locations where I have not yet dined, but I may, in Long Island, Uptown Manhattan, Tribeca, Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton.)
The first time I partook of a meal in the Sunny Isles Il Mulino, many, many years ago, I was with my husband Purvis, and he ordered Dover Sole, fresh from Dover, which was divine (I tasted it!). Note that this is not always on the menu. I don’t remember what I ordered because it was so many years ago, but I make sure to dine there every time I visit Miami Beach.
In Sunny Isles, the Il Mulino restaurant is located in the Aquilina Hotel on the beach, and you may dine in or Al Fresco. I have not been to the other locations because this one is so good, I never want to miss it. We make our reservations well in advance of leaving New Jersey, just to be sure we can go there on one of the Saturdays of our trip, as it is one of the few remaining places where some people dress well for dining.
First of all, depending on the staff of the day, Il Mulino in Sunny Isles is one of the friendliest of restaurants. Perhaps this is one reason that many people like to celebrate their birthdays there. One night, when Jon and I were there, at least 8 tables had a birthday, and the waiters all sang to them. The Italian waiters also sang ‘O Sole Mio to one of their guests, as requested. Then they came over to our table and asked if it was my birthday! (I guess they wanted to sing some more!) I told them mine was January 2nd. The bartender claimed that day as his birthday, as well, and started to dance with me! (Just to give you an idea of how friendly they are!) Another time when we when there, they were making grappa in a large glass container at the bar. I have imbibed grappa in Grappa, Italy, and the concoction as quite different, but very good.
Usually, prior to ordering, they give you some appetizer tasting (along with excellent European bread!). This could be slices of Soppressata, could be some peppers, but always delicious. The last time we were there, we stayed from 7 to 11 PM! The cocktails were great! I had the Endive Salad (Ev Olive Oil, Lemon) which was cut into 1” slices and tossed in a magnificent vinaigrette dressing. I gobbled it down so fast! I love endive, and I would normally serve it as whole leaves. But, after enjoying it so much there, I now serve endive cut into 1” pieces! Jon had the Caesar Salad (traditional), which he always enjoys.
For a main dish, I ordered the Piccata di Vitello al Limone (Veal, Lemon White Wine sauce) and Jon had the Saltimbocca (Veal, Sage, Prosciutto, Spinach), which certainly did leap into his mouth! We shared the Porcini Risotti (wild Mushrooms, Black Truffle) and there was none to be spared. I am a hot pepper fan (I eat hot peppers every day in at least one of our meals. My favorite is Cayenne. I even received a book as a gift classifying hot peppers). I loved the side of Sauteed Mushrooms, Onion and Cherry Peppers. I topped off my repast with some Flourless Chocolate Cake. At the finish, I had the most delicious Chocolate Martini and Jon had his usual Expresso with Marie Brizzard (Anisette). Cent’Anni!
Note well that this is one of those restaurants where you do not mind the price. If you think that you pay for what you get, you will get the proper meal here! There is not one sub-par dish on the menu – and I have had almost all of them!