Tutto Pasta (1751 SW 3rd Ave., 305/857-0709, 11:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., main courses from $9) is a friendly neighborhood restaurant serving Italian standards in a classy comfortable environment. Pasta is freshly made on-site and can be sampled in the dozen or so pasta-based dishes on the menu, including some unusual choices like ravioli stuffed with veal, pumpkin, or even pear.
The casual bistro-type ambiance of Provence Grill (1001 S. Miami Ave., 305/373-1940, lunch 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.–Fri., dinner 5:30–10:30 p.m. daily, main courses from $16) makes it a perfect fit in the Mary Brickell Village neighborhood, although the atmosphere is somewhat more subdued and low-key than some of the louder joints nearby. The menu is simple and straightforward and includes standards like steak tartare and French onion soup that are hearty and perfectly prepared. A few unusual touches like an Asian-inspired seared tuna are worth exploring on subsequent visits, but the French comfort food at the Provence is what makes it exceptional.
A great place to grab lunch in the Design District is Charcuterie (3612 NE 2nd Ave., 305/576-7877, lunch 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.–Fri., dinner 6:30–10:30 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., main courses from $10), a French-inspired deli that serves an array of excellent sandwiches along with an ever-changing selection of daily hot specials, many of which are built around fresh seafood and fish.
The blue-and-white decor of the Schnitzel House (1085 NE 79th St., 305/754-8002, 5–11 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 5 p.m.–midnight Fri.–Sat., main courses from $11) may put you in the mood for Greek food, but the quirky design touches are just part of what makes this German restaurant in North Miami a unique proposition. Eleven different schnitzels and half a dozen grilled-sausage platters battle for space on the menu along with horseradish-topped beef brisket, sauerbraten, potato pancakes, and more authentic German fare. The atmosphere is a bit odd, but the service is unflaggingly friendly—if not downright festive.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition