Dinner at Il Mulino New York at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, just minutes north of Miami, is an Italian dining experience with old-world ambience and impeccably dressed waiters in black suits and white ties that tempt the palate with Executive Chef Michele Mazza's cuisine.
Enter through the doorway to Il Mulino New York and the ambience feels like you traveled to Italy; a dark wood bar with brass foot rail flanked with five high backed wood stools stands proudly against one wall, salamis hang from a multi-tired buffet, dark wood chairs with leather seats flank tables wearing pristine white double draped linens and white napkins and are accessorized with single red roses in white bud vases, bottles of olive oil, and oil lanterns.
Il Mulino New York at Acqualina Resort
The soaring ceiling features recessed lighting and ornate black wrought iron multi-tiered chandeliers that softly illuminate the room, and rich chocolate and ecru window treatments frame the large windows that offer spectacular views of the palm trees gently swaying in the warm breeze and the Atlantic Ocean.
We began the evening with celebratory glasses of Prosecco as a team of formally attired waiters brought a stream of Italian delicacies to our table. The first waiter to arrive carried an enormous wedge of Parmesan Reggiano, and I watched bemusedly as Edward's eyes lit up and I knew that he was dreaming of asking the waiter to leave the cheese at the table and bring him a bottle of Montepulciano to accompany it as his first course. Alas, before the words could escape his lips, our waiter had cut off large pieces of the cheese, placed them on our plates, and disappeared as quickly as a whisper in the wind.
Trailing a short distance behind, more waiters arrived bearing antipasti gifts in the form of a plate of thinly sliced spicy salami; crispy zucchini fragrant with olive oil, garlic and red pepper; and bruschetta with perfectly ripe tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and mussels accompanied with hot garlic bread, a basket of housemade foccacia sliced thin and served crisp, as well as a selection of warm breads.
Il Mulino New York - Antipasti
Although the large menu offered a wonderful selection, when Eric, our headwaiter, told us about the many specials of the evening, we knew that we did not need to look any further. Edward continued with Mushrooms and Escargot that arrived as six mushrooms sautéed with wine and garlic and crowned with escargot served in a small copper escargot pan with a generous pool of sauce, which was paired with another glass of Prosecco.
Il Mulino New York - Mushroom and Escargot
I continued with another special of the evening, Baby Eggplant Rollatini stuffed with a plentiful mixture of sweet crabmeat and shrimp that was covered with mozzarella and baked until golden, and served with mushrooms in tomato sauce and a generous portion of sautéed spinach.
Il Mulino New York - Baby Eggplant Rollatini
For his main course, Edward had the Ossobuco, a veal shank roasted in a red wine sauce with porcini mushrooms and served with a generous portion of saffron risotto and a side of escarole sautéed with garlic and kalamata olives, which was well paired with a 2007 Gran Sasso, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, D.O.C., Italy, 13.5%. The meat was fork tender and literally fell off the bone offering exquisite bites of flavor.
Il Mulino New York - Ossobuco
I had the Langoustines, another special of the evening, that were cooked in a white wine and garlic sauce, removed from their shell and presented on a large round plate surrounding an ample portion of creamy risotto with sliced porcini mushrooms, peas, and Parmesan Reggiano, and garnished with a tomato slice and sprig of parsley. Succulent, sweet, and tender, the langoustines were lovely and the risotto was perfectly cooked.
Il Mulino New York - Langoustines and Risotto
Relaxing before having dessert, we enjoyed Brian's award-winning cocktail, Indonesia Sex, which he prepared tableside for us, a tasty libation so beautifully garnished with a strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and an orange slice, with a kiwi placed at the bottom of the Martini glass, that we felt like we were having a health drink.
Tableside Cocktail - "Indonesia Sex"
For dessert, we had Tiramisu served with mounds of whipped cream and sabayon accompanied with fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and kiwi, and garnished with crushed amaretto cookies creating flavorful and decorative lines around the plate. The Tiramisu was excellent, dusted with cocoa, and was a lusciously light mixture of mascarpone.
Il Mulino New York - Dessert
When Tino offered us a choice of a glass of limoncello or one of his famous fruit grappas that he makes at the restaurant to end a wonderful evening, of course, we had to say, si, to Italian hospitality at its best. Hailing from Sorrento, Italy, Tino makes his own limoncello and ten different types of fruit grappas, which on the night that we dined at the restaurant included peach, pear, strawberry, mango, and tangerine.
As a grand finale, the waiters approached the table with large gorgeous iced bottles of grappa studded with fruit, and after selecting to sample the pear grappa, the strawberry grappa, and the limoncello, we toasted our good fortune and to our new friends. Buon Appetito!
Il Mulino New York is open for lunch from Monday - Friday from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm, and for dinner Monday - Saturday from 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm, and Sunday from 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm.
Read other articles on Il Mulino New York and Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach in the Hotels and Resorts, Spas, and Chefs' Recipes sections where Chef Michele Mazza shares his delicious recipes for Soft-Shell Crabs and Fried Calamari.
Il Mulino New York
Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach
17875 Collins Avenue
Sunny Isles Beach, FL, 33160, United States
Read other articles on Sunny Isles and Miami in the Destinations section.
For more information on Sunny Isles and upcoming events, please visit the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau website: www.GMCVB.com.
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