Inside Macchialina: A First Peek

macchialina couple.jpg
All photos by Laine Doss
Jennifer Chaefsky and Michael Pirolo take a break behind Macchialina's welcome board.
Pubbelly and its sister restaurants Pubbelly Sushi and Barceloneta Spanish Bistro & Mercat were game changers for the restaurant scene in Miami Beach. Gone was the wide breach between expensive dining and the grab-a-bite restaurants and cafés that lined Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive. Here was a series of restaurants that provided a good meal with quality ingredients at a reasonable price.

So we were excited when the original team behind the trio of successful restaurants -- Jose Mendin, Sergio Navarro, and Andreas Schreiner -- announced they would partner with Scarpetta's Michael Pirolo for Macchialina, a new Italian-inspired restaurant.

Macchialina is no doubt a departure from Pubbelly. Instead of adding a fourth restaurant in the little area behind South Beach's newer Publix, this latest establishment is on the corner of Eighth Street and Alton Road, the former home of Sylvano's restaurant. We stopped in yesterday for a peek and found chef/owner Michael Pirolo and general manager/owner Jennifer Chaefsky working on some final touches on the menu. The business team (and couple in real life) showed us around the intimate restaurant, which is scheduled to open May 6.

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The décor matches the food. It's rustic and homey. Though the place isn't even open yet, the black wood floors, slate-gray brick walls, and rich red accents make you feel like you're walking into an old favorite hangout. A large chalkboard over the banquettes welcomes you to the restaurant. Red light fixtures, reminiscent of construction lighting, provide a warm glow.

Diners at the eight-seat bar will be able to snack on charcuterie and freshly shucked oysters. Behind the bar is a little counter space where guests can wait with a glass of wine for their table.

Pirolo and Chaefsky knew this was the spot when they found it. "We knew we wanted to stay away from Ocean Drive, because we wanted Macchialina to be a neighborhood spot," Pirolo explained. "Once we saw this space, we fell in love with it. Look at these floors. They're a find."

Pirolo, much like a new dad, brought out photos of the dishes he's working on. "The food is meant to be shared. It's not tapas, because these are not small plates. It's more family-style dining," Pirolo said as he showed shots of angliotti filled with veal, pork, and chicken, homemade pasta with a giant veal meatball, and a pork shoulder. "We debone the pork shoulder and serve it with the hoof on it. We'll see if people get freaked out by the hoof. Maybe we'll put a disclaimer on it -- hoof or no hoof. There are no bones in the actual meat, but the end is like a chicken drumstick." There were lots of pictures of the food, by the way, because Pirolo is hellbent on making the presentation as good as the flavor.

If you want to try some of the dishes at Macchialina, you don't have to wait until May 6. Pirolo said he'll premiere a few of the dishes at Pubbelly Tuesday, April 24, through Thursday, April 26, and again the following Tuesday, May 1, through Thursday, May 3.

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Location Info

Macchialina Taverna Rustica

820 Alton Road, Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

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chef balloo
chef balloo

another bullshit Pubbelly ripoff rest...nothing here folks move along


Another exclusive for the intrepid Laine Doss!

Timon Balloo
Timon Balloo

FYI TO ALL  The above post and i.d. is not the real Timon Balloo. It goes without saying the realtionship I have with the PubBelly/Mike P. Crew.

Wish you all the best person posting, karma will get you & try owning up to your comments. ROCK ON Mike you are the man & im coming to eat brother.


As a european living in Miami i was very happy to see Pub Belly and the other 2, now 3rd opening. Food scene is pretty dull down here and it shows its success and quality by the lines at the door. If you didnt like it, no need to talk trash about it, you can just say it... But if your taste for food is as bad as your education then you are all excused... 

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