Cavalli Restaurant & Lounge: Animal Prints, Italian Fare, and Pink Drinks
An homage to both the striking patterns the designer is known for, as well as the man himself, Cavalli Restaurant & Lounge is visual overload.
Photos by Laine Doss
Zebras, leopards, and flowers play together on the tables, seats, and servers' uniforms. Roberto Cavalli's image is plastered all over the walls, and giant bottles of Cavalli vodka and wine are displayed on the silver bar, illuminated in neon pink.
On a recent Friday evening, the restaurant was filled with well-dressed middle-aged clients wearing designer jeans and crisp linen shirts. A slew of young, impossibly tall women stood at the bar, drinking rose-hued martinis and glasses provided by their much older dates. The place was so packed that a few two-tops were hurriedly added in a corner.
Cavalli Restaurant & Lounge opened in early January in the former DeVito space in the South of Fifth neighborhood of Miami Beach. The restaurant, helmed by executive chef Stefano Mazzi, specializes in Italian- and Mediterranean-inspired fare.
Short Order was invited to try some of the dishes -- generally small portions served on oversize plates. It's an interesting illusion that begs speculation: Are the plates meant to make you feel like you're being served more food or less food? Will supermodels feel more sated after dining on a warm seafood salad served in a big dish, or will they think they've eaten far too much? Whichever way you feel, the gigantic platters prove a challenge for the tables, which, although adorned with all manner of bold prints, are of average size.
The restaurant, which also houses an upstairs lounge, is a lot like the designer's fashions. Colorful, bright, and whimsical, it adds to the SoFi restaurant scene, where the rich and famous go to eat and be seen.
Cocktails featuring Cavalli vodka and wine are $16 each. The Purple Glamour, made with flor de violet, features an edible flower. Other libations have quasi-creepy names like "I'd Jump on Her," "What Women Want," "Old American," and "What Jesus Would Drink." Also available: the "High Roller," an extravagant take on a champagne cocktail, made with Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque, Louis XIII, Angostura bitters, and a brown sugar cube ($450).