In recent years, Trattoria Dario has gained a well-deserved reputation for consistently fine food – even while having an unusually high turnover of executive chefs.
The latest to preside over this South Beach bistro’s kitchen is Chet Perrotti, who happily seems more comfortable back preparing Italian cuisine than he was across the street at a restaurant long known for its French fare.
But while some restaurants are very much a creature of their chef, the man who keeps Trattoria Dario near the top of the island’s food pyramid is its omnipresent proprietor, Dario Bordoli. This restaurant is his baby.
On our most recent visit, the charming Bordoli was, as usual, at the front door to greet us.
While we often dine out on the enclosed seaside patio, we opted on this occasion for a booth in the attractive red dining room.
No sooner had we placed our wine order when Tyler – one of the trattoria’s great servers – brought us a basket of hot bread out of the oven and a dish of olive oil and herbs.
On this evening, I decided to have the risotto pescatore ($34). My husband and our companion, however, heard that swordfish was the grilled local catch on the special summer menu (3 courses for $25), so both went for that option. All three of us started with the classic Caesar salad.
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