La Martola, new Miami restaurant… the good, the bad and the bizarre

I asked my customer to recommend a restaurant for our dinner. This is new, he’d heard good things.

The restaurant is large, spacious and blindingly white (décor, not the entire clientele). Abundant staff dressed all in (you guessed it), except for the manager in a heavy houndstooth jacket, perfect for Kilmarnock in March.

We split a local tomato mozzarella salad to start, outstanding, the green-tinged tomatos were firm and perfectly ripe, the cheese, olives, greens and barely noticeable dressing great complements.
My guest had a 10 oz sirloin that came sliced. He thought it was excellent.
I ordered a quarter chicken. Asked if I preferred breast or thigh, I asked for thigh. They brought breast. I called over the server and pointed this out. In heavily accented English, she informed that she thought that actually was a thigh. I don’t know if it was her lack of English, or if she was raised on a poultry-free planet. I started to send it back, but realized that she might replace it with a flounder, and I’d ordered a glass of red.
The chicken had flavor, had obviously had a good life before the plate, but it was a little dried out, which was exactly what I was trying to avoid. The carrots on the side were to die for.

We split a side of grilled Florida vegetables, I don’t often say ‘perfect’, but that’s what they were.

The service would have been impeccable, except that somebody came over every 70 seconds to ask if everything was OK, until I wanted to scream “Go away and let me eat and talk with my guest!”.

The wine list is well-chosen, interesting and reasonably priced for Miami. What’s remarkable is that it was apparently put together by somebody whose wine knowledge might be… er… spotty.

For instance, there is a category for “Bourgogne Blanc”, which includes the information that this is “Chardonnay, sometime Aligote and Sauvignon”.
The sub-categories for Bourgogne Blanc are Cremant de Bourgogne, Petit Chablis, Chablis, Maconnais (which includes a Bourgogne), Bourgogne Aligote Dore, Bourgogne, Beaune, Saint-Romain, Chassagne-Montrachet, Rully and Saint-Aubin. The listing for each wine includes the location of the producer, so the first ‘Saint-Romain’ listing reads:
‘domaine ponsot, ‘cuvee de la mesange’, 2020’, morey-st.denise

However a glass of NV Chateau de Bligny Grande Reserve Brut, cote des bars, for $21 was excellent, served at cool room temperature. A “Bourgogne Maranges ‘Vieilles Vignes’ Thierry and Pascale Matrot 2020 was served 20 degrees colder, but was good as it warmed up and fairly priced at $23.

They are proud of their sorbets, but they are served for 2 people, whatever 3 flavors they have that night ($30), we passed.

I would come here again for the vegetables, the wine and the chuckles.

Dan Kravitz

1 Like

Leave me out of this.

Only if there are cigarette burns, spilt beer, curry and chippy stains on the jacket

looks really good

it’s also a few blocks from mandolin, with more mediterranean cuisine and a very good list.


1 Like