A glamorous Sunday evening dinner at “Gianni’s At The Villa” on South Beach.
I love fashion and adore food — so imagine my sheer delight when I was invited to dine at “Gianni’s At The Villa” on South Beach, inside “The Villa Casa Casuarina” (formerly known as the Versace mansion.)
Not only is the opulent fortress one of Miami’s crown jewels, it’s a place where imagination, fantasy and luxury come together in a massive eye-pleasing crescendo. It’s INCREDIBLE and…
No matter how many times I’ve gone behind the legendary walls (for stories, parties and star-studded events), it just never gets old. Honestly, it always takes my breath away and now, thanks to “Gianni’s At The Villa”, you can experience it, too. Imagine, drinking and dining where Gianni Versace himself actually mingled with the biggest names in fashion, movies and music. Dah-ling!
The new fine dining Italian-Mediterranean restaurant is housed on the first floor of the mansion, giving you access to admire its awe-inspiring main courtyard, exquisite dining room, elegant bar and famed 24K gold-tiled mosaic pool.
Not only is the scenery pure perfection, the food is pretty incredible, too (not to mention the cocktails.) I started Spotlight in the highly romantic and dimly lit “Onyx Bar ” where master mixologist, Alex Petriuk, impressed me with his mad shaking skills.
The appropriately named “Passion in the Mansion” (made with passion fruit vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and topped with champagne) was mind-blowing. It’s the supermodel of cocktails; garnished with a gorgeous piece of passion fruit. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and tart (#sweettart).
Seeing as I’m a ranch girl from New Mexico and all, I’m a sucker for a good tequila drink and the “24 Karat Margarita” is phenomenal (made with gold infused tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh OJ & lime juice, sparkling water and a generous salted rim.) Hmmm… another round, please.
If you’re a fruit lover, the “Berrisace Collins” is gonna be your new best friend. Besides its cheeky name, its leftover berry bottom is the perfect pay-off after finishing your cocktail (made with vodka, fresh berries, lemon juice and sparkling water.)
Before dinner, I started with an antipasti called: “Burrata Millefoglie” — with juicy red tomatoes, roasted eggplant, 12-year-old balsamic vinegar, Grissini bread sticks and Prosciutto di Parma; you’ll definitely want more. It’s the extra soft, creamy burrata that does it. I mean, who doesn’t love mozzarella and stracciatella? Be still, my cheesy heart.
I tried two main dishes, first, the “Gnocchi Di Granchio”, which was superb. It comes with a healthy serving of New Orleans Blue Crab and is topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano. If you’re more of a meat lover, “Filetto Di Manzo Rossini” (an 8oz Wagyu filet mignon cooked & seasoned to perfection) will NOT disappoint. It was my favorite plate of the night, served with grilled asparagus and pan-seared foie gras bordelaise jus.
And, the end-all, be-all of desserts? “Dolce: Triple Chocolate Mousse Temptation” (made with white, milk and dark chocolate mousse, crispy pearls, brownie cake.) What a treat! Its presentation is one of the best I’ve ever seen, especially its stream-lined, layered colors which are only discovered once you take a bite. Bravo!
There’s no other experience like “Gianni’s At The Villa” in all of South Florida. I’d even go so far as saying, there’s nothing else like it in the world. It’s just really special on so many different levels and now, thanks to the new eatery, its fabulously accessible to everyone and that’s what makes it one of my Favorite Things.
Gianni’s At The Villa
The Villa Casa Casuarina
1116 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL. 33139
Purse: V73 www.v73.it/us
Boots: BCBG South Beach www.bcbg.com
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Sweet & Tart” Auerbach