Pasta Vino, 1624 NE 79th Street Causeway, North Bay Village, Florida 33141
Everyone is extremely warm, welcoming and the owner, Yiannis Devert, who also happens to be the Executive Chef, is like a character straight out of a movie. He’s worldly, educated and extremely charming. Think a handsome Robert De Niro (from about twenty years ago,) mixed with the modern day smarts of Elliott Gould, who most recently played Reuben Tishkoff in the “Ocean’s Eleven” movies.
Yiannis is all about whipping up a feast and believe you me, he wants you to eat. He NEEDS you to eat. It’s all about being happy and yes, it’s that simple. I’d like to say my experience at “Pasta Vino” was straight-up Italian, but I’d be totally lying. It seemed to be a mix of influences: French, Greek, Italian and Thai. Not only was it adventurous, it was a true reflection of his heritage and all the places he’s had the privilege of living or visiting.
I started my meal with a tall glass of the house Merlot and an extremely fresh “Carvino Ceviche.” It was the perfect blend of lemony, lime citrus with a light kick. With that being said, Yiannis isn’t one of those chefs who lists (all) the ingredients in his plates; a lot of it is pure chance. In other words, what he feels like fixing is on the menu and those are coined “specials.” For the record, I love that kind of unpretentious attitude.
Next, I tried the “Calamari Salad” (which is a warm appetizer and on the menu.) Like most items at “Pasta Vino,” it was a large, decadent helping. Definitely big enough to share. The “Salmon Tartare” was an interesting blend of sweet and spicy ginger and reminded me of something I would easily gobble up at my favorite local Thai restaurant. The “Beef Carpaccio” was pretty straightforward (with arugula, shaved parmesan and a lemon dressing.)
For my main course, I actually tried three dishes: “The Risotto Al Funghi” (with mixed mushrooms, parmesan cheese and truffle oil,) the “Lasagna Fiorentina” which came with a charming garnish which seemed like a pressed potato latke with a spruce of greenery in the middle of it (the lasagna is baked in layers with ground beef, ricotta, parmesan cheese and tomato sauce) and last but not least, the evening’s special “Ossobuco” (with veal, veggies and a white wine sauce.)
The night ended with two sweet treats: a dainty Tiramisu (made with Amaretto and Kahlua) and the oh-so-fruity “Strawberry Melba,” which is a typical French dessert (made with whipped cream, fruit and ice cream.) Despite the restaurant opening just a few months ago, the bar was lively during dinner and a few regulars lingered at nearby tables with good conversation and wine.
“Pasta Vino” is located on the 79th Street Causeway, which I’m thrilled about, as I work just a block down the street. It’s a sleepy location, tucked away in a fairly quiet strip mall. Honestly, though, a place like this is long overdue. We have hardly any options in North Bay Village when it comes to a relaxed, but delicious lunch or dinner. Parking is plentiful just in front of the restaurant. Cheers!
Monday to Friday 11:30am-10:30pm, Saturday 5:00pm-11:00pm and Sunday 5:00pm-10:00pm.
Editor: Matthew Auerbach
Producer: Jessie Rosario
Photographer: James Woodley
Stylist: Jackie Kay
clutch by Monsoon, London
special thanks to 24 Group PR