Posted By: Pizza Expert on November 26th, 2011
A few years ago I stumbled upon a Wood Fired Pizza Place down in the Miami Design District named Pizza Volante. It was owned by Jonathan Eismann, and it was delicious. Many times I mentioned to people that this place could be a South Florida favorite if it was located somewhere else. Not sure the Design District was the right place for this kind of pizza. Low and behold, Eismann closed Pizza Volante, and left many sad faces on those who loved his pies.
Recently rumors surfaced that Eismann was helping a new restaurant opening at the Mayfair Hotel in Coconut Grove, named Spartico. Many of us were hoping they were true, and that he himself, was opening a new place. Well, the rumor was kinda true. Eismann was in fact working with the owners of Spartico for the new concept, but only as a consultant. Still, this was good news, especially if he had all the say in the menu, and especially when it came to the oven and ingredients they would use in their pizza.
Upon walking into Spartico I instantly noticed the Ambrogi wood-burning oven. These ovens hail from Milan, and are truly exceptional. Spartico has a cool somewhat chic ambiance, and on this day there was a delightful breeze coming from Coconut Grove through the open doors. Personally I would have moved the pizza oven where the bar is located, and put the bar along the walkway in Coconut Grove to get my people to stop by and grab a drink, but they didn’t ask me.
I ordered a plain pie with no basil on it and asked for it to be well done. The waitress was nice enough but didn’t seem to grasp that we would need plates with our food. This was evident when we got the garlic bread (delicious) and had no plates. We asked for plates and she brought one. We asked for another, and finally got one for me too. When the pizza came out it looked great, and had an inviting aroma to it. As I lifted the slice up, it was crispy and I was happy that they paid attention and cooked it as I had requested.
Mike (my guest today) and I wanted to immediately dive into eat more, but realized we had no plates. They were taken away after the bread was done. We asked the waitress if we could have plates, and guess what? She brought us just one again. No joke! Once again, we had to ask her for another plate, so I had something to put my pizza on. The pizza was quite oily at Spartico, which I personally didn’t mind, but I could see Mike wasn’t crazy about it. The cheese tasted fantastic, and it is easy to see they are using some of the finest quality they could buy. The pizza did have a lot of bubbles, which I am not a huge fan of. The sauce was sweet and applied lightly, and possessed a taste similar to the one I recall at Pizza Volante.
Spartico Pizza in the Mayfair Hotel in Coconut Grove, Miami, is a great place to go to if you are down in that area. In my opinion, Pizza Volante was better, and I do not think I would drive down from where I am just to get this pizza again, but if I am in the Grove or a surrounding area to it, this is not a place I would avoid. Well worth the try if you live nearby.
Spartico Pizza in the Mayfair Hotel in Coconut Grove, Miami gets 6 out of 8 slices.