Within the iron gates at James Avenue and 17th Street in Miami’s South Beach, hidden behind a manicured ficus wall, sits Casa Tua. The five-bedroom Inn off the courtyard goes unnoticed, tucked beyond stucco archways, a winding staircase and above the restaurant’s tiled roof. The Inn opens in August, but the restaurant is already garnering rave reviews.

Miky and Leticia Grendene have transformed the historical compound into a little piece of Italy. Miky’s penchant for food and art keeps him involved with every aspect of Casa Tua, tasting daily selections with the chef, selecting artwork and welcoming guests of the Friend Table to his kitchen.

The Friend Table seats up to 18 and provides the best seat to watch chef Sergio Sigala and his sous-chef wife, Gabriella. Red snapper carpaccio, tuna tartar, veal tenderloin and an array of traditional desserts are paralleled only by the impressive wine collection that can run as high as $3,000 for a bottle of 1995 Le Pin. This Italian escape doesn’t come cheap.

Casa Tua Restaurant, 1700 James Avenue, Miami Beach. Tel: (305) 673-1010.

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