What do the president of Italy and Miami locals have in common? Both have benefited from the culinary talents of Fabrizio Carro, who was once the private chef to the Italian leader and is now, along with his identical twin brother, Nicola, cooking at the recently opened Quattro Gastronomia Italiana in Miami.
The latest venture from hospitality guru Karim Masri, whose projects have included the sophisticated Astor hotel and Cameron Diaz’s successful Asian boîte Bambu, Quattro boasts a classic menu and modern interior.
“We’re offering a truly authentic, traditional, northern Italian approach, which was something that was lacking in Miami,” explains Masri, who moved there from London in 1993. “We have chefs that have never cooked in America before. Our key ingredients, our staples, are all imported from Italy — the flour, the salt — to really provide that authenticity and the tastes of the things we prepare.”
Dishes include antipasti like Vitello con Crema di Tonno di Favignana e Capperi (thinly sliced veal with tuna sauce) and primi piatti like Agnolotti Piemontesi allo Stufato (house-made beef ravioli in braised beef sauce). The restaurant’s decor is perhaps more evocative of New York sleek than Miami glitz, with Murano chandeliers, cognac leather seating and brasserie-style mirrors, but its location on prime shopping street Lincoln Road makes it perfect for attracting locals and tourists alike.
Indeed, Quattro’s key ingredients — the Carro brothers — were onetime tourists themselves. One of the restaurant’s co-owners, Nicola Schon, is a vintner in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, their home. He became familiar with their talents, arranged a tasting in Miami and convinced them to leave Italy behind and try their hands in America. The Carro brothers live together, along with Fabrizio’s wife, and Quattro actually marks the first time the twins have cooked ensemble in a professional capacity.
But for those wondering if the kitchen heat mixed with hot southern tempers ever produces sibling clashes, Fabrizio emphatically puts such suspicions to bed.
“Absolutely not!” he says, sounding horrified at the possibility. “Italian style is not like this. We can talk, we can decide together. I’m a pacifist. My brother, too. Nobody fights. Nobody uses bad words.”