Miami is buzzing about the exquisite pastas at the Design District's MC Kitchen. But have you tried the "piadenas"?
A piadina is a street food from Emilia-Romana, Italy. Flatbread sheaves, cooked on a griddle, bookend cured meats, cheeses and greens. Chef Dena Marino first made an interpretation of the sandwiches at Michael Chiarello's Tomatina in St. Helena, California.
At MC Kitchen, Marino offers yet another version; thus the play on her first name with "piadena." Marino's flatbread resembles a golden pizza crust: "I am very much a texture person," she says, "so I wanted to add a little depth, dimension and crunch." We could happily devour the crusty, oil-brushed flatbread by itself.
Juicy strips of grilled hanger steak and tomato conserva enhance one piadena ($17). Peppery Key West shrimp and a tangle of jicama and carrot top another ($17). Squeeze a roasted, almost caramelized, lemon over the shrimp for an intense tartness. The chicken piadena ($15) is the only version that seems pedestrian; the others outshine it.
To eat the piadena, slice it in two and fold over one half. The substantial wrap can be cumbersome to eat, but it's so compelling, you won't mind.
Piadenas are only served for lunch on weekdays, but thankfully, lunch runs until about 5 p.m.
MC Kitchen, 4141 NE Second Ave., Suite 101A; 305-456-9948 or mckitchenmiami.com