Lorenzo | South Beach, Miami

Tony Mantuano's stellar Italian food arrives in Miami

Another day, another Italian restaurant opening.

What makes Lorenzo, the restaurant at South Beach's new Redbury hotel, stand out, however, is that it's the work of chef-restaurateur Tony Mantuano. A pillar of Italian cooking in the U.S., Mantuano presides over four restaurants in Chicago, including the beloved Spiaggia.

Many of his dishes have migrated from Chicago, like the orange-stuffed olives served as an amuse-bouche and the charred carrots flanked with peppy Capriole goat cheese ($12), but we're not complaining.

A tumble of feathery fritto misto served with pomodoro sauce and aioli

We're happy to graze on antipasti and cicchetti like his surprisingly light arancini ($12): A golden crust of Acquerello rice encases molten fior di latte and corn. Tender oxtail, pork and veal meatballs ($12), draped with tomato sauce, do right by Nonna.

Unfortunately for the pizzette, something may have been lost in translation from Chicago to South Beach. Instead, focus on the stellar house-made pastas. A delicate ravioletto package reveals a vaguely nutty filling of silky Crescenza cheese ($14). An order of overly salted tagliolini ($26) was graciously replaced with a lemon-kissed tangle of inky pasta and exquisitely fresh cuttlefish.

The gelato case at Lorenzo

Earlier this year, Mantuano told us he was looking forward to having access to different kinds of fish in Miami–grilled grouper festooned with fennel, orange and frisée ($28) aligns elegantly with Mantuano's style.

Now, when can we get some of those seafood meatballs down here in South Beach, Mr. Mantuano?