Piccolo Ristorante

2826 East Commercial Blvd Ft Lauderdale, FL 33308

A Trip Up the California Coast

On October 11th, Piccolo Ristorante will turn 3 years old.  In order to celebrate our 3rd birthday, we knew we had to plan something amazingly delicious!  While we haven't been able to take a trip to California ourselves, we figured we would pair some amazing California wine with some of Chef Andres' favorite fall recipes and bring them to you.

Join us on Thursday October 27th for a decadent 4-course food and wine pairing dinner.  

To start the evening off, Chef will be preparing a fabulous Pumpkin and Walnut Risotto.  This first course will be paired with a fan favorite Chardonnay by Wente Vineyards.  This single-vineyard Chardonnay is from Monterey and demonstrates a perfect balance of tropical fruit, acidity and creamy notes of butter as well as vanilla and toasty oak from the 10 month barrel aging process. 

Chef's second course will be one of his favorite dishes to prepare and one of the very first specials he created: Butternut Squash Ravioli served with Seared Duck Breast.  This rich and flavorful dish will be paired with Wente Vineyard's signature Pinot Noir.  The beautiful aromas and flavors of cherry, red apple and black tea pair perfectly with the duck.

For the 3rd course, Chef will be preparing Pheasant Cacciatore.  This traditional Italian dish will be paired with the Old Vine Zinfandel from Girard.  Hailing from the northern part of Napa Valley, this decadent Zinfandel exhibits well balanced ripeness and acidity along with complimenting intense fruit flavor and warm spice notes.  The spice notes and acidity will play off the peppers in the Cacciatore just perfectly.

Last but not least, Chef's 4th course will be a decadent chocolate dessert paired with the Girard Petite Sirah.  This Sirah from Napa Valley has beautiful aromas of black cherry, coffee beans, vanilla and even bacon.

Step into the kitchen with Chef Andres Avayú

With over 1,000 restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, making a decision on where to dine can be quite difficult at times.  But of all the restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, how many of them are Chef-owned and operated?  Not too many.  Being a Chef-owned and operated restaurant has its perks.  The most obvious is that the Chef-owner has the ability to create and design dishes as they see fit.  And when you have an extremely talented and creative Chef, this means dedication to not only delicious food, but also the finest ingredients and most beautifully presented dishes.

THIS is what Chef-Owner Andres Avayu is to Piccolo.  His talent for infusing unique ingredients into traditional Italian recipes is what sets Piccolo apart from the hundreds of Italian restaurants in Fort Lauderdale.  He loves to bring in Squab, Opah, Quail and other unique ingredients that you won't find elsewhere.  Pushing the envelope with creativity and presentations is his forte.  

Want to step inside the kitchen with Chef Andres and see him work his magic?  Check out our latest video by 8 Shades of Blue by clicking this link.

Summer is almost over and Holiday season is just around the corner

Hard to believe it but summer is almost over.  Before we know it kids will be going back to school and then we will be preparing for the holiday season.  That means that now is the perfect time to start thinking about holiday parties and get togethers.  

Here at Piccolo Ristornate, we specialize in offering our guests a unique dining experience, perfectly designed to fit their needs.  Have a party of 10,  20, or even 30 people that you are entertaining for the holidays?  Be it family or work related, we have you covered.  From custom menu and wine selections to top notch service ensuring you don't have to worry about anything at all.   Whether you want to do a buy-out and have the restaurant to yourself or just a small gathering for a few people or even off-site catering, let us help make your event a success.

Our restaurant in Fort Lauderdale is conveniently located and the perfect size for gatherings of up to 30 people.  Contact us today to find out how we can make your holiday party the most talked about event of the year.  Sample event packages can be found here.  Or for a sample catering menu click here.

From first date to the proposal - A Piccolo Love Story

Being a small family owned and operated restaurant enables us to make personal connections with each of our guests.  Last year a dear friend recommended us as the perfect spot for a first date.  As always, we made sure to offer them a unique dining experience with personalized service.  What a happy surprise to get a call recently that the young man wanted to propose to his girlfriend and he wanted us to help him make it happen! Wow!  We were so honored and thrilled to be able to continue to be a part of their lives.  

So Chef and Alison helped him plan out the Sunday morning brunch; complete with mimosas, rose petals, custom flower arrangement by WJM Floral and even "their song" playing in the background as they entered.  We were even able to coordinate with 8 Shades of Blue to capture the special moment on video.  It was a beautiful morning and best of all she said YES!  

Thank you Coe & Heather for asking us to be a part of such an important moment in your lives,.  We wish you all the happiness in the world! Salute!

To see the video click here

What inspires Chef Avayú?

With over 200 Italian Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, how does Chef Avayú differentiate his food from the rest?  That's easy, his creativity and dedication to providing the freshest and highest quality dishes to his guests at Piccolo Ristorante.  While you may find some "typical" Italian classics on his menu, such as the Carpaccio di Manzo or Ragu alla Bolognese, the majority of his dishes can't be found elsewhere.

So where does he get his inspiration for his dishes you may ask?  Well, one example would be the Carpaccio di Zucchine Salad and Gamberi appetizer.  Both of these dishes were inspired by last year's trip to his home country of Chile.  As a child and growing up, Chef Andres spent many long weeks at his family's ranch in the south of Chile.  The climate is quite perfect during the summer months, sunny and warm with clean crisp air in the mornings.  The rain/snow during the winter give the climate a perfect chill.  

The hard herbs in the Carpaccio di Zucchine are typical of Chilean dishes.  It's light and fresh touch of lemon is a perfect example of the types of light, crisp dishes you would find in the south.  As for the Gamberi, the white bean and corn are reminiscent of one of Chef's childhood favorites, "porotos granados", which is a traditional Chilean country stew made from fresh white beans.  Chef took this dish and married it with a typical white bean dish you might find in Umbria, Italy.  The result in both of these is a beautiful blend of Chilean/Italian cuisines.

New Small Business of the Year 2016

It has been a very busy month for Piccolo!  On May 12th, we were honored to receive the 2016 New Small Business of the Year award from the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce!  Alison has been heavily involved in the Chamber since joining in January of 2015.  We were humbled and excited to receive this wonderful award!  

Then on Saturday May 21st, Chef Andres and Alison has the privilege of participating in the 2nd annual Waterway Soiree benefiting the Children's Diagnostic and Treatment Center (CDTC).  The CDTC serves over 11,000 children in the Fort Lauderdale area each year. Ten different chefs and restaurants in Fort Lauderdale participated in this fundraising event held at the Bahia Mar Marina.  It was a honor to be able to be a part of such a wonderful event and charity.

And lastly, this week Chef Andres' rolls out his new summer menu.  Many of the original staples like his famous Amatricana pasta and Veal Chop are staying, but he has added a couple of new dishes for the summer.  In addition to the new items, Chef will now be offering a "Pesce del Giorno" or "Fish of the Day" special.  Make sure to follow us on social media to see what creative dishes he will be coming up with this summer.

 

What it means to be a Chef/Family owned & operated restaurant

There are over 1,000 restaurants in Fort Lauderdale.  Of those 1,000 there are more than 150 Italian Restaurants.  But how many of those are Chef and family owned and operated?  Here at Piccolo Ristorante, we pride ourselves on the fact that the owners, Alison & Chef Andres Avayú are working IN the restaurant each day.  While Alison handles the workings of the business during the day and manages the front of house at night, you will find Chef Avayú in the kitchen prepping and working on specials.  This type of owner involvement ensures that the experience for our guests will be the absolute best, from start to finish.  

With so many restaurants in Fort Lauderdale to choose from, why choose Chef/Family owned & operated?  It's really quite simple - dedication to excellence.  As owners and managers of Piccolo Ristorante, both Alison and Andres  are dedicated to ensuring that everyone who walks through the door enjoys an excellent dining experience.  Being owners and managers allows us the flexibility and freedom to be as creative as we want yet still ensure the highest quality food and service.

It has been our dream from the beginning to bring back the appreciation for a true "dining experience".  It is each and every person who has walked through our doors and shares their experiences, not only with us but their friends, that drives us to keep going.  So THANK YOU!  Thank you for allowing us to share a one of a kind dining experience with you and thank you for being a part of our family.  

From our family to yours - SALUTE Y BUON APPETITO!

Alison & Andres Avayú 

"Food without wine is a corpse, wine without food is a ghost...

...united and well matched they are as body and soul, living partners"

On April 12th, 2016, we teamed up with Miami Wine Buzz to offer our guests a unique opportunity to taste fabulous wines paired with extraordinary dishes created by Chef Andres Avayú.  Miami Wine Buzz was started by a local couple who are passionate about excellent food and wine.  Much like our "boutique" style restaurant, they offer their customers fine wines from boutique wineries around the world.  

Here at Piccolo Ristorante, one of Chef Avayú's talents lies in his ability to create exquisite dishes with flavor and texture combinations that tantalize ALL of your senses.  Chef started the evening with his aromatic Rosemary Infused Foccacia.  

The first course of the evening was Seared Scallops with Foie Gras and a Roasted Fig Puree paired with a lovely white Callas.  For the second course, Chef made miniature home-made Ravioli.  These were an "ode to Parmesan" as Chef called it, stuffed with Parmesan and Mascarpone, topped with black truffle and paired with a soft yet supple Arnaio.  Being the artist that he is, Chef served his ravioli with a beautiful Parmesan crisp.  The third course was another home-made pasta, Cannelloni, made from a mushroom dough and stuffed with spicy ground lamb then topped with a tangy Eggplant Pomodoro sauce and paired with a robust Primitivo Riserva.  After an evening filled with robust flavors, Chef ended with his light and fresh Limoncello Sorbetti.  

 

There are numerous Italian restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, but Chef Avayú's creativity in the kitchen and events like this are what set us apart.  Starting this fall we look forward to hosting a wine dinner each month with a different menu.  Make sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date with all of Chef's creations.  Until next time, buon appetito y salute!

Photo and Video credit: Jason Dixon 8 Shades of Blue