Italy is known for its soul-satisfying food, and New York for its flawless execution. But the Masci brothers, creators of Manhattan’s famed Il Mulino, are known for combining the two, and they brought their signature, award-winning style to Miami via Il Gabbiano (“The Seagull”). The bayfront restaurant is as authentic as you can get without boarding a plane, and the daily clientele of urbane, worldly patrons keeps Fernando Masci on top of his game.
OCEAN DRIVE: How do you keep the menu new and interesting?
FERNANDO MASCI: I travel to Europe at least once a year. They’re so innovative with their cooking and I refresh my memories and skills. I began cooking when I was 12, but I’m always inventing. For example, consider our veal Milanesa: In Rome they made pork Milanesa, but we changed it to veal for our restaurant.
Where do you source your produce and seafood?
We use a combination of European and locally sourced goods: vegetables, tomatoes, grouper, yellowtail. We purchase seafood daily, but only of the best quality. The menu changes slightly every four months or so to reflect the season.
There’s also plenty to drink at Il Gabbiano.
We have great Scotch, gin and grappa in addition to an extensive wine collection. We have a sophisticated, refined clientele and like to provide the best environment.
What’s the secret to running a restaurant that stands the test of time?
We believe in perfection. The secret is hard work and a great staff. We craft everything with the finest quality in mind. We sometimes stay open later so our guests can continue to enjoy the evening.
Capellini Il Gabbiano
What to Order at ll Gabbiano
Starter: Prosciutto e melone Pasta: Cappellini Il Gabbiano Entrée: Oven-baked branzino