Miami, mon amour, you made this polyglot feel right at home. What a great Italian food and wine city!

Anyone who speaks more than one language will tell you the same thing.

Every time you encounter another bilingual interlocutor, a small but usually polite dance begins: which speaker has a better command of which language will determine what language you will use to converse.

Especially for young second language learners, it’s always a point of pride when the conversant allows the dialog to continue in a “destination” language.

Here’s what was revealed to me on my trip to Miami last week: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English, Neapolitan, Venetian… It doesn’t matter to Miamians as long as you like great food and wine!

Miami is a genuine linguistic paradise where no one seems to care where you came from or what language you speak. Restaurant and wine professionals are constantly switching between the many tongues spoken there.

As weird as this sounds, it made me feel like I was linguistically free. And I loved the whole vibe.

My last night in the city, my ride withs took me to eat at the swank and wonderful Portosole in Coral Gables where the food was fantastic and the banter was a medley of English, Italian, and Spanish with some Neapolitan thrown in for good measure.

Have to give a shoutout to sommelier Alfredo who share his last bottle of Ca’ del Bosco 2013 Dosaggio Zero with us. What a wine!

I also have to give a shoutout to Graziano’s Market in Coral Gables where we hosted a supplier meeting earlier in the day. This place is like a dream come true for me: a Cuban-focused menu in a casual, self-serve setting with a broad offering of Italian wines — from Borgogno to Emidio Pepe. Nebbiolo and croquetas de jamón? I’m in!

I also LOVED Macchialina in South Beach. Great pastas and a wine list with broad strokes that make bold statements.

Mosaico in Key Biscayne served me a super vitello tonnato.

And one last place not to miss was River Oyster Bar. Get the ceviche.

There are so many other places I didn’t get to check out. But I’m supposed to be headed back next month.

I can’t wait. Non vedo l’ora. No aguanto las ganas…

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