Bellini Italian Bistro in Weston: Straight Outta South Beach

So imagine you own a restaurant on Ocean Drive that's humming along. The tourists flood in daily, and business is swell. When it comes time to expand to a second location, where do you look for space? Downtown Miami? Hollywood? Las Olas?

No, no, the team behind the first Bellini Italian Bistro, which opened in 2008, decided its second Bellini would be in Weston.

Though the west Broward city isn't quite the hot spot that is South Beach, Dario Alano, the manager of the Weston location and a new partner, said the company was looking to serve locals.

"We were tired of serving tourists," he said. In Weston "these are people you're going to see today, next week, and next month. These are people who travel and who know about Italian food and wine."

The menu at the Weston Bellini was created by Matteo Migliorini, who worked at Danny DeVito's namesake restaurant on South Beach before striking out on his own. The day-to-day kitchen is run by Aldo Vespero, who until recently oversaw the kitchen at Italian Red Sauce in Sunrise.

The menu at Bellini in Weston is similar to the Ocean Drive spot, with pizzas, pastas, and meats, but it looks to be more budget-friendly. The $19 lasagna on South Beach, for example, can be had in Weston for $14. Sure you don't get the water views, but in addition to saving $5, you can also rest assured some drunken tourist won't trip over your table, spilling that $19 worth of of layered pasta on the sidewalk.

Bellini Italian Bistro is located at 2780 Weston Road in Weston. Call 954-306-0781, or visit belliniitalianbistro.com.

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